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View Full Version : What happens when you stop lifting?



tom626
11-30-2012, 10:35 AM
Something I'm curious about. Say you're extremely muscular with a low BF%. For the sake of argument say 6'0" 210 lbs with 10% BF. If you stop lifting completely and continue to eat at maintenance while getting plenty of protein, what will happen to your body composition over time? Will your BF% creep up as the lean body mass turns to fat? How quickly will this happen?

nobrah
11-30-2012, 10:55 AM
Unused muscles will atrophy, regardless of protein intake. Decreased muscle mass without any changes to body fat will increase your body fat percentage (simple mathematics there). Less muscle mass will also gradually decrease weight and calorie needs, so unless you adjust to match your new weight, you'll start gaining body fat due to a calorie surplus.

tom626
11-30-2012, 11:05 AM
So basically if you were to continue to eat at a maintenance level (taking into account the fact that maintenance will continually decrease over time), eventually you would just end up plain old skinny with little muscle or fat to speak of?

nobrah
11-30-2012, 11:08 AM
So basically if you were to continue to eat at a maintenance level (taking into account the fact that maintenance will continually decrease over time), eventually you would just end up plain old skinny with little muscle or fat to speak of?
Yes, that's a reasonable conclusion. Assuming you had pretty low body fat to begin with, of course.

KevJr88
11-30-2012, 11:12 AM
This is actually a more complicated question than you think. For one, what you are talking about is called "detraining." The general rule of thumb is that if you have been working at for a year, then you will be back at square one in six months. That is to say you lose all your gains in half the time it took to get them.

However the majority of muscle mass you lose strength in will be in type I fibers. These are the fibers that are generally not associated with weightlifting. Type I fibers are used for things your body needs more oxygen for (cycling, long distance running, triathlons).

tom626
11-30-2012, 01:03 PM
This is actually a more complicated question than you think. For one, what you are talking about is called "detraining." The general rule of thumb is that if you have been working at for a year, then you will be back at square one in six months. That is to say you lose all your gains in half the time it took to get them.

However the majority of muscle mass you lose strength in will be in type I fibers. These are the fibers that are generally not associated with weightlifting. Type I fibers are used for things your body needs more oxygen for (cycling, long distance running, triathlons).

This is intriguing...anyone else care to weigh in?

13Chris13
11-30-2012, 01:15 PM
Muscle doesn't turn to fat.. That's a myth.. Muscles atrophy(waste away) and fat covers the muscle that is there..

texicus
11-30-2012, 01:39 PM
This is intriguing...anyone else care to weigh in?

i experienced something similar when I had mono last year

didn't have much of an appetite either so I was probably under maintenance

started out high 140s, sub 8% body fat, ended up low 140s but still around same bodyfat % (over a few months)

this was just my experience though