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Length of Time Muscle is Maintained with Strength Training?


Dear CT

I’m wondering how long muscle mass built in a hypertrophy phase with higher rep training (mostly 8-12) can be maintained when transitioning to more strength oriented training (3-5reps for main lifts and mostly 6-8reps for accessory.

I just completed about 4 months of more hypertrophy based training and managed gain about 10lbs (going from 195-205) and want to solidify these gains. If I focus the next 2 months (1 month doing 5 rep sets for main lifts and 1 month doing 3 reps sets) do you foresee any loss in muscle mass?



You will not lose your muscles if you keep using them and eat adequately.


I appreciate your answer however I believe it is incomplete and somewhat false. While I’m not concerned with “losing my muscles” I know that if for example I trained for strength exclusively for 1 year I would likely lose some muscle mass.

“Using them” is very general. It sort of implies if I for example became a cyclist and stopped squatting I wouldn’t lose any leg muscle.


I should furthermore mention that I have been training for 10 years and am an intermediate/advanced lifter so I cannot just do anything and gain…training in this stage needs to be more focused and specific to elicit improvements or prevent detraining of specific qualities.


Okay, so what’s the exact reason you would lose muscle if you switched to frequent strength training instead of hypertrophy only training?


With sets of 3-5 and 6-8 you should not lose any muscle mass, in fact you will probably gain some. The only type of work that could lead to some size loss is if you switched to pure relative strength training, doing ONLY sets of 1, 2 and sometimes 3 reps.