What will happen if I take a week or two off from the gym or lifting weights?

Category: Fitness    

I have to admit that the thought of taking a week or two off from the gym scares me a bit. I’ve been working out religiously for almost two years to gain muscle, lose body fat and reshape my body. I have spent every week in the gym working hard at my goals. So what would happen if I took a week or two off from the gym? Would I lose my muscle mass? Would I blow up and gain weight? Would I start at the bottom from square one?

These questions all swirled in my mind recently when my fiance had to undergo invasive hip surgery and move us to my future in laws home. The days and nights were long and the little energy I had to get to the gym was much better used to sleep. During the four weeks of his recovery I went to the gym a total of maybe 5 times. This was unheard of for me and I was nervous that all the hard work I had put into my body was going to start my timer back at zero. I was so used to being in the gym lifting every day or every other day that I knew soon enough things would catch up to me. If I took time off from the gym would I gain weight? Lose muscle?


The truth is while I was away from the gym I didn’t gain or lose 1 pound. I didn’t feel any weaker or lose any muscle definition. What I did notice is that my diet of course was a little less clean and even then my weight didn’t change. When I could I would do some at home exercises like push ups, lunges, body weight squats and leg raises. Other than that I didn’t focus any of my time or energy on the gym. I knew my fiance needed me, I knew that I would be okay and that this is life. You can’t stop living life, especially in emergencies to go and hit the gym. I would rather spend my nights with him or my extra hour in the morning to sleep since I was always running around, tired and worn out from the many daily tasks of work and taking care of him.

The truth is, your body doesn’t just morph back into a mess if you miss the gym for a little while. You won’t just put all the weight back on and you won’t go tumbling into a spiral abyss of fat. We have to start learning to allow our selves the ability to LIVE, miss a week or two and sometimes it is actually better for you if you do. I know for me it was a much needed mental break and it now makes me even more ready, eager and excited to get back into the gym.

While I am a huge fitness fan and love what it has done for me mentally and physically, I have to say that I don’t take it so seriously that I would miss out on events with family or friends to go work out. I also wouldn’t give up time with a loved one who needs me to run to go do some weight lifting. Life is most important, lifting and exercise will always be there. Remember that health and fitness is a long term commitment, not something that you have to feel guilty about.

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