This Is What Happens When You Stop Working Out

This Is What Happens When You Stop Working Out

October 30, 2015 | Photo credits: Pixabay, Madbarz

Maybe you lost your motivation, suddenly became too busy or got injured?

If you start skipping workouts the negative effects will show in 10-14 days.

Not all is lost, the process can be reversed with the help of easy tips!

To get the tips right away and skip the explanations, scroll to the end of article.

Here's the info you need to keep your gains and stay healthy.

The negative effects of skipping workouts:

  • loss of muscle strength
  • decrease of endurace
  • bodyfat percent increase
  • metabolism slows down

Is the effect the same for everyone?

If you recently started as a total beginner, you could lose all the gains you got in this short time.

For the rest a general rule applies: the fitter you were before the pause, the faster you will feel the effects. But also reverse them more quickly.


Don't waste time planning a perfect workout. Tap the app and get back on track. Free workouts are ready in the Madbarz app for iOS and Android.


Cardio goes first

The first effect will show in your cardio workouts. Suddenly you'll be gasping for air much faster. You will notice that you need more time to run the same distance, or that you can't run for as long as you used to.

Why does it happen? After skipping workouts, the amount of oxygen your body can use, called VO2 Max, starts to decrease first. [1]

Muscles shrink

Use it or lose it. Because you don't use them, your muscles start 'shrinking' and look smaller. The first to suffer are the muscles you use less in everyday tasks. Strength, but also explosiveness will decrease.

Why does it happen? The effect of skipping regular workout is similar to aging. The muscle tissue is reduced by the change in muscle fibers.[3][2]


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Fat gain

Skipping workout means slower metabolism and less calories burned. This can sum up to create a higher bodyfat percent in a short time period.

Why does it happen? Blood sugar spikes when you're not working out and that makes it easier to store extra fat. As the muscle cells shrink, the fat cells get bigger and make you look more soft and fluffy. [4]

Easy tips to avoid negative effects:

Keep Intensity. If you reduce the number of trainings or the time you invest, make sure to keep every training extra intense.

Eat more protein. Especially if you're injured and have less movement, additional protein will help you decrease the loss of muscle mass. Here is a list of high quality protein foods.

Stick to the minimum. At least one workout per week will make sure you don't turn on the „detraining“ effect in your body. Even 15 minutes a day can make a difference. Here are the shortest Madbarz workouts.


Do you have friends who keep quitting their workout programs? Share this article with them and keep your community strong!