– Our anxiety about losing size by taking a couple of weeks off from the gym is misplaced, at least according to some newer research.
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The researchers rounded up 20 students, all of whom were experienced weight trainers. They all followed an identical lifting program for 4 weeks, followed by a 2-week layoff. After the layoff, the subjects did another 4-week training cycle. Ten of the students were given 25 grams of maltodextrin (carbohydrate) after each training session while the other 10 were given 25 grams of whey protein. During the two-week layoff, each student continued to take their maltodextrin or whey, but early in the morning.
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What They Found – All the students gained strength and size during the initial training period, although the whey group experienced slightly better gains. Neither group suffered any setbacks during the two-week layoff. They didn't lose strength or size and they didn't get any fatter. It's as if the layoff never happened. After the two-week detraining period, the protein group continued to gain mass at about the same rate as before, while the carbohydrate group experienced a slight, probably statistically insignificant drop in lean mass.
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What This Means to You – This means that you shouldn't sweat taking a week or two off. You likely won't lose any strength or size, and provided you don't continually pizza and pasta yourself into a carbohydrate stupor, you likely won't gain any fat. –