Detraining: How Fast Do You Lose Cardiorespiratory Fitness After An Injury?

EndurElite Chief Endurance Officer Matt Mosman discusses how fast you lose adaptations to exercise when you can't train and what you can do about it.

 What Is Detraining?

Ever wonder how fast your fitness goes away when you can’t train?

  • You may not be able to train due to an injury or extended break, but what happens physiologically during this time?
  • Well, mitochondrial and capillary density decrease, VO2 max goes down, and muscle fiber composition can change. All of which can affect endurance performance.
  • One study showed an 8% decrease in VO2 max after 12 days of no training and a 20% decrease after 84 days.
  • If you don’t want to lose a ton of your fitness consider cross training or not getting injured or burnt out in the first place by being smart about your training and recovery days.
  • How fast does fitness come back after being able to train? No one really knows due to about 10 million variables but some research suggests 4-8 weeks.
  • For the full video and article on detraining go here.


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