T Nation

Massive Strength Loss after Flu


So three weeks ago I got the flu, this was no ordinary flu. I was vomiting multiple times a day every day for almost two weeks straight. I was eating very minimal food, sometimes less than 500 cals a day, and drinking very minimal water.

When I felt better I decided I would weigh myself, I was shocked to see I lost 20 lbs (185-167lbs). And when I returned to the gym my strength was laughable, weight I could normally do for an easy 10-12 reps I could barely do for 4-5 reps.

Feeling discouraged I decided I would eat 1.5k calories over maintenance until my strength returned.
I’ve been doing this for three weeks now but I’m still not back up to where I was, before I got sick I was able to get 225 for a MR set of 8, I just tried 225 for a MR set and only got 5. As well as my weight which I find to be the most strange, I’ve been eating in a massive surpluss, yet I’m still only 178 and that has been stagnant for the past week. I would consider myself a hardgainer, but I doubt this is the problem.

Is this normal, have any of you guys gone through something similar to this, and if so how long did it take for your strength to return, I find it crazy how optimal you truly have to be to perform at your best. It’s starting to really discourage me.

(I weight myself on an empty stomach in the morning)


It sucks, but I don’t really see what’s surprising here.

Two weeks of constant vomiting and eating 500 calories a day really took a toll.

Three weeks later, you’ve made up most of the bodyweight and most of the strength loss.

Frustrating that you’re not all the way back yet? Sure.

Lifting weights is hard.

If you are easily discouraged, might want to get over that.


Agree with the previous poster, not all too surprising. Might take a week or two to recover after a regular 3–4 day flu, but after something more serious, like what you had, it’s obviously gonna take a bit more time n’ effort to get back on your feet.

Seems like you’re on the right path for recovery though so keep it up.


Yup. I’d guess it would take at least a month to get to normal. Happened to me, not as long was only sick for 2-3 days shitting my brains out. First day I felt good I hit the gym and squatted a 5 second grinder with 500 when the week before I was hitting mid 5. Youll get back just takes time. Another week or two.


Thanks guys, aha yeah I was expecting it to only take a week or so for my strength to return to normal levels, haha. It’s sucks because I got sick right before I was about to test for new pr’s was planning on hitting 285lb on the bench but looks like that is not happening anything soon now.


I get sick 3-4 times every year and I have some of the same problems. Nothing you can do but keep eating and lifting.