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How Long Does It Take To Get Out Of Shape?

Person exhausted after training hiit

I stopped training...

Sickness, holidays, injuries, lack of motivation, etc... It happens to everybody, AT SOME POINT YOU ARE GOING TO STOP. This period of time without engaging in physical activities is critical for your health. From a few days to a few weeks you can start losing all those results you have been working your butt off to get.

The sooner you can, get up and get back to your training routine.

When you stop you might lose your strength, speed, flexibility, the list goes on. The good news is, IT DOESN'T HAPPEN IMMEDIATELY. Even better, if you know exactly what's going on it can be minimized. As you stop you can have the right approach to avoid affecting your results and health.

How much of my fitness will I lose?

It takes only 10 to 12 days to have a negative impact on your cardiovascular capacity. Vo2 is the capacity of your body to transport and utilize Oxygen. To be precise your VO2 decreases by 20% when you stop for two weeks.  When we talk about strength, it takes 3 weeks for most people to have significant losses. Athletes will notice this after 4 weeks. Part of your muscles mass you worked so hard to gain can be lost in 2 to 3 weeks after stop exercising. In this initial period, the muscle size decreases mainly because of the glycogen levels that could get as low as 50% than when you were training. Because of the glycogen, the muscle doesn't hold as much water. Due to those changes, it is easy and quick to recover if you get back on track before it's too late. 

What's the best strategy if I need to stop my boot camp routine?

The best strategy of course if keeping yourself active. You need only one-third of your regular cardio activities to maintain its levels. So doing one-third less at the same intensity will help you maintaining your fitness levels when it comes to your cardio. For your strength 20 minutes, twice a week training at a higher intensity will help you to keep your strength and muscle mass. Of course, it can't be done forever, it is just a way to deal with some busy time with your exams, or a new schedule at work, holidays, etc... Let's suppose you had an injury in your upper body, in this case, you could easily run or riding a bike. Is your injury in your lower body? You could maybe get your fix kayaking or doing the upper body in the gym. The options are endless and a good professional can always help with ideas.

I have already stopped and I need to get back on track

Our bodies aren't machines and we also need to rest. Studies show that 4 nonconsecutive weeks of rest during the year is very beneficial and can really help you reach new benchmarks. So this pause could be used as a step for you to go to the next level. If you stopped for two weeks or more remember, it is much easier to regain your overall fitness rather than start from scratch as you once did when you were a newbie. Luckily there is something called muscle memory and this is going to make things easier when you get back.


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