Life gets busy. While most of the time we are still able to fit the gym into our schedule, at times- it’s just impossible.
So, what happens if you had to take 2 weeks off of the gym?
Will 2 weeks off the gym cause muscle loss? No, 2 weeks off the gym will NOT cause muscle loss. It takes around 3 weeks to start to even see TINY muscle loss, and many months before you see actual ‘big’ muscle loss.
So, you have nothing to worry about if you have to take a quick 2 week hiatus from the gym.
Let’s explain this more in-depth and answer how long it takes for you to actually see muscle loss.
#1 – It Takes About 3 Weeks of No Working Out To Lose a TINY Amount of Muscle
So, to even BEGIN losing a TINY bit of muscle, it will take about 3 weeks of no working out AT ALL.
And I really mean that, just a TINY bit of muscle is lost after 3 weeks. In fact, I doubt you would ever even notice the muscle loss.
This is also backed up by science, according to Resistance Training-Induced Elevations in Muscular Strength in Trained Men Are Maintained After 2 Weeks of Detraining and Not Differentially Affected by Whey Protein Supplementation
- Basically, it found that people who didn’t workout after a few weeks lost basically no muscle at all.
This muscle loss is hardly ever noticeable. You would probably only notice it on your “1 Rep Maxes” in the gym. Say you’re able to bench 300 pounds for 1 rep, after this 3-week mark I’d say you’d probably end up scooting down to 295 pounds for 1 rep.
And again, that’s assuming you’ve done no working out at all. Even things like simple at home exercises can seriously delay any muscle loss.
But, when does muscle loss become significant?
#2 – It Takes MONTHS To Lose Significant Amounts of Muscle
If you’re really worried about losing a lot of muscle, don’t fear, it takes MONTHS to lose a significant amount of muscle.
If you don’t work out for months on end, that’s when you start to see muscle loss.
Again, I reiterate- this is absolutely NO working out at all. And this takes MONTHS, not 1 MONTH, most likely 3+ months of no working out to see real muscle loss.
We saw when all the gyms shut down, many muscle builders decided to start doing simple at home bodyweight workouts. This worked amazingly for us.
Even for those that weren’t able to do at home workouts or see a gym when the shutdowns happened- most people didn’t lose significant amounts of muscle, even if the gyms were closed for about 2 months.
This further reiterates the fact that you would really need to mess something up to lose significant amounts of muscle.
It’d probably take 3 or more months of not doing anything at all to see serious muscle loss.
#3 – If You’re Concerned About Muscle Loss, Just Do Some At-Home Workouts, They Basically Stop Muscle Loss
I get it, you might still be concerned about muscle loss.
It’s natural to feel like not being in the gym for a few weeks may cause that, I used to think the same way. And honestly, when you’ve been out of the gym for a bit you just feel weaker, but, don’t worry- most of it is just a mental thing.
But, get this- if you’re concerned about losing muscle, do some quick at home bodyweight workouts while you’re out of the gym.
According to a study titled, Exercise dosing to retain resistance training adaptations in young and older adults, it found that doing basic at-home workouts that were just 1/9th of the intensity of your normal workouts could delay muscle loss for up to 33 weeks!
So, believe the science. Our bodies are really good at keeping the muscle we’ve already build under the right circumstances.
#4 – Just Make Sure You Are Eating Lots of Protein
Just remember, meeting your daily protein goals severely decreases the chances of your body breaking down muscle.
While we’ve been talking this whole article about how our body rarely breaks down muscle- it should be said that it absolutely CAN, in severe circumstances.
Some of these circumstances include starvation, or eating literally no protein for days on end.
Our body needs protein to survive and perform bodily functions, and in those instances, it will break down your muscles to power our body.
Now, does this mean if you go on vacation and have 50 grams of protein instead of 150 all of your muscle will disappear? Absolutely not.
What it does mean, is you still need to diet and eat the right foods. Enjoy your vacation, but make smart choices. Eat some meat while you’re out at dinner, maybe grab a protein shake (like muscle milk, etc.) while you’re out on the beach.
And like I said, you’d have to eat very very little amounts of protein for something like this to happen. But, it’s always good to be considerate and eat right.
Treat your body right, and it will treat you right back.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Happens After 2 Weeks of No Gym?
After 2 weeks of no gym, usually nothing will happen. 2 weeks is not enough time to really lose any muscle.
How Long Does It Take To Gain Muscle Back After 2 Weeks Off From The Gym?
It should take roughly a day. After 2 weeks off of the gym, you will have barely lost ANY muscle- if you lost muscle at all. It will probably just take a day to get used to things again.
Is It Ok To Take 3 Weeks Off From The Gym?
Taking 3 weeks off of the gym isn’t a great idea. Around the 3 week mark is where you start to see some muscle loss. It’s better to only take around 2 weeks off of the gym to make sure you aren’t losing muscle.
If you want to take off 3 weeks, try and do some at-home exercises in the meantime to keep the muscle mass.
#5 – Conclusion of Will 2 Weeks Off The Gym Cause Muscle Loss?
So, no- you’ve got nothing to worry about. Just make sure you’re dieting right, eating your protein, et cetera.
If you’re still concerned about muscle loss, just do some simple at-home workouts while you’re away and it will keep the muscle.
Thank you for reading!