Thinking of Taking the Summer Off? Think Again!

At this time of year, we hear this from a lot of members: “see you in the fall, I will be working outside all summer”. Then in the fall we hear this from the same members: “why does it feel like I am starting all over again?”

It’s pretty common to take the summer off from the gym because we feel like we are being more active outdoors, which is great. But there is a big difference between “being active” and strength training.

Being active golfing, fishing, gardening, cutting the grass, walking, biking is all encouraged, getting more activity is great for all of us, but it doesn’t come close to what strength training does for you.

In strength training you are using an amount of resistance that challenges you to complete a set, that challenge on your muscles breaks them down and then your body rebuilds your muscle stronger. That process only occurs when you have enough resistance. A golf club is not enough resistance to keep or build strength, neither is pedaling a bike.

So, when you take the summer off and come back in the fall and it feels like you are starting over, it’s because you are. It only takes a couple weeks off of training for the effects of detraining to occur. Studies show these effects beginning with as little as one week off and noticeably getting worse after just 2 weeks off. The longer you go without that stimulus to the muscle, the more strength you will lose. One study showed 3 months worth of strength training gains was completely wiped out after 1 month of no strength training!

So here is what we would recommend. There is no doubt summer is a busier time and getting workouts in may be more challenging, especially when it’s so nice outside. We encourage getting out more and being active. But if you are serious about this health and fitness thing, find a way to get 2 full body strength training workouts in each week. Just a quick warm up and 8 or so exercises focusing on the major movements and you are in and out in 45 minutes or less. At twice a week that’s just an hour and a half a week to maintain (and even increase) your muscle and strength through the summer.

You will feel, look and perform better all summer long and come fall you won’t feel like you are starting over any more! Not to mention that you will also stay in the routine of going to the gym because let’s face it, once you take 2 or 3 months off, it becomes very difficult to get back on track again.