Are you going on vacation and are you afraid to lose your muscle mass? Rest assured: lying on the beach for two weeks will have few consequences. But how quickly do you lose your cherished training result?

What happens to your muscle fibers?

The decrease in muscle strength and muscle mass is mainly due to a reduction and a change in the composition of the muscles. After more than two weeks the thickness (muscle cell volume) slowly decreases and proportionally the amount of muscle tissue type 2 decreases in comparison with type 1 muscle tissue. Furthermore, it is possible that your nervous system and tendons after a long time without training are less taxable, because they are no longer accustomed to that heavy load.

Decrease of muscle strength?

My experience is that you do not lose muscle power so quickly. I myself have traveled for a year and trained little (and partied ??). Then I noticed that my muscle mass remains reasonably intact (about a 10% decrease). This is confirmed by several studies that indicate that loss of strength and loss of muscle mass is limited if you do not train for a while or not at all. Below I give an overview of the studies that are known to date about the complete abstention from strength training.

Decrease of muscle mass?

The decrease in muscle mass is comparable to that of muscle strength. After a while, the body adjusts because it is not burdened with heavy training. There is no heavy load left, so the need for thick muscle balls or muscle buttocks is absent. Research indicates that muscle mass slowly decreases after 2 weeks. The decrease in muscle mass begins to increase after four weeks. This is confirmed by a study among bodybuilders, where their muscle mass decreased by 9.3 percent after 15 months without training. The decrease in muscle mass is slow in the beginning and increases rapidly after 3 months without training.

Training on vacation

Training on vacation can be difficult … You have something else to do. Are you going on vacation for more than three weeks and do you want to stay fit? Then try to do full-body training at least once a week. By doing an intensive strength training at least once a week, you retain most of your muscle strength and muscle mass. Read some important tips by Learning Disability History to stay fit during your vacation .

Food & alcohol

Of course, it is not just a lack of training that puts your muscle strength and muscle mass at risk. During your holiday, your rhythm is very different to other food choices, sleep and alcohol consumption. Check with yourself:

Take for example sufficient protein during your holiday period ?

Do you eat healthy? Think of vegetables and fruit? And do you mainly eat enough macros?
Do you dive into the pub every night with shots of vodka and tequila?
Also think about your night’s rest. A short night is no problem. But if you go through the whole holiday, do not eat healthy and the real pub tiger is hanging out, you lose a lot more of your gainzzz.
Consider for yourself what your priorities are. What do you think is important ??

And can you do this in moderation?


If you stop training (strength training) you lose muscle strength and muscle mass only after about three to four weeks. Muscle mass you lose slightly faster than muscle strength. The loss will increase after about 2 to 3 months.

But also enjoy your holiday. A short rest period is also a nice reward for work and sport season ??

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