I maintain an even/balanced body weight through the year and maintain my muscle tone. And sports that I only can do seasonally (surfing, skiing, mountain biking) only seem to take about a week or so to get back to where I was at the end of last season; even after say 6 months of not skiing, 4 months not mountain biking, 3 months not surfing for example. The first few days back are always a rude awakening, but after that it takes little time before I’m progressing again and I find these activities to be just as challenging as lifting weights for different reasons. Yet when it comes to weight lifting strength; I find taking as little as 3 weeks off lifting to be a very significant set back that takes weeks or more to just recover from.
Why is this?
I didn’t find the right solution from the internet.
I’m no expert in this area, but I will make two observations. Weight lifting is anaerobic, while mountain biking, skiing, surfing are much more aerobic. Muscle strength is important, sure, but it’s not about muscle mass or how much you can lift; it’s more about your endurance and ability to keep pedaling.
Second, my running coach shared a rule of thumb: it takes about as long to “lose” your training as it took to gain it. In other words, if you run a mile every day for three months, then stop running completely, it will take about three months for you to “lose” all the benefits of the prior three months of training. Again, this is for an aerobic activity, so for weight lifting it’s likely to be very different (as alluded by the guy who replied in the bodybuilding forum).
Finally, age is a factor. Sadly, as we age, the hormone levels in our body change. For men, testosterone typically drops. This can have a marked affect on the speed at which muscles will atrophy and the gains you’ve earned are “lost” by inactivity.
Best advice? Stay active using a variety of activities.
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