Strength Loss, What's Up With That?

I started lifting seriously last October and made some amazing (for me) gains in strength. Then, I got pretty sick in March, and had to stop lifting.

My first day back was Tuesday. I knew I had lost strength, but I was like wtf? I was doing a 5x5 of squats at 215 when I left. I did 5X5 @ 140 yesterday and I got it, but it was a lot heavier than I expected and my legs are killing me today, especially my hamstrings.

My bench and row got a lot weaker too, but nothing compared to what I lost in the squat.

Tomorrow’s deadlift day. I’m kinda curious to how that’s gonna go.

March was five months ago; you have to expect some losses. That said, your strength will probably come back much faster than you think – muscle memory is an amazing thing. Just be careful not to overdo it at first.

Not knowing what kind of sick you were (although having to take five months off makes me think it must have been pretty bad), it’s hard to give specific advice, so I’ll say that generally it’s better to let yourself come back slowly than to come back too fast and risk another forced absence from the gym.

The usual rate of loss is about 7 to 10 percent per week that you aren’t training, until you reach your previously untrained state.

Looks like thats what happened.

Stick to it. It comes back.

Cool, that’s what I thought. What do you think is the best way to work my way back? Try to plan for 5 pounds a week, 10. I know I’ll cvome back quicker than I get there in the first place, but not too sure exactly how quickly. I’m thinking about 2 months. Am I off?

Hey man, don’t worry about how long it will take to get back to where you were. Think about it, you started last October and stopped in March, that’s 5 months. You’re just starting up again now, 5 months later. Plus, in the time that you weren’t training you were apparently very ill. That will take a huge toll on one’s body, even more so than just not training.

Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if you were weaker now than you were when you first started back in October. But, you have a bonus. As someone already posted, muscle memory is an amazing thing. You’ll get back to where you were a lot faster than it took you to get there the first time, but don’t rush it. It’s not a race. You might want to give yourself a couple of weeks going light to medium intensity, maybe just doing full body sessions.

Just to help ease your body back into the strain of exercise. Get the joints loosened, muscles stretched out, etc… Trust me, it’ll all come back, and you’ll be breaking previous PRs in no time, but don’t try and rush it or you could end up injured, or sick, or both. And as I’m sure you know, that can really suck.

Good luck,

Good Luck Man.

IMO people who are used to training stop and come back again, gain strength back much quicker than those who never trained.

Don’t rush it just make sure you eat clean , often and a lot and you should do just fine.

BTW, I’m guessing Mono?

It’s not that I’m worried about getting back to where I was. It’s more that I’m trying to plan out my progress now.

If I add 10 pounds per week to my squat, I’ll be back at 215 in about 8 weeks. If I add 5 pounds per week, it’ll take 16 weeks. See where I’m going with this?

I cant see how you could possibly plan it that way.

Some weeks you may be able to add 10 some 20 some 5.

Do a set if its to light add the weight.

Heh, five pounds per week, ten pounds per week…

Look, if it was that simple, why not simply add 100 pounds per week?

You’ll recover at whatever rate you recover at… and presumably that will be as fast as you can unless you purposely try not to progress.

[quote]vroom wrote:

You’ll recover at whatever rate you recover at… and presumably that will be as fast as you can unless you purposely try not to progress.[/quote]

That’s actually kinda the idea. If I set my weekly goals to under my max, I can progress longer and squeeze out another couple weeks of progress at the end.

It’s the same idea we would use when training for a fight (mma) to get us to a higher level before the fight. Of course, we were dealing with muscular endurance more than strength, but it’s still physical culture.

We set goals, and we achieve them. Right now, my goal is 5 or 10 pounds a week until I get back to where I was. (175 bench, 215 squat, and 220 deadlift for 5x5 and then bump those numbers up to 200, 250, and 275)

If someone comes to me and wants to fight and their training idea is off, I’m going to help them, not make snide, sarcastic remarks. I was hoping to get the same consideration here as I AM the newbie to the weight game. I guess that’s asking for too much on the internet.

[quote]shamethedebil wrote:
That’s actually kinda the idea. If I set my weekly goals to under my max, I can progress longer and squeeze out another couple weeks of progress at the end. [/quote]

That’s a new one to me. Doesn’t mean I am criticizing you, but it just doesn’t scan for me.

Okay, all I’m saying is why don’t you just work towards your end goal?

If you are referring to me, I was not trying to be sarcastic. Honestly, it strikes me as strange to purposely not progress when your body is willing and able to do so.

It seemed to me that if you push in the gym, your body will simply do what it wants…

If you don’t agree, fine, but don’t assume I’m giving you grief for your idea.

What snide remarks? I thought this was a disscussion of ideas.

You want us to blindly accept your training ideas with out discussing them?

I see the point of setting the goal, but what are the determining factors to meet that goal of 10lbs a week?

OK, I guess I misunderstood. I guess I just figured if I can add 5 pounds a week, that’s 20 pounds in a month. That would be a 60 pound increase every 3 months. When I started, I had a few sticking points, but that;s what more or less happened.

I think I actually got the idea of adding a little weight every workout here. If not, some other board. It made sense to me, you control your diet and rest, you control you routine, why not control the weight too? It seemed to work for me.

It sounds like maybe I should just start where I’m at, and go from there without worrying about where I was. I just like to set goals, it gives me something concrete to achieve. Even if I don’t get my goal, it makes me work harder.

If I’m adding weight wrong, let me know. I do read what people post, and if it makes sense, I’ll try to apply it.

Oh, another reason I train like this is that I do Judo as well. I can’t really afford an injury in the weight room. Keeping myself under my max on the weights should keep me healthy enough to take more damage on the mat.