T Nation

Effects of Coming Off of a Cold

I had a cold and didn't workout for a week.  I was in no shape to lift weights.  Anyway, the bad thing is that I really cut back on how much I ate and when I did it it was mostly chicken soup.  Today I went to the gym and I was noticeably weaker.  However, I'm still not feeling 100%, but pretty close.  Do you think one week of poor diet and being sick would have a dramatic effect on my muscles?

No. Now go pick up something heavy… you’ll feel much better.

I didn’t think so, but isn’t a cold very catabolic?

you should be better, back where you were pretty quick. so dont worry about it.

[quote]Digity wrote:
I had a cold and didn’t workout for a week. I was in no shape to lift weights. Anyway, the bad thing is that I really cut back on how much I ate and when I did it it was mostly chicken soup. Today I went to the gym and I was noticeably weaker. However, I’m still not feeling 100%, but pretty close. Do you think one week of poor diet and being sick would have a dramatic effect on my muscles?[/quote]

It’s not the lack of food that’s making you weak (though that does play a role, albeit small), it’s the aftereffects of the cold doing the damage. I’m no doctor, but I know that even after you feel fine when recovering from a cold your body actually takes an additional amount of time (I’ve found it to last anywhere from a week to two weeks) to fully recover.

So while you’re feeling fine, completely recovered from the cold, your body is actually still suffering and you’ll notice it in the gym. Just give it time, keep lifting heavy and you’ll be back to your regular strength in no time.

Oh, and one poor week of eating–no matter what you do–will not have a big overall effect. You might find you either gained a little fat (if you ate poorly) or lost some strength (if you didn’t eat much, especially protein) but that, again, would be back to normal in no time. The only problem, in this case, is that you set yourself back two weeks (the week of eating poorly, and the week of recovering what you lost/shedding what you gained).

Either way, keep pounding away at the gym, it won’t take much longer to fully recover.

I’ve never had issues with coming off a cold to be honest. Granted I work right through them even if it’s less than sluggish. I make myself sweat it out as much as possible. You look at it as just another challenge really. Far as coming off it goes, the boys are right, that one week period won’t have much effect, but nonetheless get your ass back in the gym and stop neglecting your iron friends.

I like to take Danish steambaths if I ever feel below the weather. Sometimes the heat just really helps the airway. If you feel like you should not be lifting then that probably means you need more rest. Get a woman to take care of you so you’ll get better quicker! My ex-wife made the best borsch when I was sick (Russian soup).

Once you’re better, you’ll look normal after 2-3 days of lifting and eating well. It’s a bump in the road, but nothing to worry about.

[quote]Digity wrote:
I had a cold and didn’t workout for a week. I was in no shape to lift weights. Anyway, the bad thing is that I really cut back on how much I ate and when I did it it was mostly chicken soup. Today I went to the gym and I was noticeably weaker. However, I’m still not feeling 100%, but pretty close. Do you think one week of poor diet and being sick would have a dramatic effect on my muscles?[/quote]

no

My lifts have been down. I feel like I’ve lost 2 weeks. Oh well, the only thing bugging me is that I felt I was on a roll with my lifts and had positive momentum and the cold kind of threw everything off track, but I’m feeling better this week.

There have been times when I have had started to come down with a cold. In these times, I knew there was only really one way to try and save myself from it - I ate a shitload of food. Like an extra 1500 calories of protein and carbs.

I felt 100% in several days.

So my advice would be to eat like a madman now, at least for a few days, to get your body fully recovered. I think people can sometimes forget how helpful in recovery more food can be.