T Nation

Kept Size and Lost Strength After Layoff


#1

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.


#2

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.


#3

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?


#4

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.


#5

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!!