T Nation

how long till atrophy occurs?

how long would it take for your muscles to atrophy after you stopped training it or after you stopped training a certain muscle fiber like your slow twitch muscles? just curious

This depends on several factors, some which include training age, mass obatined beyond set point, hormones, diet, lifestyle, and many, many more.

im no expert, but i would think that question is way to vague to be answered correctly.

I would imagine you would begin to decline some 3 to 10 days after dropping weights entirely.

But to return to one’s previous state? Haven’t a clue, quite some time.


the reason i ask is because im going to start a hypertrophy program and i was going to use a little more reps than usual to put on some mass and than switch back over to strength training and wanted all my slow twitch fibers to atrophy and was curious how long it would take

… and perhaps next time I’ll actually read the ENTIRE question…

I doubt you’d lose much. Switch it up every four weeks, you’ll do fine. Likely make even better gains.


If you look at it logically diet is a huge factor. Your body adapts to the demands placed on it so without training atrophy will obviously have to occur but if there are sufficient calories in your diet to support the muscle tissue thats a good start. If protein is present in large quantities this provides building blocks for growth and repair as well as fuel for energy- another delay to atrophy. Carbs will provide an alternative energy source to your own muscle, again delaying atrophy while a high level of good fats will again allow growth and repair. None of this is gonna stop wasting but it’ll slow it right down.