T Nation

Am I Seeing Things?

In the last month due to a considerable amount of stress in my life which has caused several sleepless nights, my training has pretty much come to a standstill and only got back up and running (sort of) last week.

My strength is obviously down having not lifted at all for three weeks but one thing I have noticed is a considerable amount of additional muscle bulk and weight gain. This is not fat as my levels have remained consistent (fluctuate as usual between 10 and 12%)and my abs are still very much visible. my chest has filled out and and my arms are much fuller.

During this time I have slightly reduced protein intake and upped my carbs having previously been on an extremely low carb diet. I basically ate no carbs and now I include oats and sweet potatoes several times a day. I have also stopped taking creatine and bcaa’s in this time. Has anyone ever noticed this or AM I SEEING THINGS!

You must have been doing something wrong before. Training too much, not resting enough or not eating enough. Recall the past two months, identify and correct the problems and move on. Done.

If you’ve only just begun carb loading, then it’s logical. All the glycogen added in your muscles will make them look much fuller. And maybe you were overtrained a little, and the time off was beneficial?

Anyway, since you look better, I see no point in complaining about it. Just thank whatever it was that caused it and resume training.

Hi bville-
Your strength should not decline until after 5 weeks,so a 2 week break should not have made a difference?
Perhaps the stress you were under has increased your levels of the stres hormone Cortisol,which in turn can interfere with Testosterone levels.

If you are carbing up,your muscles will appear fuller,regardless of the protein drop or break from training,since carbs are stored in your muscles in the form of glycogen.
Your muscles have been starved of carbs,now they are sucking up the carbs like a kid in a candy store!
It also sounds like you may have been overtraining previously or not had a break for a while?
Every 6-8 weeks or so (opinion varies) it does your body good to take a break from the routine.
A PROPER BREAK! :slight_smile:

That doesn’t mean 3 days off…
Take at least a whole week or two off and RELAX!
Have a few lie-ins,take a break from your usual diet.
Your body will thank you for it.

It has spent all that time when you trained and ate clean playing catch-up-
Constantly trying to assimilate protein,store depleted glycogen,build muscle,burn fat,digest all that food,repair damaged muscles,flush out inflammation and waste products aggravated by training…
Take a break and you will benefit from higher Testostorone levels due to the reduced Cortisol,fully repaired muscles full of glycogen.

You will come back stronger than before.