Taking a Break From Exercise. How long can you go without losing fitness?

I mean taking a break from exercise for the sake of illness, fatigue or for just being bored or not feeling like it.

So, how long can you take a break from exercise without losing fitness? Days? A week? Two weeks? What's the maximum period?

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Depends on your diet and the type of exercise. You won't lose much of anything for a few months if you are eating enough calories to maintain weight and protein to maintain muscle mass.

    IIRC aerobic endurance actually drops sooner than muscle mass (it's why marathon runners have to run very often and almost daily - for many hours/miles).

    You may start to look bigger but it is only water from the extra salt that you would normally be sweating off with exercise as well as muscle glycogen levels being higher.

    When you get back to lifting weights start slow and use about 80% of your previous weights (slowly ramp back up to pre-break weight). Also, any small amount of muscle loss should be not be expected for less than a 2 month break and muscle lost is easier to regain than it was in the first place.

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What Guys Said 8

  • I survived 25 years almost out of 37 years of my life w/o exercise and fitness regimen and got onto a fitness regimen when signs began to show.

    Stuck to it for 2 years almost till I was leveled by an injury for 8 months that set me back almost completely. Now am getting back from where I'd left off.

    Guess if I stick to it and reach my goal I can go on for a year or so w/o losing fitness but I'd never do that

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    • What injury, Raj? :(

    • Wrong form during Arnold Shoulder Press thanks to an overzealous instructor and I had to lay off working out for a goo 8 months. Back perfectly in form now and better with stronger determination :D

    • I'm glad. God bless. :)

  • If you maintain a high level of physical activity, you can take a break from gym workouts for several months without losing very much in terms of overall strength and conditioning.

    But if you stop all physical activity and just sit at a computer or watch TV all your spare time, you'll lose muscle tone within days!

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    • Lmao, tone does not equal actual fitness or even bodyfat percentage. The time you aren't working out and losing tone can merely be a sign that you're cells are filling up on extra water since more carbs are being stored in muscle and less salt is being lost due to less strenuous activity to expend carbs or lose fat.

      Carbohydrates stored in muscle mass are called glycogen.

  • Different things at different rates.

    Anaerobic endurance would drop within weeks.

    Aerobic endurance drops very, very slowly.

    Strength starts fading within weeks but you can regain it fairly quickly.

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  • It takes me month to take a break. Deload weeks are recommended for people who have fatigued.

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  • At least 58 years.

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  • The minute you sit down your capillaries start to become smaller and you lose blood flow. If you don't want to lose fitness you can probably go a week just make sure to walk every 3 hours to keep blood flowing well.

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  • Lately I've gone almost 3 weeks, I feel what has made me lose motivation is being single and my inability to get a girlfriend

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  • It depends on how much muscle you developed but just for keeping in shape and for cardio Sally I would think about the same as what Marty said. If you stay relatively active you should be fine for at least a couple of months combined with a good diet. Sitting around all day is bad for anyone but I doubt you are like that.

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What Girls Said 2

  • For myself one week plus

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  • It's been months since I last had a good work out... but my muscles are still there and I am lean... certain foods will puff me up(salt, fat) so I try to avoid those and eat slimming foods like fruit. I don't know how you can loose fitness... seems like if it can be gone in a few months you never had it to begin with.. but I've always been active as a kid... my friends would ask if I work out and I denied it... my "work out" was/is just living my life... walking to where I need to go, gardening, doing chores... I see people do these quick stints of working out (weekend warriors) their muscles get all puffy then it's lost in a few weeks... that's because the work out wasn't efficient enough to begin with... true fitness comes with lifestyle changes, and working on muscles for the long term, that way they are not lost in a few weeks/months.

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