What happens when you don't lift for 7 months

I have always been more of a cardio junky than a lifter. However, I had tried to keep some semblance of upper body strength. Had not lifted since March due to COVID. Went back to the gym two days ago. Bench pressed much less than I used to…and am still super sore two days later. Good to get back at it though. Think I am going to start going again, just need to find a time that is less crowded.

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I’ve found that my work trousers shrank during the lockdown…

Blockquote What happens when you don’t lift for 7 months

Was that a question or a statement?

I got lucky during lockdown, as #one (order of birth only) my son had bought a bench press and barbell and weights a few years ago, and stored them in my garage (the part without a parked car), then my #2 son bought a squat rack for my birthday. So, I’ve been doing StrongLifts5x5 irregularly (not thrice a week as I should) since March.


(I like it because all the info is free, and it seems to be a good program.)

All that you did was expected. Lower your weights, get your form back, increase the weight weekly, and there will be some soreness.
Keep it up!

I did strong lifts 5x5 a few years ago (as did my wife). It is a good program.
Plan on going back tomorrow, gotta get back on the wagon. Just going in the early morning so it is less crowded

Did some short running intervals with my wife and 10 yo son today. It was good. The last interval was all out, and afterward I was trying to decide the last time I ran full tilt…it has been a long time.

I always found that long breaks (couple of months, usually injury related) for me led to a minor decrease in strength that came back pretty quickly. I lifted similar to how you describe. I always found that I needed to drop down a plate or two on any machines, drop down 5-10 pounds on any dumbbells, but that it took 3-4 workouts and I was back to my old spot.

Note I also do a lot of body weight exercises whenever I’m not hitting the gym, so my floor for strength training stays pretty high.

Things are progressing decently. I am about half way between the strength I had back in March and the first return when I started this thread.

I have been going early morning, and not many people are there at that time, all wearing masks, so I am not too worried, but looks possible the county will shut all gyms, which would be a bummer so soon after I started going back.

So the governor closed all gyms. When I heard I thought about impulse buying some lifting equipment, but did not. Will have to try to figure out someway to not become a weak bastard yet again.

This will happen regardless of how much muscle you’ve lost/retained, and no matter the length of break as long as it’s long enough (for me it’s around two weeks).
Use a foam roller.

This probably won’t work if you’re a heavy lifter, but Sohee Lee has videos on her Instagram where she uses a backpack full of heavy books to substitute for barbell/dumbbells when doing deadlifts, hip thrusts, and squats. There’s also a video for inverted rows using furniture or items around the house (i.e. bed sheets and door as an anchor, broom and two chairs).

Gyms opened back up. Have been going for a few weeks. My bench sets are progressing, but at 115 right now. Hoping to get up to 135 or higher relatively quickly…don’t like it when no big plates are on the bar.

use your body weight as a gauge, and don’t care about the size of plates, you’ll end up hurting yourself.

Trust me, nobody is looking at you at the gym. All the gym rats and bros are only looking at themselves.

Your goal right now should be to bench your body weight. Work hard, drink a lot of calories and protein, and increase your bench by 10 lb (5lb on each side) each week.

You’ll get there in no time.

I am not too concerned about what others think. I have lifted off and on for a long time, so it is about how I feel myself, although I admit the big plate thing is kind of arbitrary. I go up pretty slow: 5 pounds total each third time I go, but so far so good on being able to keep going.

Not sure getting to my body weight is in the cards: I usually plateau around 155 and I weigh 175.

I started back at the bar unfortunately. Just got back to the gym after getting vaccinated 14 months off. Went from 175 lb bench to 45 lb. Squats and dl were both at 315 lb and now at…45 lb. Body weight has been stable at 140 lb which means my muscle to fat ratio has shifted to being more fat.

Oh well, it should only take a few months of increasing at 5 lb per session to get back in to things. I might as well use the time to improve my form. Been doing 5x5 program for 10 years prior so I don’t think I will have as many plateaus on the way back up.

Feels weird taking creatine when the weights are this low lol

Frustrating, I know, but stick to it, will come back.

I am up to 135 on bench

You were squatting 315 @ 140 lbs?

Yeah but I had been squatting 3 times a week for 10 years. I think I got there at year 7 or so and decided I was happy with that level of strength and stopped increasing.

When I hit it, I think I weighed like 160 lb and then decided to cut carbs and lose weight.

I generally skip leg days. by choice.

I do elliptical everyday for 5 minutes on max resistance and incline everyday, and that’s enough for me.

if I ever decide to do legs religiously, I’ll need a professional trainer for sure, as I’m sure I’ll get the form wrong since my legs are not as developed as the rest of my body.