On Losing Strength Gains – Some Interesting Numbers

tired

The main worry of most athletes and trainers, whether they perform resistance training or aerobics, is how fast they can progress. A question that should be addressed with a lot more attention is: If I stop training, how much of what I gained am I going to lose? The numbers are quite striking and much likely to make you think twice before you keep off the track or gym. Here we go…

PS: The references will be added soon

LOSS AND MAINTENANCE IN ANAEROBIC STRENGTH

Anaerobic means that no oxygen is involved in the process of the muscular exercise. Typically resistance training is a very common example of anaerobic exercise.

THE EFFECTS OF DETRAINING

There’s very little data on this, and you will have to take it as a rough indicator. Discontinuing training for 2 weeks caused male power lifters to lose 12% of their performance (isokinetic eccentric strength) and 6.4% of their type II muscle fibers, without loss of type I.

Several weeks are enough for previously sedentary men to lose strength gains. This is most likely from reversal of training-induced neuro-muscular and hormonal adaptations.

HOW TO MAINTAIN

Reducing training frequency to only one or two weekly sessions provides sufficient stimulus to maintain training-induced strength gains. Note how important it is to also maintain the intensity of your workout to maintain your strength. Analogously, although it is not the focus of this post, intensity must be increased for gains to increase.

Reminder of gain rates: Muscle strength can increase at a rate of 5 to 10% every 3 to 5 month depending on body types and muscle groups being considered. This data is for trained individuals. Higher gain rates may be observed in beginners.

LOSS AND MAINTENANCE IN AEROBIC STRENGTH

Aerobic, in contrast with anaerobic, means that oxygen is involved in the process of the muscular exercise. Typically cardio or fat-loss exercises such as running and other endurance sports are aerobic.

THE EFFECTS OF DETRAINING

The half-life of the loss in aerobics power is no more than 4 to 12 weeks. Then the rate of loss might slow down. All effects of training are dissipated after 8 weeks reports a study, after 8 month reports another.

HOW TO MAINTAIN

Once the desired level of aerobic training had been reached, the frequency or the duration of training sessions can be reduced by two thirds without any adverse effect on physical condition. Gains in strength can be sustained by one session of isotonic exercises a week, provided that the intensity of contractions was not reduced.

Reminder of gain rates: Aerobic strength is primarily measured in terms of maximal oxygen intake. It takes 3 to 4 years to gain overall 60ml/[kg.min], when you start from low aerobic power (26/27 ml/[kg.min]).

Rough Conclusion: In anaerobics, you lose in 2 weeks what took at least 3 month to gain. Worse in aerobics where you lose in 8 weeks what took at least 3 years to gain.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *