Preserving Muscle Size & Strength

Preserving Muscle Size & Strength Summertime brings outdoor temptations that can keep you out of the weight room for an extended period of time. While giving yourself a break from heavy resistance training isn't a bad idea, you certainly don't want to lose any of the size and strength you've worked so hard to develop. A study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggests that results obtained through 16-weeks of progressive resistance training 3 times a week can be maintained with only a third of the work – unless you're an older athlete.

Two groups of volunteers (one aged 25-30 and the other 60-75 years old) realized muscle size and strength gains during the 16-week lifting program. Over the next 32 weeks, these subjects put in either 1/3rd or 1/9th of the weight room time. Either frequency worked fine for the 25-30 year olds. In fact some gained additional muscle mass working out 1/3rd as much as the 16-week program. Older subjects maintained strength to a large degree, but needed at least 1/3rd of the work to keep pace with muscle size.

True Strength Moment: Over 32 weeks of detraining, these study subjects worked out on a lose schedule whenever they found the time. This strategy might come close to what a lot of fit people are planning to do over the summer. There's nothing wrong with that. You might just have to get a little more serious with the planning depending on your age bracket.
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