Whether you’re recovering from a cold or injury, sometimes you need a break from working out. If you’ve been working hard on your gains, you probably don’t want to lose them.

Everyone’s body is different, so it’s hard to gauge how long before your muscle depletes. If you are new to working out and halt, then your body will quickly revert as it hasn’t had time to build up aerobic capability and muscle mass. However, if you’ve been training for a while, your body will react differently.

When you stop working out, our body will stop building these muscles because your body doesn’t think you need them anymore. Your muscles will deplete after several weeks to several months, depending on how often you train. The good news is that your body will keep muscle memory, and it will jump right back into form when you get back to training.

One of the most important ways to keep up muscle mass is to continue to eat well and pay attention to your nutrition. Amino acids like leucine, glutamine, and arginine help build muscle, and without them, your muscles will deplete quicker. Protein has an essential amino acid profile. You can also take BCAA supplements.

Continuing to move around, without agitating any injuries, can be beneficial. Make sure to get up and walk around to keep your body active. Getting about 6-8 hours of sleep helps you maintain hormone levels, which affect muscle growth. It’s essential to get quality sleep. One thing that plays a role that you have no control over is genetics. Some genes help keep your muscle mass and strength without training.

Consider these three things you can do to keep your muscle mass while taking a break from the gym.