I  have stopped working out with weights due to some problems. And so have some of my friends. It’s been a month now and I can see my muscles shrinking. Please advise what I should do.

Sagar Gurung 

Hi Sagar,

We as individuals have different preferences. And we have our unique gifts, strengths and weaknesses. So it is pointless to compare yourself with others. Focus on self improvement. That will definitely be a fulfilling experience.

Now, let’s get into the science of why and how you lost your muscle.

Our body does not hold on to muscle that is not continually stressed via heavy physical activity or weight training. Any muscle unused for a period of time is gradually burnt as fuel by the body.

The rate at which the body does this varies from individual  to individual depending on genetics, nutrition and lifestyle.

My advice 

1. Adjust nutrition:

Eat 500 calories less than the amount you were eating while training regularly. Reduce 500 calorie from protein as its demand will be significantly less and you are remotely breaking down as much muscle fibre as you were doing when training. However, despite reducing 500 calories from protein, if you notice fat gain, gradually reduce another 500 calories till you find a point where you can maintain muscle without putting on fat.

Tip of the week:

“It is necessary to take breaks from training and endure regress in order to progress further by breaking plateaus.”

2. Plenty of sleep:

Sleep at least 8 hours. A well-rested and well-recovered body is more likely to maintain muscle. A stressed one will definitely create a catabolic ambiance.

3. Refrain from endurance-based activities:

Involving yourself in endurance-based activities will hasten the burning of your hard-earned muscle for fuel and you will gradually but definitely change the round-looking muscle into long and slim muscle.

Tshering Dorji (three times Mr Bhutan winner), is a certified fitness trainer and specialist in performance nutrition


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