I am a 24 year old female. Ive been weight training for 2 years, clean diet, the works. I have to go to bootcamp for the Navy in December. We are not allowed to lift weights while in basic training. What will happen to my muscle tone after 9 weeks of no lifting?


3 Answers 3


With the caveat that you are lifting for general fitness and aesthetics, and not training specifically for something, the below is my answer.

You may lose some specific muscle tone, but given the physical nature of boot camp, you probably won't lose much. Depending on your aerobic fitness, you may lose a little bit there. n=1 experience, when I went to basic training, I lost about 10% on my lifting and about the same on my aerobic fitness level.


Based on my experience with lay-offs ranging from weeks to years (I lifted my first barbell about 50 years ago). I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with how much anaerobic strength you'll keep and how quickly and easily you will return to personal bests. Aerobic ability fades quickly if you shift to full sedentary, but as @JohnP states, that won't happen. Most of my knowledge is based on research on men, but I haven't come across anything that says women are different. Shedding weight gained during inactivity became a problem only after 40. Sagging/loose skin became an issue after 60. To both of you, thank you for your service.


It depends on your existing muscle tone, but given that you will have body weight and cardio training, it may even improve. Also, given the overall picture of serving the 2 year minimum time in the US Navy US Navy Committment, the availability of weightlifting for the other 95 weeks should be more important for you.

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