Rest versus Not Training

How much fitness you lose will depend on the kind of athlete that you are. The speed on how you lose fitness will rely heavily on your overall fitness, the length of your training period, and the length of the time you have spent not training at all.

Detraining Research

Research on detraining is very limited. In one study, there were two sets of subjects. One set was comprised of people who have trained for about a year. The second set was composed of people who had only trained for two months. The first group was then instructed to cease training for about three months. After three months, they were tested in order to determine how much fitness they have lost. According to the study, the individuals in the first group lost around 50%. The second group was also instructed to stop training for about two months as well. In a re-test after two months, it showed that the second group lost almost a 100% of their fitness.

Currently several studies have been conducted in order to determine the relation between reduced fitness level, training, and detraining. Preliminary results show that reducing training time does not have a huge effect on a person’s level of fitness in comparison to full cessation of training. In a study, a group of men who led sedentary lives were made to undergo strength training for about three months three times a week, after which, training frequency was reduced to once a week. The results show that there is little to no reduction both in strength and in their overall fitness level.

Maintain minimal training

Breaking detraining down into lessons is impossible because the situation will depend on the individual. It is believed that any form of physical activity can help you maintain a certain level of fitness during those times when undergoing intense training is not permitted. When I went out of the country for a three-week vacation I took my running shoes with me. Since it is impossible for me to take my bike along, I opted for my running shoes. The whole time I was vacationing, I made it a point to run a few miles for half an hour to an hour three times each week. I even challenged myself and ran on tougher tracks. When I returned from the trip, I was in good shape and I was even able to race three weeks later.

Doing something while on vacation

If you are in the middle of intense training, and you go on vacatation or a business trip, try and engage in physical activity. In most situations the best physical activity that you can do is running. Anywhere you go there will be many opportunities for you to run. Most hotels have gyms with treadmills, and most vacation spots have jog trails that you can use. Try and run for around 20 to 30 minutes minimum. To stay in shape, even when on vacation, make sure that you do not stay sedentary for more than two consecutive days.


Seven exercises in a day

Some call this the “Daily 7”, which is a group of routine exercises that you can do during the day. The combination of different exercises may vary depending on the individual. These exercises do not have to be long and strenuous. In fact, your ‘daily 7’ can be done in 10, 15 or 20 minutes everyday. To keep things interesting you must be creative. You can combine different exercises and arrange them in a circuit or you can group them and do each exercise by set. This is one great way to keep you in shape and keep you fit for that upcoming intense training.

Back to business

Remember that the length of time it will take you to get back to your tip top form will be as long as the time you spent doing nothing. If you were sedentary longer than a month, then expect to spend more than a month of intense training in order to whip yourself back into shape. Therefore, when you are out there do not let your fitness drop to the lowest point. To keep this from happening make sure that you exercise twice or thrice a week! This is one great way to prevent everything that you have worked for going down the drain.

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