The guy I met in the coffee shop …

I got chatting with a guy the other day while we were getting coffee and once he found out what I do for a living, he let me know what he really thinks of gyms.

I quickly realised it was not a time for a sales pitch ha ha


He said “I used to go to the gym, for 6 months, got really ripped, then I stopped for a bit and lost it all” Unbelievable. Not worth the hassle”

And you know what, he was partly right.  If you don’t use it you loose it.

However it all depends how much and how long you have been exercising. If you have followed a routine of 5-6 times a week for over a year you will hold onto your muscle a lot easier and longer than someone who has exercised 1-2 times a week for a year. Muscle memory and size come into play.

On a general scale though, after about 3 weeks of no exercise you will start to see a slight decline in muscle. For cardio, it happens a little quicker.


Some things you can do to avoid taking long periods of time off are:

  • Realise when you need to change your exercise routine. If you stop loving it, quickly move on. Whilst not all exercise is the same, something is better than nothing. When I have felt I needed a break from running, I switched gears to HIIT sessions. After having babies I didn’t have the energy for HIIT sessions so I moved to low intensity strength training. Something was better than nothing.
  • Plan to move on your holidays. You don’t have to call it “exercise” but a hike, long bike ride, slow run along the beach, join a gym for a casual session, whatever it is, keep it fresh and fun.
  • If you become sick and need to back off the exercise, mediation and yoga or stretch can help. With busy lives these days, our immune system is taking a hammering. These practices quieten our minds and nervous system and will help get you back on track.
  • Train with a friend or engage in a PT for a period of time to set some new goals. This is a great way to have someone else help motivate you and do some of the thinking for you.


Your road to recovery .. back to getting on the band wagon.

Focusing on what you can do is essential. Comparing yourself to your old self is not helpful. Start exploring options and start moving. This is the best way forward. Set some new goals and have fun. If it’s fun, you will do it more often!