I workout a lot and eat enough for my body to build muscle, I'm seeing gains.

I don't workout for 2 days a week, and I eat less on these days, will my body lose muscle on these days?

Example; If I am ill and I can't workout for 2 weeks and don't eat as much as I normally do, will I lose my muscle gains? When I start working out after these two weeks, will me body recreate the gains I had before getting sick, or will it take the same amount of time again to rebuild them?

  • You need to reword this Question. Please read the question out loud to yourself. I am sure you will understand what I sm speaking of when you do this. Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 0:13
  • You mean edit? Because it hasn't meaning?
    – e.p
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 0:32

1 Answer 1


A 2005 study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that for highly trained athletes, 2 weeks of detraining seems to be the amount of time that muscle atrophy tends to occur. This seems to be because of the differences in the initial muscle fiber size and the conditioning level of the athlete.

“Highly trained athletes have shown preferential atrophy of type II muscle fibers with 2 wk of detraining (34), which would reduce the relative proportion of type II MHC. Thus the present findings may not extend to highly trained athletes because of differences in initial muscle fiber size and level of conditioning.”

However, beginners (recreational athletes) tend to lose muscle mass at a slower pace during detraining. The study group consisted of sedentary males and found that atrophy and decreased strength occurred aft 12 weeks.

“After 3 mo of detraining these gains were lost…”

It appears that several factors contribute to the rate of muscle loss including age and current fitness level. Each person’s rate of muscle loss will vary based on these factors.

Taking time off (detraining), however, should not be looked upon as a bad thing. It can be beneficial because it gives your muscles (and your mind) much needed rest. And, kept to a minimum, planned rest periods should not negatively impact your ability to gain muscle mass in the future. What’s important is that you do not let the rest period interfere with your training goals.

  • Great answer, the only thing I'm missing is what would happen if you're sick and can't train because of that. That probably changes the outcome a bit.
    – MJB
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 9:18
  • That's encouraging news, I would have thought strength would be lost much quicker than that.
    – andrewb
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 22:40

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