Daily Dose of Coach #288: In Training, It Doesn't Take Long to Lose What You've Earned

Your life gets busy. Sometimes your busy body can't make into the gym for three to four weeks!

When you finally come back to the gym, you feel physically and mentally discouraged. All that hard work you've put in for the weeks or months before seems like its been for nothing. And, physiologically, for the most part, you're right.

In an article written by Erin Beresini, she interviewed exercise physiologist Inigo Mujika on what happens to your body physiologically when you take a break or stop training.

"After about 10 days to two weeks, your VO2 max, or the max amount of oxygen you can take in during exercise, will start to drop at a steady rate of about 0.5 percent a day. Two weeks off, and your brain’s ability to recruit muscle will drop, by about one to five percent. That’s not much. But it can cut power in sports that require fine-tuned movements for optimal performance, like swimming.

After three to four weeks off, your muscles will start to atrophy. Your body will increase its reliance on carbs rather than fat for fuel while simultaneously upping its capacity to store fat. In other words, your ability to burn fat slacks off at the same time it becomes easier to get fat.

That’s how metabolic syndrome gets started. Physical inactivity leads to becoming overweight, then insulin resistant, then diabetic."

Getting back into training after taking time off is always tricky. We all get busy, but that's no excuse. If you've worked hard to achieve a great base of fitness, there's no reason to lose it all in three weeks. Commit to make and keep what you've accomplished.

If you've been training in an intense program for twelve to sixteen weeks, it's okay to take an intentional recovery week, or maybe even sometimes two.

But to keep progressing. Try to avoid those extra "busy" months in your life, you don't show up to the gym. Progress is hard to come by when you're always starting over again.