Muscles are deflated - reasons, ways of preservation

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Muscles are deflated - reasons, ways of preservation
Muscles are deflated - reasons, ways of preservation

Find out why your muscles deflate not only after exercise, but also after you stop going to the gym. Perhaps you have come across questions from users on specialized web resources regarding the loss of muscle mass during a pause in the training. Such complaints come not only from guys, but also from girls. Agree, it is extremely unpleasant to observe how, after investing a lot of effort and time, the results obtained gradually disappear.

Today we will try to answer the question as clearly and simply as possible, why are muscles deflated? However, first I would like to give an example of this phenomenon. All you need to do is look at the photographs of Iron Arnie from 1980 to 1982. Surely bodybuilding lovers know that after another victory at "Mr. Olympia" Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to leave the big sport and come to grips with a career in cinema.

Arnie's first film after retiring from sports was "Conan the Barbarian", which premiered in 1982. During this time, after a triumphant performance at Olympia, he lost 15 kilos. Just compare the photos of Arnold in the tournament and compare his physique to the one in the movie. The difference will be significant. Moreover, during the filming, Schwarzenegger had to be in shape.

Of course, during this period, his training was significantly different from the period of preparation for tournaments. Do not forget about the lack of motivation, because he has already managed to create a dream body. In conclusion, you should take a look at the same Arnie during the filming of the master class, which took place at the end of 1982. The differences from the competitive form are immediately evident.

Recall that after the cessation of active training, only two years have passed. Now we are not talking about the use of drugs in sports pharmacology, which was definitely not used by Schwarzenegger after the end of his sports career. To a certain extent, the lack of supplementation with exogenous hormonal substances also affected the loss of muscle mass.

From all of the above, we can conclude that the problem of weight loss during a pause in training takes place. The more time a person does not actively use the muscles, the smaller they become. If you started to visit the gym and swing, then you will have to go there constantly to keep fit. Otherwise, all previously obtained results will gradually disappear. The question of why the muscles are deflated turned out to be quite natural, and let's deal with it.

Why do muscles deflate after exercise?

Example of an athlete with contracted muscles

Most bodybuilding enthusiasts, and first of all beginners, constantly monitor the volume of their muscles. Many of them measure their muscles while still in the gym, almost immediately after completing the training. As a result, they are satisfied, because the result obtained is a couple of centimeters higher than normal. They will find out about this only in the morning if they decide to take measurements again.

This is due to the pumping effect that occurs during training. Its essence lies in the temporary increase in the volume of the muscle group, which was pumped by the athlete. When you start working with weights, blood flow accelerates and more blood flows into the muscle tissues to provide them with all the nutrients they need.

When the lesson is over, the blood gradually leaves the muscles and their volume decreases. Often times, performing builders use a pump just before going on stage to give the muscles more volume.It is quite obvious that after the performance, everything returns to normal. The pumping effect can last from half an hour to several days.

How to maintain muscle volume after training?

Bodybuilder with huge muscles

First, we need to define the concept of "stopping classes." There can be two options here:

  1. Complete absence of stress - you decided to grow up to play sports and become an ordinary person.
  2. One muscle group was injured, but the athlete continues to work on others whenever possible.

The amount of mass lost depends on which of the two options discussed above is relevant. You've probably figured out by now that the first option is the worst. In this case, muscle mass will be lost within about six months. It is impossible to specify the exact dates, since a lot depends on your body. However, we can say with complete confidence that if you choose the first scenario, then all the efforts you spent earlier turned out to be in vain and there can be no other opinion here.

The second option is more gentle, and the loss of muscle mass will not be as serious. Scientists have actively studied the question of why muscles deflate after stopping training, but while maintaining a certain level of physical activity. This could be cardio or home exercise. As a result, we can talk about a loss of mass, but in a relatively small amount.

If you are often injured during training, then it is worth remembering such a phenomenon as transference. The essence of this effect lies in the distribution of part of the load to the damaged muscle group. Simply put, if you have injured the biceps of the left arm, but you worked on the muscles of the right in the lesson, then the muscles of the injured limb will also receive a certain part of the load. According to scientific research, this is about 10 or 15 percent.

Also, the answer to the question of why muscles are deflated after the termination of training is nutrition. If, in addition to stopping sports, you start to eat junk food, and do not follow the previous nutrition program, then the muscles will simply swell with fat. Here again, one can cite Iron Arnie as an example, who, after leaving the big sport, stopped actively training, and began to pay little attention to nutrition. I would also like to remind you that each of us has an individual body. Someone will lose muscle in four months, and for some athletes it can take years.

Why muscles deflate: physiology

Graphic representation of muscles on the human body

Due to age-related changes, after 25 years, a person begins to lose muscle mass. Physical parameters also decrease. On average, over the course of a year, all these losses range from one to one and a half percent. As a result, by the age of sixty, you can lose 25-40 percent of muscle mass and strength compared to young age. All athletes need to remember that muscle fibers are usually divided into two types:

  • Fast - white or type 2.
  • Slow - red or type 1.

In the body of the average person, their ratio is about 55 to 45 percent in favor of the reds. Pro-athletes have more white muscle fibers than red ones. As a result, we can say that in order to minimize mass loss, you need to work on two types of fibers and actively pump them.

If we turn to the results of scientific research, then in the course of one experiment, scientists established knowledgeable:

  • A month of vigorous training increased strength by about 47 percent.
  • In two months of no physical activity, strength parameters fell by 23 percent.

Also, scientists today are confident that two days after the completion of training in the body, the rate of synthesis of protein compounds is sharply reduced. This, in turn, leads to a slowdown in the construction process and the restoration of damaged fibers.

In sports medicine there is a term "detraining", which characterizes the loss of muscle mass after the termination of training. Under the influence of constant physical exertion, the body accelerates the synthesis of special enzymes, which are necessary for the construction of muscle tissue and maintenance of general muscle tone. For about a spirit of months of absence of strength training, the production of these substances stops. In their absence, the body begins to destroy the muscles. The rate of weight loss is primarily influenced by two factors:

  • The overall level of physical activity of the athlete.
  • General training experience.

We are not talking about age now, because everything is extremely simple here. Based on all of the above, it can be argued that at high rates, weight loss will be minimal. If a novice athlete (training experience is less than a year) is interested in why the muscles are deflated, then in only 14 days he can lose up to 80 percent of the previously obtained results. For experienced athletes, this process takes on average six months and losses in this time period can be from 35 to 40 percent.

I would like to recall such a concept as muscle memory. If you resume training after a long pause, then the previous form will return quickly enough. Moreover, not every athlete is familiar with such a concept as determination. If this period of rest is short, then the muscle fibers are strengthened and after resuming exercise you will have the opportunity to bring your body to a qualitatively new level of physical readiness. Summing up a brief summary of our conversation, we can state. That with a long pause in classes, the muscles will deflate. Moreover, this process is faster in comparison with weight gain.

How to maintain muscle after you stop exercising?

The athlete is sad

If you decide to stop exercising for a long time, then to minimize the possible loss of muscle mass, we suggest using a few tips.

  1. Nutrition. After you stop training, you need to continue to adhere to the principles of good nutrition. Reduce the energy value of the diet, but the food intake schedule must be adhered to.
  2. Drink water. Since muscle tissue is mainly composed of protein compounds and water, it is necessary to adhere to a certain drinking regimen. A man of average build per day should consume at least three liters of water, and a woman at a similar time interval - 2 or 2.5 liters. If you bring the matter to dehydration, then the process of loss of muscle mass will accelerate.
  3. Take creatine and nitrogen donors. These types of sports nutrition will help you slow down your weight loss. You should also remember about protein compounds with carbohydrates. Eat foods rich in protein and complex carbohydrates.
  4. Get physically active. Any physical activity can slow down the processes of weight loss. To maintain muscle tone, you need to do simple exercises at home, jog or walk, etc.

By following these recommendations, you will be able to preserve some of the results obtained during training. Knowing the physiological side of the answer to the question of why muscles are deflated, you can slow down this process.

Why muscles deflate after exercise, see the video below:

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