3 months off the gym with no training | What happens next?

3 months off the gym with no training | What happens next?

What would happen if you just suddenly
stopped training? Well I stopped training for three months and this is what
happened. I’ve been training in the gym since my early teens and although I have
approached training with different levels of seriousness and intensity, I’ve never
really had a long break from the gym. However after a series of injuries, being
busy with work and lots of traveling I ended up taking an unplanned three-month break from the gym. My thoughts on this were that I would lose all my muscle, lose all
my strength and probably get fat ending up with the dreaded skinny fat physique.
So I think my biggest fear is that all the muscle that I spent years trying to
develop would just simply be lost almost overnight. Now thankfully of course that
didn’t happen and I think generally speaking the average person, if they were to take a look at me, probably wouldn’t really notice any difference in my
physique. Strictly speaking it takes around two weeks before the body
actually starts the process of muscle loss from stopping training and the
process is pretty gradual. Actual losses in lean muscle tissue probably won’t
kick in until about two full weeks of inactivity. Assuming you still have a
half decent diet in place about two weeks is probably what you’re looking at
and that’s just in order for the process to start. Now I know that I’ve lost
muscle particularly in my legs but generally speaking the differences seem
to be pretty minor. Now of course I can’t quantify this because I haven’t had a
DEXA scan done before or after so it’s all fairly anecdotal. Overall my muscles
felt far less full but this was probably largely due to the amount of glycogen
that was being stored in the muscles as well as the amount of sarcoplasmic
fluid in the muscle. Now I’ve actually started training again as of about three
weeks ago so I’m really keen to see how quickly I can get back to my previous
shape and in fact already in the three weeks I’ve already passed I’m already
feeling and looking a little bit better. So I’ve now started training again and
I’ve been training for about three weeks and have to say my first session back at
the gym it was like I had never actually trained before. I was as weak as a kitten
and I had no work capacity whatsoever so I’d completely lost all my fitness. On
exercises where I may have four sets of ten reps easily a
particular weight, I would now maybe get eight or nine reps on that first set but
then I’ll completely struggle on the following set to maybe get seven six or
five reps so I really did struggle getting back into it. However my fitness and
strength does seem to be returning pretty quickly, so I’ve been training
for three weeks as I said and already I can feel a lot of my strength returning and my fitness is coming back pretty quickly which is very reassuring.
Now because I was do “de-trained” the DOMS after my first training sessions were so
severe it actually felt like I’ve been run over by a car! I’d wake up the following
morning after a leg workout and my legs were just so insanely sore, it would actually
take me about 10 days before they actually fully recovered from that first
session. Now when you’re not training the diet becomes really important and I
could have minimized my fat gain if I’d really dialled in my diet. So unfortunately
I am an all in or all out kind of guy so if I can’t train my diet pretty much goes out of the window and loses all structure this was made a million times
worse by the fact that I was very very busy so ends up getting away take aways
and had to do a lot of travel so again eating food in hotels or eating airplane
food or any other kind of junk that I wouldn’t normally eat. Now I was still
eating a relatively high protein diet so still probably getting my minimum
protein requirements to maintain my muscle mass but I was probably eating
way over my maintenance calories at least 500 calories per day now. That
might not sound like that much but 500 calories per day is about 3,500 per week
which is about one pound of fat gain per week. So at the end of three months I was
incredibly embarrassed by my physique and I’m actually a little bit
embarrassed to show you the clips I’m showing you now. However this is gonna
serve as a very good motivation to get back into shape. Now I should point out
that weight is relative and although you might not think I look that fat in these clips, I feel very overweight for me personally and so I
cannot wait to get back into the shape that I normally I am in. Now the weight
actually really did sneak up on me I was keeping an eye on my weight and I was
looking at myself in the mirror regularly and thinking “I don’t look too bad” and
then all of a sudden I looked in there whoa I am now really out of shape. Now
one very positive aspect about taking so much time off is that a lot of chronic
injuries I’ve had for a very long time seem to be better. Now I’d be interested
to see if it stays like this as my my training progresses but so far so good. Now when I talk about chronic injuries I’m not talking about very severe
injuries I’m talking about for example pain in my shoulder when I’m doing
pressing movements. The reason that they’re chronic is because I’ve had them for so
long and I have really just kind of adapted my training around those
injuries and it’s made me realize that actually if I just given them the time
that they needed to recover in the first place then they probably would have
healed a long time ago and that would have had a much more positive impact
on my training. Now what is weird is that I still wake up in the morning
with lots of pains and aches particularly in my wrists shoulders neck
and I just kind of put that down to training in the gym. However I still had
those aches and pains even when I wasn’t training so I guess that’s just part of
getting old? So one of the biggest issues for me personally is that not training
had a really big impact on my psychology. Now I’ve been training for a very very
long time and I kind of associate training and being fit and being strong
with part of my identity it’s how I kind of see myself. So when I wasn’t training
anymore and I didn’t feel strong I didn’t feel fit I didn’t feel quite
myself and it had a really big negative impact on my overall confidence. Now I’m
sure that all sounds but very dramatic but now that I’ve started training again
already just after three weeks I can feel my confidence returning I am
associating myself back with that element of my identity that was missing
before and I can now feel my confidence returning I now feel really good again. So once I was in the position where I could actually start training again it felt like effort after having so much time off. Simple things that had become habits after years and years of training and
positive routines had to be reformed as new habits. In some respects I was highly
motivated because I could not wait to start training again and I couldn’t wait
to get back into good shape. In other ways I just found it so incredibly
difficult to just actually get motivated to start. So although I’ve been training
by myself the best part of three years I decided the best way to get straight
back in was to dive in at the deep end and I’ve actually started a new six-week
program with an online trainer to actually motivate me to get me going and
give me that boost I need to get back into training. So I’m currently three
weeks into a six-week training plan and went at six weeks is over I’m gonna
share the result in a separate video so make sure you watch out for that one. So
what have I actually learned from taking three months off from training? Well the
first thing is that muscle that’s taken years to build and develop isn’t going
to get lost overnight. It’s a very very gradual process so hopefully in the
future this will stop me from getting overly anxious or overly neurotic if I
need to take another break from training again in the future. Secondly if I can’t train then I really need to dial in my diet I want to make
sure that I’m getting in at least my minimum protein requirements and I’m
getting as close to maintenance calories as I can. I want to be able to preserve
as much muscle as possible and avoiding any unnecessary fat gain. And thirdly
taking a break from training can actually be beneficial particularly if
you have chronic injuries that could really benefit from taking rest. So
hopefully you found this video useful or interesting and please take a look at
some of the other videos I have on this channel. In a few weeks time I will be
posting the results of a new six-week training program that I’ve been working
on and hopefully I’ll be a bit closer to my original shape prior to taking the
break so keep your eyes peeled for that one and I’ll see you in the next video you

41 thoughts on “3 months off the gym with no training | What happens next?

  1. dude I thought you did really well yesterday, certainly not like someone who's had a big block of time off. still loads stronger than me ๐Ÿ™‚ you made some great points and it's good to remind people that muscle doesnt break down as quick as some people think.
    I've had 3 weeks off while still maintaining a high protein diet and didn't lose any strength at all.

  2. Great upload! While off from training, keeping up the protein intake is key to maintaining as much as possible.
    And thank god for myonuclei, responsible for muscle memory!๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  3. Good to see you back on the tubes Luke the longest I've had off was a month after a knee op so it took a while for lower body training to get back to norm but upper body was pretty quick we will have to sort out a training collab at some point getting a few of us together MINT

  4. getting those injuries better may be the best benefit from this lay off. Those pains you may want to get your blood checked and see if there is the start of some arthritic condition. Do you get your blood checked twice a year through the NHS ?

  5. so relateable mate. Looks like we are doing the same training pattern, good to see your vids back. Look forward to the results. I'm also and all in all our person! !

  6. I've had such an up and down journey with fitness so far! Thankfully I am in a sport that encourages me to increase my strength and cardio (HMB – it's the best sport ever check it out Full Contact Medieval Fighting NOT re-enactment!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
    Unfortunately I've had a few injuries that have periodically hindered my training and I find that so depressing -not being able to move how i could before, it sometimes ends up with lack of motivation to do anything on my own outside of the team side. It's also so hard when I know I could lift heavier when I have to start off from scratch again – but I like to try and focus this time on getting as perfect form as I can so that when I get back to my PB I'm doing it right.

    Actually this morning was the first morning I've done some hard cardio before work in a few months and I feel SO much better! just got to catch that bug again – it's not easy for everyone

  7. 3 Months? How about 5 years!?!? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Being struck down with a life long cardiac problem back in 2013 I felt I completely lost my identity. Like you I had been in training since my early teens and exercise was a way of life – it was always something I did, no question.

    I like the comments around the diet – I was exactly the same! I should of most definitely kept my diet in check but after falling into a deep depression I found food a real comfort. I also had a bad attitude that saw me eat all the wrong types of food simply because I didnโ€™t need to fuel my workouts (as I wasnโ€™t having any!). Ridiculous really, isnโ€™t it?!?

    As it goes I had my quarterly cardiac review a few weeks back and was told I can do some gentle exercise so whilst lifting is out I am 100% committed to getting back on my exercise bike. I now have my diet in check too and with the help of an online system I am 11lbs down in the past 2.5 weeks

    Keep up the great VLogs, Luke. Always a great watch.


  8. I canโ€™t imagine taking three months off of training and I agree with you, itโ€™s not that easy to lose that hard earned muscle mass.

  9. Great video mate. Look forward to seeing the results. I've had a crappy week & only managed 1 workout so far out of my usual 5… I've kept my diet in check at least so I know I won't lose too much muscle mass.i just need to work on my motivation & confidence ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

  10. Definitely being natural is a great advantage when it comes to taking time off, in my opinion. Great idea for a video here man, won't be too worried i ever find myself in a similar situation. Cheers!

  11. I took a break from training around this time last year. I started again last week, and I already feel the confidence and strength coming back.

  12. Omg this is an awesome video! I loved it! That is exactly what I thought! This was very educationalโค๐Ÿ‘87

  13. where do you go to get an x-ray/diagnosis for an injury? I got injured like… 2 1/2 years ago & i never healed entirely / i stopped lifting. What do i do?

  14. hardest part of coming back after time off is letting go of the ego. trying to jump right back into what you used to be able to lift, just means you get hurt and have to spend more time away…

  15. Hey Luke, everything you said is very much true. It happens to many and thanks for covering many aspects associated to coming back from lay offs.

  16. Thanks for posting this video. I have been studying to take a test to enter medical school for the past 8 months. I am now 2 days away from the test and stopped going to the gym in the past 3 months. I have noticed a shot to my self-esteem (I am embarassed to take off my shirt…or even put one on). While it depresses me to see my body devolve so quickly, I also appreciate the humbling experience not going to the gym and sacrifice has made me. There is a part of me that is SUPER motivated to train again (next week!), but there is another part that is scared to begin because I do not know where to start.

  17. Why u have only 9k + Follower? Now i am ur Follower.

    No Fake YT Bodybuilder they all say:

    !!!! NO NO… I AM NATURAL AND VEGAN TOO!!!! and they have Muslces like a Terminator…. the Internet have too much of this Idiots

  18. im skinny as shit and do only home workouts but i get toned really easily but if i miss 1 or 2 workouts i feel like i lose so much muscle and tone

  19. This video i stumbled across randomly but i have to say it really surprised me how good the content and the structure of the video was. Well done you've just earned yourself a subscriber!

  20. Great video! I took roughly 3 months off from the gym due to an injury and I returned back to the gym 2 weeks ago. It has been ROUGH but your video gave me hope. Thank you.

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