Are muscles from weight lifting permanent?
No. Your body is always trying to adapt to its environment. If that environment no longer includes resistance training, it will adapt by…hitting the undo button on previous adaptations.
In other words, it’ll unadapt.
However, don’t think that you have to live in the gym once you build a decent physique.
First, it takes a far smaller stimulus to maintain a given muscle than it took to actually grow it. As long as your effort is higher enough, you can maintain on roughly 1/3rd the amount of sets it took to actually build. This could be even lower, maybe 1/6th to even 1/9th.
Upkeep on a property isn’t nearly as arduous as actually building the damn house.
Second, you don’t lose your muscles right away. It takes a few weeks for the process of breaking down muscle tissue to actually noticeably start. After all, it took a lot of energy, time and effort to build those muscles, and the protein doesn’t actually provide much energy, so your body is loathe to break it down…at least for a while.
After a few months of zero lifting, yea. You’ll start losing muscle gradually, especially if completely sedentary.
Third, if you DO take time off from lifting and lose everything, you can gain it back far more quickly than it originally took.
I’ve been lifting for about 7 years. If I didn’t touch a weight for a year or two and lost all my gains, I could get back to my present level of muscularity in probably 9–12 months, maybe even sooner.
This is mostly due to the fact that the “control center” (nuclei) of the muscle cells aren’t lost, just the overall volume of the cell. They’re the limiting factor for growth. So once you’ve got those little bastards activated, regaining muscle can happen quite rapidly.
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