What Really Happens When You Skip a Workout

workout-gymSo weve all done it.  Skip workouts.  For a plethora of good reasons. One of the benefits that CrossFit has provided me and so many other people around the world, and even right here at RSA CrossFit, is changing physical fitness from an up and down cycle of short periods of Im gonna get in shape to Alright Im good, Im gonna take it easy for awhile.

These days and for the last year or more, for me, its just a lifestyle. Once you break past that typical point where most people either give up or start patting themselves on the back and decide to slow down, your body starts to feel so good you don’t ever want to go back. Rather than having to talk yourself into making it to the box to do your workout you actually have to make yourself take the proper rest days to give your body time to recoup!!

Getting the blood pumping and your endorphins flowing becomes enjoyable and fun and the health benefits for a long and fruitful life go on and on. Here is a short article from the Tri-City Herald from Tuesday June 12th by Josef Brandenburg of the Mcclatchy-Tribune. its the title of this blog. Very interesting look into what happens when you just miss a workout or two. Check it out.


Skipping workouts happens, and its really easy to rationalize (rational lies) that it wont affect you that much. I know because I do that, and our members do that. One thing thats helped me think twice about skipping workouts is finding out just how fast and to what extent not working out changes your body for the worse.

Within the first two days of not working out, your levels of feel-good and alertness chemicals (such as beta-endorphin and adrenalin) drop. Your mood and energy levels decline (the people around you notice before you do). The energy drop is ironic because people (me) usually skip workouts because theyre too busy or too tired. With the drop in these chemicals, your sleep quality goes down, and so does energy.

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The groundwork is also being laid for some nice fat gain because those chemicals also have a natural appetite-suppressing affect.

By day three, your muscles are really stiffening up, and your aerobic capacity has dropped by 5 percent. (Your heart and lungs already 5 percent less fit).

Within a week of skipping workouts, your metabolism already has started to slow down, and your fat stores are creeping up. A big reason why your metabolism slows is because your body’s ability to use oxygen has dropped by 10 percent, and your body needs oxygen to burn calories. The oxygen your body can use is not the same as what you simply inhale.

With two weeks, your body starts shedding muscle and replacing it with fat while your metabolic rate continues to drop. In addition, your heart now is 15 percent less fit.

By the time week three rolls around, your body’s ability to use oxygen has dropped another 10 percent, which now is 20 percent in total. This makes it harder for your body to create energy (you’re more tired) and this slows your metabolism even more. In addition, your body has become much worse at keeping you cool when its hot.

Meaning it spends more energy to try and cool you down, meaning you have less energy for everything else in your life. You’re uncomfortable and tired.

Within 25 days, you’ve lost 10 percent to 15 percent of your muscle mass, and it has likely been replaced by fat! And by day 29, your strength has dropped by as much as 30 percent. What a difference a month can make!

*Joseph Brandenburg is a Washington D.C. area certified fitness expert with 11 years of experience.

There you go. Pretty crazy huh? So keep up the good work, stay consistent, enjoy the ride and the results will be there. Its science:)

Those that do not find the time for fitness will have to find time for illness

Earl of Derby


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