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TOPIC: How long before you start to lose muscle mass?

 
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November 27, 2010 9:05 PM
I haven't been to the gym in a little over a week. I am normally in there 5 days out of the week and incorporate strength training, but with the gym being closed for the holidays I haven't been able to get any strength training in. While I don't really trust the scale too much because I know hydration and other factors affect the body fat percentage that the scale shows, I weighed myself the other day and I actually went down a pound but my body fat went up. Didn't really pay too much attention to it but it had me thinking about it.... How long would it take for you to start losing muscle mass? I plan on getting back on my normal schedual Monday when the gym opens back up. (you'd think they would stay open everyday except the actual holiday...People still need to get their workouts in...especially around thanksgiving. Ha) I heard you don't have much to worry about until after a couple of weeks but everything I find on the topic gives me a different answer. tongue
November 27, 2010 9:11 PM
I'd like the answer to that. However, it may be a good time for your muscles to heal.
November 27, 2010 9:17 PM
I am SO glad you posted this! I was wondering the same question! I ended up in the hospital two days before Thanksgiving and I'm still on the sick side so my endurance is fairly low...again! I feel like it took me a month to get up there and now I'm back down again. I got on the scale and I've lost about 3 pounds. I was running and doing strength training. Went back to the gym today but only did the elliptical. I probably won't run or do any of my normal routine again until late next week so that has me even more concerned about loosing what little muscle I have. That suuucks that your gym was closed the whole WEEK?!? That makes NO sense! My gym was opened every day but Thursday! If I hadn't been in the hospital I would have been in the gym, usually at least 5 days like you.

Sorry no answer, but I can't wait to read what people say!
November 27, 2010 9:22 PM
QUOTE:

I am SO glad you posted this! I was wondering the same question! I ended up in the hospital two days before Thanksgiving and I'm still on the sick side so my endurance is fairly low...again! I feel like it took me a month to get up there and now I'm back down again. I got on the scale and I've lost about 3 pounds. I was running and doing strength training. Went back to the gym today but only did the elliptical. I probably won't run or do any of my normal routine again until late next week so that has me even more concerned about loosing what little muscle I have. That suuucks that your gym was closed the whole WEEK?!? That makes NO sense! My gym was opened every day but Thursday! If I hadn't been in the hospital I would have been in the gym, usually at least 5 days like you.

Sorry no answer, but I can't wait to read what people say!

Yeah. It's pretty inconvenient but it's a college gym so they have to allow some time for the students working to travel home to visit family I guess. I got a little cardio in this week. Kind of anxious to get back in the gym again. I hate having to stay away too long because it's always so hard to get back into it all.
I hope you recover soon. :)
November 27, 2010 9:32 PM
Hopefully someone will have a more definitive answer. From what I see, muscle atrophy starts at 72 hours, but you will mostly lose water. At a week the loss has more impact.
November 27, 2010 9:46 PM
I've looked for this before and it appears that muscle atrophy isn't something that occurs as quickly as after one week of neglect. Most put it at closer to 3 weeks or a month before any noticeable atrophy is detected. And even in those cases it's based on your diet and how sedentary you are, like if you are bedridden and eating below maintenance. Most loses in strength noticed before that period are either psychological (in your head) or neurological pathway neglect and strength quickly comes back after 1-2 workouts in those cases. Weight loss noticed in such a short period as a week is probably due to less water retention in your cases.
November 27, 2010 9:56 PM
If you work out a muscle once per week you will generally avoid any significant loss of mass and/or strength. Two weeks off and its probably going to take a little more work to get back to where you were. Three weeks or beyond and you are starting to get out of shape, your bod is going to let you know about it when you get back to the gym!

Missing a week is not optimal but if you have been working out hard your bod (and spirit) may actually respond well to the time off.

This time of year the calories consumed are the real enemies. Very easy to stack on a couple extra pounds that will take a month to lose!
November 27, 2010 10:09 PM
Here's a study kinda related to the topic that shows that even if atrophy occurs it shouldn't take as long for the muscle to regain it's former glory as muscle cell nuclei don't die as readily even after the cells losing 45% of their mass:

http://m.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/08/muscle-memory/

This doesn't mention how quick atrophication starts but does suggests that it shouldn't be something to worry about too much as recovery back to pre- atrophy muscle state is much easier to achieve the second time around.
November 27, 2010 10:20 PM
Very interesting topic. Subscribing.
November 28, 2010 8:17 PM
QUOTE:

Here's a study kinda related to the topic that shows that even if atrophy occurs it shouldn't take as long for the muscle to regain it's former glory as muscle cell nuclei don't die as readily even after the cells losing 45% of their mass:

http://m.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/08/muscle-memory/

This doesn't mention how quick atrophication starts but does suggests that it shouldn't be something to worry about too much as recovery back to pre- atrophy muscle state is much easier to achieve the second time around.

Thankyou for the link. I'm just glad to hear that it's easier to recover it. :)
November 28, 2010 8:25 PM
This might be OT, but an interesting concept:

http://fitnessblackbook.com/muscle-building/how-to-lose-muscle-mass-on-purpose/
November 28, 2010 8:27 PM
this is a little off the subject but shouldn't there be calories burned on the strenght training side like there is on the cardio side? or am i missing it.
  1942063
November 28, 2010 8:28 PM
QUOTE:

this is a little off the subject but shouldn't there be calories burned on the strenght training side like there is on the cardio side? or am i missing it.
Report it in Cardio as Strength training (weight lifting, weight training)
March 29, 2012 2:22 AM
It may be interesting to add this. How long If you are undercutting on the calorie side of things?

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