T Nation

Kept Size and Lost Strength After Layoff


I recently started weightlifting again after a 8 month layoff. Over that time I had no discernable decrease in muscle size but a huge dropoff in strength. I'm curious as how that can be. How is it possible to keep all the size but lose all the strength? Thanks in advance.


Strength is highly dependent on the nervous system. Gains in neural efficiency are rapid but they are also quickly lost. In as little as 2 weeks you can lose up to 20% of your strength from neural detraining alone.


Do you have any recomendations for 'peaking' for a powerlifting comp?
It's been recomended to me before to rest for a week before the comp, could this cause neural detraining?


Oh yes it can! A former coach of mine had us peak this way and I always turned in dismal performances.

I actually did my best lifting when I trained the morning of a contest! Not that I recommend this approach, it works ok for olympic lifting, but wouldn`t work as well for powerlifting. Still, I would have my last hard squat session 7 days out, last hard bench session 5 days out, and work up to your openers 2 days out.


Thank CT, I thought so. Last couple of comps my openers felt tough and I didn't feel like I performed at my best.

Appreciate the advice!!