Have you ever started a workout program to gain muscle and at some point you wonder if it´s possible to lose that muscle? will all that hard work and effort at the gym can be lost? The short answer is it depends of how we gain that muscle.
We actually don´t need to be that concerned about losing muscle mass because we want to develop the habit of working out and lift weights and if we´re training the right way and if our programs are right there´s no need to take time off but I understand that sometimes we got job travels or we want to take some vacations and it may be hard to find a place and time to workout.
We´ve talked before that there are 2 types of hypertrophy and our workout programs can trigger one of them or both, this is what´s going to define if we can maintain the muscle we gain or if we lose it.
In myofribryllar hyertrophy we´re working on 5 to reps and for sarcoplasmic hypertrophy we work on the 10 to 12 or 15 reps. If we follow a workout program based on 5 to 8 reps we build lean dense muscle, this type of muscle takes more time to build but it also takes more time to lose it, if we follow a program based on the 12 to 15 reps were going to get better results, we will look bigger faster but this type of muscle growth is also lost faster.
The truth is that if we stop working out for months or years we´ll lose muscle, if we don´t use it we lose it. The type of hypertrphy we trigger throughout our workouts and the type of muscle we gain is what makes a difference on how fast would we lose it.
If we focus on strength on the 5 to 8 reps and we train for some years here to get stronger then we build lean dense muscle and it will take more time to lose, we can take a couple of months off the gym and we may not notice a huge difference, this type of muscle is there to last longer and is useful.
If we focus on 12 to 15 reps then we work on the pump, will look bigger but this type of muscle won´t last much, for some just a couple of weeks off the gym is enough to start losing seize, if it comes fast we lose it fast.
This is why the best way to train is to use both types of hypertrophy whether it´s no the same workout or on separate workouts, we can program our workout with cycles and each cycle hit each muscle twice one with low reps around 5 to 8 and the second workout with higher reps around 12 this will help us gain lean dense muscle and also look bigger faster so when we´re on vacation a couple of weeks we can lose some muscle but not all.
Our goal is always to maintain as much muscle mass as possible it doesn´t matter the situation so if we´re going on a trip we may find it hard to train this is why we take time at the gym and put the effort in to build dense muscle that last longer but if we´re able to workout we can´t deny the opportunity, we can use this occasions to work with bodyweight exercises and focus on really high reps, some guys like to do 100 pushups, squats, crunches, this is a great way to vary our workouts and get some exercise in.
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