T Nation

Gain Back Muscle You JUST Lost?


Fuck everything,

Just got over a nasty case of the flu. Lasted about 7 days, 5 of which were really bad. I lost a ton of weight, but i presumed it would be mostly water weight since you can\t loose that much muscle in a week. Boy was i wrong, after my first day of normal eating and training im still 10 lbs lighter and you can tell a lot of that is from muscle. I lost quite a noticeable amount in my chest and in my arms. Has this ever happened to anyone? did you experience your old level of muscle returning quickly? any other advice for me?


Keep working hard and putting away food. It's easier to regain than it is gain so long as do you don't your mind get the best of you. You're problem is 100% mental.


you cant lose any muscle in 10 days unless you are a HIV infected raccoon on 2% bf 2 days out of olympia. you lost water and glycogen weight (along of sodium levels etc etc) thats why your muscles look flat. just eat you will get back to your original weight in a few days.

and next time you get a bad flu (hope thats the last time), try to keep water intake very high and if you find it too hard get yourself on saline infusion.


are you sure about this? i really think someone could lose muscle in 10 days, i mean i barely ate any food, probably around 500 calories a day, i did my best to keep the water up but my body was sweating it out like a motherfucker. If i get that sick again what i would do differently is force myself to eat no matter how much it sucks to do that, i didnt have to much trouble keeping food down, but the problem was i was rolling around in pain the whole time.


I think this is sound advice. Thank you


It's probably water and glycogen. If you lost some muscle you should gain it back relatively quickly due to muscle memory (especially if you've been at that higher weight for some time).

I got swine flu almost two years ago (winter 2009) and dropped 10lbs in a week but was back up to the same weight in 2-3 weeks.


This happened to me when I had a nasty case of Bronchitis, bordering on Pneumonia, I couldn't eat or breathe properly for 2 weeks, it took me about a month or two to get back where I was strength wise. Took me about 8 months to get back where I was in terms of work-capacity.

Unfortunately it takes a lot longer to build muscle than it does to lose it...

But like others have said, you may just feel flat and haven't actually lost any.


yeah im hoping i can be back to where i was in around 2 weeks if at all possible ive lost a good amount of strength for example

Pre sickness- Bench=221x4
Deadlift 360x6
Post sickness
Bench 200x4
Deadlift 353x2

Id give more examples but ive only trained twice since ive been better


I feel work capacity wise im almost back, thats good to hear strength only took two weeks to come back, hopefully itll be the same for me.


Sucks to be you, bro. Earlier this year I lost 27 lbs in 12 days due to a military exercise with a lot of activity, little sleep and almost no food. All I can tell you is resume training hard, but work the volume up gradually. When I got back from the exercise in May I had lost a lot of strength and mass, and thus began lifting only every other day. Now, I train every day, sometimes doing double sessions. Just add more training gradually when you feel it's right to do so, either in form of workout volume or more sessions.

Eating should be self-explanatory.

Oh, pic related:



Ultimately the recovery depends on the illness and your attitude. I had a stomach virus/food poisoning a year ago. Super painful, vomit, and diarrhea. It lasted for two days. Afterwards, my strength and weight were back to normal in a day or two. Most of the weight I had lost was water and since the illness was relatively short and not very traumatic I recovered quickly. I wasn't concerned about regression or anything like that I just got better and resumed what I was doing.


You're putting too much thought into this. Just get in there, kill the weights, and clean your plate. Also keep in mind that the less frequency you work with the longer it will take your body to regain what it has lost.


i feel that there is a big difference between being sick for 2 days and being sick for 7 days ya know, anyways just trained back this afternoon, on the path back to where i was, just a little road bump


That's what I said


a couple of huge filthy meals should sort it -all you can eat buffet till you feel sick etc.


right, my bad


i had a stomach virus for about 6 or 7 days 8 months ago. I only lost maybe 3-5lbs because i forced myself to eat a lot, i still lifted between shits and yeah. But anyways i also lost like a quarter inch on my arms. But within a couple weeks i was back to my old self. I don't think i lost much strength if any.


I'm with paulieserafini on this one on the eating. When I get sick it does affect my appetite, but I'll just keep eating. Most of the time I will come out with a heavier bodyweight, just give me a week and I'll be at 90% of my game again.

If you lost lbm because of sickness, it's just getting back into the game and feel the weight and reps you can handle at that moment. The next week the body is used to getting back under the bar, and then it's time to push the weights and reps back up. Ofcourse you have to eat.


just went through a rather painful leg day today, couldnt do near as much in terms of volume or in loading as last leg workout, but felt good to get it done

Yes my biggest regret is not forcing myself to eat, had i done that i think i would of retained a lot more muscle, live and learn though, i know what to do next time.

As for right now ive been eating my fuckign ass off trying to get back to where i was.


You'll be fine, dude.

I get a sense that when you are sick like that for a while, your muscles realize it and, like the rest of your body, they shut things down for a little bit to conserve whatever energy they can. Now that you're better, you just need a few workouts and some good nutrition to wake get everything back up. Think of a manufacturing factory being shut down for maintenance, it takes a while for the machines to properly fire back up, but then everything's good.

Your strength isn't really down that much, and you've only had a couple workouts so far, just keep doing what you are doing.

I was in the hospital last year for a week after overexerting myself at an Ultimate Frisbee tourney in 110 degree heat, and suffered some rhabdo along with it, which meant my muscles literally were eating themselves. I lost about 10 pounds but looked like I lost 20. When I got my energy levels back and was finally able to work out again, it only took about 3 weeks to get my strength back and look normal again.