How fast does muscle mass wither away from underuse?

I lift everyday except sunday. lets say I go on vacation for a month, will I lose alot of muscle mass? how fast does muscle mass wither away on average?

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  1. It really depends on the muscle group. For instance, larger muscle groups like legs, back and chest take longer to break down from under-use. Smaller muscles like shoulders, triceps and biceps will start to lose strength and size fairly quickly — in under two weeks, in some cases.

    Personally, I've skipped leg workouts for almost a month without a great deal of size or strength loss. But if I go more than two weeks without working shoulders, I can definitely see and feel the change.

    One thing I've found that helps is to still perform some body-weight exercises even when on vacation. Push-ups and pull-ups will give you enough of a workout to keep you from losing too much strength or mass during your break. You may actually find that two or three weeks away from the gym recharges you and when you return you might make additional gains. There is also some evidence that daily consumption of whey protein has anti-catabolic effects, even in the absence of resistance training, so you might want to pack some for your trip.

    Best of luck!

  2. Muscle can start breaking down in as little as three days when not used. When in light use, the breakdown is generally slower, about one week. Note that muscle does not completely break down, but they can become significantly weaker. You lose about 30-40% of your muscle strength in two weeks if you don't work them regularly

    To maintain muscle mass while on vacation, do muscle exercises that don't require equipment. Try: squats, push ups, sits up, lift heavy things, and lunges. Do at least fifty reps of each exercise and muscle breakdown will be minimum, if the breakdown happens at all. Make sure you also take at least one 30min. brisk walk a day.

    Good luck!

  3. Depends where the muscle is. Daily loss of semen will cause an almost complete loss of muscle in the lower stomach within 1 or 2 years regardless of exercise frequency. However it doesn't seem to have as much impact on the pectorials. I haven't lost any muscle from my pecs in about 2 years even though I haven't done a single push up or bench press in that time.

    I haven't lossed much muscle anywhere else in those 2 years either. Just don't lose any semen and you'll be fine.

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