5 Things I learned from a month-long break from the gym?

This week I made my comeback to the gym after a month-long hiatus. I was anxious about losing the gains and assumed my strength and endurance would deteriorate greatly. However, I found out I was wrong about it.

I lost my gains but not to the extent I expected. I’m going to talk about how much in brief below. But before, I’m going to tell you about a few other things I learned from my month-long hiatus from the gym. If you’re keen to know keep on reading.

#5 Thing: Lose Motivation

Before going on a hiatus, I had a strong mind. I had a regime. I would refrain from doing things that would get in the way of me developing a better version of myself. Every day I looked forward to going to the gym early in the morning and then putting my maximum effort into my personal project.

I was motivated to do hard things. However, after two weeks into my break from training, my will to do hard tasks, sometimes even easy started deteriorating. Now that I’m back at the gym, I’m feeling more confident about myself. I have started feeling motivated to do things like I used to.

#4 Your Strength Suffers

I use to take pride in lifting 225 pounds for reps on squats. However, just halfway into my month-long break from the gym, my strength got hit. While doing household chores, such as pushing and pulling objects, I noticed these tasks became somewhat hard for me. I wasn’t able to tap into the strength I had back when I was lifting regularly.

So, on my first day back in the gym I checked how much strength I have lost. While I was worried the scale would be very much high, it was relatively low. I lost around 20-30% strength on major lifts. For example, I use to lift 158 pounds on the bench press. Now I am down to 120 pounds. The loss in strength is around 20%.

#3 Disturbed Good Night Sleep

When you put in the work at the gym, your body tends to set a timetable for your internal activities. Not only this, but your body also releases the chemical Adenosine in an increased quantity that makes us feel sleepy at night. You must have noticed when you put in the work at the gym, you have no trouble having a good night’s sleep. You rarely wake up in the middle of the night.

However, when you stop working out for some time, you have trouble falling asleep or at least continuously sleeping for long hours. That’s because Adenosine is then released in a low quantity. That’s what happened to me. After just a week of relaxing at home, I experienced unusual sleeping patterns.

I wasn’t able to get the 6-8 hours of flawless sleep that I used to. I would wake up in the middle of the night at least 2-3 times. Due to this, I would then feel lethargic throughout the day.

#2 Unusual Metabolism

When you work out regularly, your body adjusts your metabolism and makes it normal, rather than leaving it slow or fast. However, when you skip your workouts for like a month, your metabolism goes berserk. It either slows down, resulting in your body burning fewer calories, or storing more fat. Or it ramps up, resulting in your body burning a lot of calories making you skinny once again.

It all depends on your body type i.e…. Endomorph, Ectomorph, and Mesomorph. Since I’m ectomorph, my body burned a lot of calories even when I did simple tasks. This sudden change in my metabolism nudged my weight down from 70 to 64 kg.

#1 Loss Of Muscle

One thing every gym-goer dread is losing the gains. When I took my hiatus from the gym, I initially didn’t notice any loss in muscle. However, after 10-15 days, I noticed a slight difference in my hypertrophy. As the days went by I struggled with my diet. I skipped my meals, multiple times on some days. And that was it! At the end of my 30-day gym break, I lost around six kg of weight. As one gym aficionado can guess, most of it was muscle. I currently weigh 64 Kg from 70 Kg.

Also Read: What’s a drop set? Why should you use it?

That said, one important I learned is you can’t rush through progress. While it takes some time to build muscle and strength, it takes very little to lose it all. I wouldn’t have lost much muscle had I not stepped away from my diet plan. However, I did and paid the price. Understand when you take a long hiatus from the gym, the first thing you lose is your strength, the last is your muscle.

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