gym training

What happens when you stop exercising?

What  happens when you stop exercising going to the gym, body weight training like push ups and pull ups  and you start to be frequently inactive; would you loose al the progress that you have previously reached? And if that is the case how quick would you loose it and how long would it take to get back to where you were before stop working out?

This post will help you to understand exactly what will happen to your body after you will stop your training routine week by week and month by month. Wheatear you are reading this article because your gym is temporarily closed or you are willing to take a break this info will be definitely useful to better understand what happens to your body since you stop your exercise routine.

  1. Muscles mass reduction 

what happens when you stop exercising?

If you won’t expose your muscles to the amount of stimulation they need for maintenance they will definitely decrease in size. Muscles require a fair amount of energy from the body to maintain them so once you stop lifting weights or using them less frequently your body will be tempted to reduce muscles mass in order to save more energy.

It still cannot be scientifically determined how quickly you’ll loose muscle mass; some research suggests that it might occur after 2 weeks of d- training, other studies suggest that it might start after 3 to six weeks of d-training. There are different factors that influence how fast you loose your muscles including the amount of calories you intake daily and your general activity levels aside from exercise.

Another important factor that affect muscle loss is that the muscles loose glycogen much faster when you stop exercising; once you eat carbs they are usually stored as glycogen with a good amount of water so once you stop working out and your muscle glycogen store goes down your muscles will shrink as it will be less water retention inside of them.

If you also will maintain a sufficient protein and calories intake it will take longer to loose muscle than if you deprive yourself of both. As a general rules you can consider that muscle loss start to happen about 2 to 3 weeks after not working out.

2. Loosing strength 

loose strength


There is a strong connection between strength and muscle mass; different studies have shown that maximum strength levels can be maintained up to 3  weeks, after that you will start gradually to decline your strength rate which will accelerate to drop even more after between 5 to 15 weeks after you stop exercising.

A beneficial part of stopping of your workout is that you can take an advantage of your muscle memory so even you will loose muscles and strength after about a month without training you will be able to regain both once you start exercising again much more quicker than first originally took you in the first place.

To grow a muscle of any type of size your body needs to add myonuclei to the tissue as they are responsible for regulating most of cell functions. Myonuclear addition is the speed at which your body can add new myonuclei to your muscles and it determines how fast you can build muscles. Once myonuclei are in place they tend to stay there;

Research indicates that even when you are training for a long time the same myonuclei will remain  for a long time ( 10 – 15 years) some scientists claim they can remain for all your life and that is the main reason why it will take less time to regain muscle and strength compared to what it takes to built it in the first place.

3. Loosing endurance



When you stop working out also your endurance will also decrease, due also to the fact that your body will become less efficient at exchanging gases within cells, this is due to the fact that when you stop doing exercise you’ll reduce the number of alveoli in your lungs; these are small air sacs which take up the oxygen you breath in. You will also reduce the number of capillaries in your lungs and they are useful to supply alveoli with blood causing a decrease in blood volume and a reduction in blood cells.

4. Sleep Quality 

sleep quality

When you stop training your work quality and quantity also will decrease as regular exercise can give you many benefits including improve concentration, increase insulin resistance and reduce risk of heart disease. One study about people with insomnia found that participants slept about 40 minutes longer per night after four months of regular exercise.

According to the national sleep foundation exercise can improve sleeping also for people without any sleeping problems like insomnia. If you don’t regularly exercise you will get worse sleep quality as studies have found 40 out of 100 people that are inactive experience fairly bad sleep quality which as opposed  just 15 out of 100 people who exercise regularly had sleep problems.

5. Gain more body fat


Physical inactivity can lead of to burn less calories and consequently to accumulate more body fat; there are different reasons for that one for example is that stopping working out will make you neglect other aspects like diet for example, as you will not feel motivated because most of us have a all or nothing way of thinking, so when you quit the gym you might feel more indulgent to eat more unhealthy food.

7. Increase blood pressure.

blood pressure

Lack of exercise can also increase your blood pressure and this happens for few reasons;  Being sedentary stiffens your arteries which requires a higher blood to be pumped from the heart throughout the rest of the body .

8.  Brain health


brain health

When you stop exercise there are also numerous adverse side effects that your brain might experience for example a change in your mood because your body will produce less endorphins which are hormones that improve your mood and other chemicals like dopamine serotonin. Research suggests that exercise can be as effective as prescription antidepressants.

Stopping regular exercise can increase depression and anxiety; research on a group of adults  found that just after 10 days stopping exercise blood flow decreases by 25% in 8 brain regions including the left and right hypo campus which are responsible for both learning and memory.

Contrary to the popular quote all brown and no brain it turns out that brown and brain get well together since exercising regularly not only helps your muscle but also your brain’s health.

Bottom line

Those a mentioned above are some consequences that could happen if you stop working out for a long range of time, hope this article can motivate you to continue working out or just take a short breaking from it if necessary as there isn’t anything more valuable that exercise can provide you in terms of life style benefits.

Please like and share if you like this article and I hope to see you in the next healthy episode!


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