How Long Will It Take To Lose Muscle If I Stop To Exercise? 3 Important Factors That Can Impact The Timeline - Bellefleur
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How Long Will It Take To Lose Muscle If I Stop To Exercise? 3 Important Factors That Can Impact The Timeline

Strength training is an important part of any fitness routine. It can help you to build muscle mass, improve your strength, and reduce your risk of chronic diseases.

The number one question we get is how long does it take to lose progress made? What happens when you stop strength training for a period of time due to lack of time, motivation, injury, or support? 

Let’s discuss!

How Long Does It Take to Lose Muscle Mass If You Quit Working Out?

If you’re thinking about quitting your workout routine, you may be wondering how long it will take for you to lose muscle mass. The answer depends on a number of factors:

  1. Age: As you get older, you naturally lose muscle mass. This is due to a number of factors, including decreased hormone production and decreased activity levels.
  2. Activity level: If you’re active, you’ll lose muscle mass more slowly than if you’re sedentary. This is because exercise helps to build and maintain muscle mass.
  3. Nutrition: A diet that is high in protein and calories can help you to maintain muscle mass. This is because protein is essential for muscle growth and repair.

In general, it takes about two to three weeks of inactivity to start losing muscle mass. However, if you’re young and active, you may be able to go longer without losing muscle mass.

Lose muscle

What Happens When You Lose Muscle Mass?

Losing muscle mass can have a number of negative consequences, including:

  1. Decreased strength: Muscle mass is essential for strength. As you lose muscle mass, you’ll become weaker. This can make it difficult to do everyday activities, such as lifting groceries or carrying your children.
  2. Increased risk of falls: Muscle mass helps to keep you balanced and stable. As you lose muscle mass, you’re more likely to fall. This is especially dangerous for older adults.
  3. Increased risk of chronic diseases: Muscle mass is associated with a number of chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. 

How Long Does It Take to Get Muscle Strength Back?

If you start working out again after a period of inactivity, you can regain your muscle strength relatively quickly. However, it will take longer than it did to lose the muscle mass in the first place.

The amount of time it takes to regain muscle strength depends on a number of factors, including:

  1. Your age: As you get older, it takes longer to build muscle mass.
  2. Your activity level: The more active you are, the faster you’ll regain muscle strength.
  3. Your nutrition: A diet that is high in protein and calories can help you to regain muscle mass more quickly.

In general, it takes about six to eight weeks of regular exercise to regain muscle strength. However, if you’re patient and consistent with your workouts, you can eventually regain all of the muscle mass that you lost.

Exercise in gym

Final thoughts…

If you are thinking about stopping your workout program it is important to look at the reason and seek help from a fitness professional to guide you in the right direction. Sometimes we don’t have a choice in stopping our workout routine and it is better not to try and push through issues such as physical injuries or fatigue. Pain, discomfort, or injuries should be brought to the attention of a healthcare professional such as a Physiotherapist.

If you are not seeing results quickly enough, getting bored with your workout routine, or losing interest, it may be time to make a change to your program or even chat with a personal trainer to help you work on your fitness goals (rather than quitting entirely!). 

If you need to chat with one of our fitness professionals, please feel free to contact our team for assistance by clicking here.

Jason Bellefleur
Jason Bellefleur is a multi-award-winning physiotherapist. Most recently, he was recognized as a 2016 Ottawa Forty Under 40 recipient and received numerous awards from the Orléans Chamber of Commerce (the 2011 Young Business Person of the Year, the 2012 Healthcare Professional of the Year and the 2014 Business Person of the Year awards). Jason is proud to be an Orléans resident and to raise his family in a bilingual community. He enthusiastically promotes local business within the Orléans area and frequently supports and participates in local events. Jason was recognized for his community involvement by receiving the Orleans 150 Community Builder award in 2017 by Ottawa-Orléans MPP Marie-France Lalonde. Jason firmly believes in high-quality one-on-one physiotherapy interventions. His treatment approach emphasizes hands-on intervention, continued client education, and active involvement by the individual to help them reach their full potential. By opening a clinic that offers 'Higher Standards of Care,' Jason wants his patients to feel confident that they receive the highest level of patient care available. As a result, he is also preventing injury and helping to improve their health and well-being.

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