[PICTURE ABOVE] I always read Men’s Health when on the road. It’s amusingly bad most of the time and gives me something to write about.
Those that have been paying attention, may have noticed I’ve been in the USA for the last 4 weeks. It’s a difficult realization to endure when you think to yourself just before you depart.
I’m in peak physical condition – how will I look in 4 weeks of basically nothing?
The answer is – You won’t look ‘that much different’, but there will definitely be noticeable changes to both how you look and feel.
Did I lose much muscle after 4 weeks off training?
Yes and no.
A week or so ago I posted about the mini-routine I had going whilst on the road. I’d do a workout in between nights out on the booze, huge buffet breakfasts and hours of driving on long freeways with nothing but Dr Pepper and a bag of pretzels by my side. These workouts stimulated ‘some’ of the muscle groups, but not as effectively as a proper gym-routine can (more on that below).
The nutrition wasn’t great…
Besides feeling sluggish most of the time, I could feel the physical strain from a lack of good fruit, vegetables and vitamins – plus a HEAVILY reduced protein intake. Sure, I’d grab a muscle milk from a gas station when I could, but these protein injections were hardly ideal – full of sugar with the quality of the actual protein itself being questionable.
Points to note on the photo…
Besides the obvious tan that was achieved (thanks Mexico :)), the following can be observed:
#1 You can see that my triceps/biceps have atrophied considerably. The stimulus on the road was little more than some curls using my suitcase, and some close-grip tricep pushups.
#2 The shoulders also took a beating. These weren’t worked once in the 4 week period – the only stimulus coming indirectly from decline pushups.
#3 Fat gain around the lower abdomen. The abs, whilst still visible (I have no idea how!), disappear somewhat around the waistline. This, I expected to happen. The way I was drinking and eating, it’s hardly a surprise.
Things you can’t see..
My legs aren’t visible in this shot – they were probably worked more than any other muscle group due to the large amounts of walking we were doing. The body-squats and one-leg dead-lifts (thanks Nate Green), probably had something to do with their conditioning. When I returned to the gym again last week, I’d only dropped around 10kg’s from my squat, which I was particularly happy with.
Some of the training I pulled directly from Nate’s video below…
To sum it up…
You will look marginally different after 4 weeks of vacation whether you train now and then or give it up completely whilst you’re away. The point is, you’ll come back refreshed when you return and your body will be repaired and ready to take on any program you decide to throw at it.
The first 2 weeks will be hard, but once you bust through it – you’ll gain it all back and THEN some. I’m looking forward to seeing how hard I can push myself in the next 6 months.
Bring it on.
Clint’s Note: Notice any major changes the last time you went on vacation? Comment below.