Coronavirus: Isolation & Quarantine – How Quickly Do You Lose Muscle Mass From Not Going To The Gym? | Men's Health Magazine Australia

How Quickly Do You Lose Muscle Mass When You’re Stuck In Isolation?

According to a 2012 study titled Comparison of muscle hypertrophy following 6-month of continuous and periodic strength training, after the three-week mark you’ll start seeing a noticeable drop in muscle strength. 

However, a far more terrifying study found you can lose up to a kilogram of lean body mass after just one week of bed rest. Another suggests that even if you’re not lying down all day, you may see an 11 per cent decrease in type II muscle size after 10 days. 

Fortunately, there is some good news.

Muscle memory is real and findings published in Frontiers in Physiology confirm that while you might lose muscle due to inactivity, those gains can quickly reappear when you return to exercise. 

But what can you do in the mean time? Well, according to celebrity trainer and co-founder of exercise app Acero Training Series, Jono Castano, there are a few steps you can take to limit the amount of muscle you lose while you’re stuck in quarantine.

“Be mindful of your diet – try to focus on incorporating all your macro nutrients with an aim to hit 1.7-2.2g of protein per kg of body weight,” he tells Men’s Health.

“Continue to focus on resistance training – invest in some equipment that’s going to keep you challenged.”

Castano recommends looking for advice via the app store to ensure your form is correct for any home workout.

“Focus on key techniques like the ones i’ve used myself through ATS and apply them to any exercise,” he continues.

And how do you try and mimic the load that you’re used to with a full set of weights?

“Increase the time under tension of the exercise,” he says. “Focus on the technique and mind the muscle connection. You can test yourself with more sets and more reps to make it more challenging.”

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