For different reasons, after years of training hard in the gym and building the body you wanted, you think about revising your training schedule and take off time. You are happy with your look, prominent muscles, big legs, large shoulders. Strength indicator pretty high and time comes to cut back your trainings, but to keep the level you have achieved. The idea to continue to work out for 3-4 times a week just to be able to keep the shape you sculpted is not attractive at all.
You want a maintenance training routine, not so loaded. But still enough to preserve the muscle mass and keep fat level under control. If you are ready to lay back for a while and look up for tips on how to design a maintenance training, diet and rest and more. Then you will find them by reading this post.
To Keep the Muscle Mass you Already have is much Easier than to Rebuild it after a While:
According to a study done by National Institute of Health, it’s quite easy to store the muscle mass and power you have through minimal training – just once a week. Individuals were subject to resistance-training and were divided into two groups. One group trained for one time a week, while the second lifted weights for twice during six weeks.
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The result was quite surprising: the individuals from the first group were able to maintain the same strength indicator to 4 out of six exercises performed throughout the study. More than this, it was noticed an improvement in leg exercises, which is quite good results.
So, as this research shows, working out once a week help you to keep strength and mass indicators at a level you had when abandoned 3-4 times a week trainings. Does it work even when off time is longer than several months? Yes, even in case of prolonged period of times, lifting weights once a week helps to retain strength and muscle mass.
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Another study proved it. This time, a group of men were subject of weight training three times a week for four months. They were dividing into three groups: the first one group cease training few days after the beginning of experiment. The second group reduced the number of training to one per week, while the third one cut back the number of training days as well as number of sets from three to one set per exercise.
Well, the results for the first group are quite predictable: they were unable to preserve the muscle and strength. Contrary to this, individuals from second and third category managed to conserve the muscle mass despite of cutbacks in trainings periodicity and number of sets.
So, the idea is that minimal work in the gym is much better than nothing at all for keeping on the muscle mass. Following a maintenance exercise program can benefit your body a good way, without the need to go for more frequent trainings.
Nutrition when Following Maintenance Training:
Once we decide that lifting weights once a week is to keep your so hardly build physique, it’s time to bring into discussion another not less important detail- diet. You are no longer eat for bulking. So make sure you reduce the amount of carbs, protein and fat to a normal limit. Also, have already 3 meals per day instead of 5-6 you was used to.
You still need to eat healthy food. This is the most important factor to avoid gaining fat and lose muscle mass. This is because during maintenance training you need to fuel your body with necessary nutrients. Give as much as it needs to be able to work efficiently.
A surplus in calories may turn into fat as body burn less than it consume. On the other side, to fewer calories may cause loss muscles and this is the last thing you want to happen to you.
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So, to answer the question from the title training. At least one time per week will help to keep on the muscle mass. Being able to perform two weightlifting training’s per week is even greater. If once a week is the only one option you have on table – go for it. As the above studies showed, a maintaining training and diet can do wonders and even for prolonged period of times.
Just pay attention to the workout intensity, as duration and volume are not as important. As long as you work hard in the gym as you did when you trained for muscle growth off time is not going to steal muscle mass and strength.