How to Get Back In Shape After A Layoff: How Much Muscle Can You Lose?

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Sometimes, we’re forced to take a step back from training. Most often, this is due to injury or tweaking a muscle. This means a few weeks and potentially even a few months without picking up a weight. This can be disheartening as you see your hard-earned muscles begin to wane. You also miss out on the adrenaline of training. People often want to know how to get back in shape after a long layoff and how much muscle can they expect to lose after the first, second, or third month of inactivity.

Continue to Follow the Kinobody Diet

We recommend that you continue to adhere to your diet. Continue with your intermittent fasting, though there’s no point in eating above maintenance level. You can, however, follow the diet portion outlined in the Aggressive Fat Loss program. This will help you stay lean and maintain a fast metabolism even as you lose a bit of muscle mass. If you do eat a bit more than you should, then just eat a little less the next day.

Following a Kinobody diet without working out will result in both fat and muscle loss. If you were to lose, say, four pounds, two to three pounds may be from fat, with the rest coming from muscle. If you already achieved a single-digit body fat percentage, you’ll still look fairly lean and in good shape, just not quite as solid due to some lost muscle.

What Else to Do in the Meantime

You’ll be getting back into the gym in no time. What can you do in the interim, though? If you can’t train, just use the time to reflect or learn new things. Not being able to train is not the end of he world. Just stay positive; after all, the injury keeping you sidelined can always be worse. There is a quote we would like to share:

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

The quote is by the famed self-help guru Napoleon Hill. It essentially means that what we see as adversity is actually a hidden opportunity for achieving even greater ventures. How can you put this into practice? Perhaps you can continue to go to the gym and help others with their results. Or maybe you can discover a new way of training around the injury.

You will also appreciate training more when you’re unable to train. In this sense, it teaches you to be grateful for what you may normally take for granted.

Check Out Greg’s Physique After Three Months of No Training

Go to the 6:00 mark in the above video to see what Greg’s body looks like after a three months absence from the gym. It’s hard to say exactly how much muscle he lost in terms of pounds. However, there is a clear loss in mass. His abs are still visible, and that’s thanks to his continued intermittent fasting. Compare this to a pre-injury Greg at the 7:50 mark of the video.

Also, keep in mind, that Greg has been training for about 10 years, so he’s not going to lose all the mass in a short three-month span. Also, it won’t take as long to regain the lost muscle once he’s getting back into the gym and hitting the weights again.

A lot of people throw their diet completely out the window when they can’t train. As a result, they not only lose muscle but also get fat. Keep your nutritional habits dialed in. Continue to stay in a calorie deficit so you at least stay lean. You can always put the muscle back on later.

How to Get Back in Shape

People often ask us how to get back in shape after an extended layoff. You just continue to follow whichever Kinobody course you were following before the injury. To quickly regain muscle, we recommend the Super Hero Physique program. We estimate that you’ll regain most of your muscle mass within about four weeks, though this depends on the duration of the layoff.

Learn from the Injury

We know it can be a confidence killer to see yourself in the mirror without the muscle you worked so hard for. However, we believe it’s all about the journey and not the destination, so please don’t let your self-worth be dependent on your body shape and size.

Don’t get so glued to your ideal vision of a perfect body type that you lose sight of the bigger picture. Injuries happen to the best of people.

Even the legendary Bruce Lee suffered a debilitating injury at one point in his career. The martial arts icon suffered a severe back injury while executing a set of good morning exercises. The injury left him bedridden for six months. What did he do during that time? He didn’t feel sorry for himself or curse at the world for the misfortune. Instead, he took the time to develop his mind by reading various literatures on martial arts. This eventually helped him develop much of the philosophy centered around jeet kune do.

Listen to Your Body

Unfortunate events may happen for a reason. If an injury is not healing as quickly as you would like, then don’t fret. Perhaps you were pushing yourself too hard, and this is your body’s way of telling you it needs a break. The body is more resilient than we give it credit for. It has a profound ability to heal itself. When an injury is particularly stubborn and persisting, then just maybe the body is keeping that injury in place to protect you from something else. There is no benefit in you pushing yourself  while injured, potentially making things worse and further extending recovery time. Heal properly and come back strong.

Finally, learn to stay modest even when you’re at the peak of your physique. When you feel invincible and like nothing bad can happen to you, that’s when life often throws you a curveball or feeds you a spoon of humble pie.

An Injury Is Not That Big a Deal

We know some parts of this post have been a bit overly philosophical and metaphysical. However, we believe it’s important not to get too bent out of shape if you lose a little muscle due to an injury-induced layoff.

Once you recover and learn how to get back in shape, you’ll gain back your mass in no time. Until then, though, don’t do yourself a big disservice by feeling like crap.

Greg O'Gallagher

Greg O'Gallagher is the founder of Kinobody, a site dedicated to helping men and women achieve the lean, muscular, and aesthetic "Hollywood" physique. His fitness programs have helped hundreds of thousands of people transform their bodies and change their lives in the process.

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