3

votes

What happens when you STOP lifting weights?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 22, 2011 at 12:15 PM

What happens to your body when you STOP lifting weights but keep light cardio? Say all other factors stay the same --e.g. diet, sleep etc. What happens to your body when you stop doing cardio--all other factors stay the same? Just wondering, I saw that documentary Twisted Sisters --I was wondering what happens when body builders STOP lifting -- what happens to their body after they stop competing?

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on November 22, 2011
at 10:07 PM

Yes. Personally my 'set point' is 95-100 lbs, and I only stay above that with both high food intake and strength training which maintains the muscle necessary to lift. If I stop strength training, I lose noticeable muscle almost immediately. Recently I had a hand injury, which requires resting my left arm and hand; it's incredible how much the whole arm has atrophied in just 5 weeks of light use/no heavy lifting.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on November 22, 2011
at 09:34 PM

Unfortunately he didn't stop wearing speedos.

67f3387f0308b570c61944addedd183e

(112)

on November 22, 2011
at 06:08 PM

What happens? The weight just sits there. They don't lift themselves!!! LOL

5514047f3281f61b1139fe6483ae6989

(315)

on November 22, 2011
at 05:18 PM

I've taken over 2 months off from lifting and have just been doing brazilian jiu-jitsu. I seem to have deflated a very tiny bit (I was pretty large before), but look the same for the most part.

A6b2325aefabe3e40c89646e40223f6f

on November 22, 2011
at 04:40 PM

Those pics is probably more the answer to, "What happens when you stop taking massive amounts of steriods?"

324bf94d3d6f9322d6e4dba4becfaab1

on November 22, 2011
at 04:35 PM

Skinny-fat is when people go on very low calorie diets for long periods of time and lose a much, much higher percentage of muscle than people on a proper diet. As a result, their body size makes them look fit, but their bodyfat percentages are still higher than average. As long as you're not in an extreme calorie deficit you will not become skinny fat.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on November 22, 2011
at 04:11 PM

based on "all other factors staying the same" w/r to diet and sleep and assuming that you were healthy when you stopped lifting, then no I wouldn't see a reason why you would turn skinny fat.

0d2b1ff450021cca6683e4cecf2d6aec

(589)

on November 22, 2011
at 03:59 PM

do you turn to "skinny fat"?

  • 0d2b1ff450021cca6683e4cecf2d6aec

    asked by

    (589)
  • Views
    11.4K
  • Last Activity
    1428D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

4 Answers

6
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on November 22, 2011
at 03:10 PM

Muscle atrophy, to the degree your body decides, based on the amount of muscle mass it needs to perform whatever you do on a daily basis.

0d2b1ff450021cca6683e4cecf2d6aec

(589)

on November 22, 2011
at 03:59 PM

do you turn to "skinny fat"?

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on November 22, 2011
at 10:07 PM

Yes. Personally my 'set point' is 95-100 lbs, and I only stay above that with both high food intake and strength training which maintains the muscle necessary to lift. If I stop strength training, I lose noticeable muscle almost immediately. Recently I had a hand injury, which requires resting my left arm and hand; it's incredible how much the whole arm has atrophied in just 5 weeks of light use/no heavy lifting.

324bf94d3d6f9322d6e4dba4becfaab1

on November 22, 2011
at 04:35 PM

Skinny-fat is when people go on very low calorie diets for long periods of time and lose a much, much higher percentage of muscle than people on a proper diet. As a result, their body size makes them look fit, but their bodyfat percentages are still higher than average. As long as you're not in an extreme calorie deficit you will not become skinny fat.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on November 22, 2011
at 04:11 PM

based on "all other factors staying the same" w/r to diet and sleep and assuming that you were healthy when you stopped lifting, then no I wouldn't see a reason why you would turn skinny fat.

1
Medium avatar

(19479)

on November 22, 2011
at 09:49 PM

If you learned how to speak a foreign language, moved to an area replete with speakers of the language, achieved a degree of fluency, and then moved away and stopped speaking your new language you would gradually lose your ability (although it would likely never return to "O").

The same thing happens with exercise.

You could also imagine a three legged stool where one leg represents sleep, another exercise, and another diet. If the three legs are relatively balanced, you could easily sit on the stool. However, remove one leg, or dramatically change it's length, and you will have a hard time staying seated, you might even fall off. You'll eventually find a new equilibrium (even if is lying face down on the floor), but the overall picture will definitely change.

You create neuromuscular connections (links between your nervous system and muscle fibers), neural connections (connections between brain cells), and specific tissue remodeling (bone, muscle, tendon) when you lift weights. These changes are mediated (controlled/created) by hormone secretions, piezoelectric effects (the electric charge created by pressure), and immune system processes that respond to the specific stimuli of exertions approaching your 1RM (1 repetition maximum, a measure of exercise intensity).

You take away the stimulus, you take away the response.

You may not notice an immediate change in "size" or appearance, but on a cellular level the changes start happening rather quickly (in some studies the onset of atrophy begins in as little as two days.)

Just look at what happens to astronauts or bed-ridden hospital patients for dramatic examples of how quickly we can become deconditioned.

1
Cd2ff8c68dd1f1d539ad7f0ee94b0421

on November 22, 2011
at 05:50 PM

Based on my experience, you'll lose some of the muscle weight you put on (but not all of it, especially if you added a lot of weight), and a lot of your strength, but not all of it.

At one point in my life, I went from 130# to 168# over about 4 years of steady lifting. Probably doubled my strength. Then I had to take 4 years mostly off (I lifted a bit in the summers). At the end of that time, I was still 152#, and still quite a bit stronger than when I first began lifting.

It seems to me like my body had determined a new set point for my body weight of around 150#, instead of around 130# which is where it was until I was 25 and started lifting.

That's my n=1 data on this

1
89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on November 22, 2011
at 04:13 PM

What happens when you stop lifting? Easy, this:

what-happens-when-you-stop-lifting-weights? and what-happens-when-you-stop-lifting-weights?

Sorry, couldn't resist. I know this is not an answer to your question. Diet and sleep etc most probably changed.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on November 22, 2011
at 09:34 PM

Unfortunately he didn't stop wearing speedos.

A6b2325aefabe3e40c89646e40223f6f

on November 22, 2011
at 04:40 PM

Those pics is probably more the answer to, "What happens when you stop taking massive amounts of steriods?"

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!