Keep Your Muscle Mass During A Layoff


Whether planned or unplanned, the time will come when you might have to take a layoff from the gym. The reasons could be anything from extended work hours to a minor or major injury or surgery. That’s the way life is. But, what about your hard-earned mass? How can you Keep Your Muscle Mass During A Layoff? We’ll find out in this article, and we’ll look at the 5% Nutrition supplements that can help. 

What Happens To Your Muscle Mass During A Layoff?

So how does a layoff affect your muscles? As mentioned, you might find yourself working overtime for a while. This might mean anywhere from 10 to 16 hours a day. Plus, it could easily be 6 or even 7 days a week. Can you still find time to hit the gym? Are you kidding? 

Another scenario might be an injury that sidelines you for 1-2 months, or surgery that forces a 4, 8, or God forbid, 12-week recovery period. Are you going to squeeze in a workout? That is not going to happen!

Naturally, the major question is, what will happen to the muscle I’ve been working hard to build? Am I going to lose size?

What Activity Can You Perform - Why Are You Taking A Lay-Off?

Clinical research shows that an extended layoff might lower protein synthesis response to an intake of protein or amino acids. Once you’ve quit using your muscles beyond the ability to perform basic daily activities, there’s resistance to anabolic processes.(1,2)

Therefore, it makes sense to do what you can in terms of physical activity. Any type of training may be out of the question, but if it isn’t, you can still perform an abbreviated workout. Let’s say you would typically follow an approach like Rich believed in: a couple of hours in the gym. If, for example, your situation is working a lot of overtime, you could still get in a quick, intense 30 or even 20-minute workout. 

What if you are recovering from surgery or injury? Then the most you could probably do would be isometric training. That means simply flexing your muscles for 20-30 seconds at a time. This was a popular trick Rich used when he was a personal trainer. He’d be working with a client and at the same time flexing and tensing his muscles. Isometrics make sense in this situation. If you can’t perform a regular workout, isometrics can help maintain strength and activate the muscles, helping to maintain size.(3)

Tips To Maintain Mass - Nutrition & 5% Supplements

Even if you are laid up for 6-8 weeks or longer, it’s crucial to maintain your protein intake, specifically, a leucine-heavy intake.(4,5) Therefore, you should still take your Shake Time and All Day You May every day. It might be wise to limit carbs. Why? Too many carbohydrates without corresponding activity to burn glycogen stores and you’ll gain fat. If you need a quality source of low glycemic, clean carbohydrates, go with Real Carbs + Protein


It’s one thing to go on a vacation or simply take a short layoff. In these cases, the amount of potential muscle loss is minimal. It’s something else to suddenly be thrust into massive OT, or have an unexpected injury or surgery. To avoid meaningful muscle loss, you need a plan. Follow the idea of performing whatever physical activity you can do (for example isometrics or a very brief workout). Also, maintain a high protein, high leucine, moderate carb diet. With these tips, you can minimize muscle loss and fat gain. Depend on 5% Nutrition to have the supplements you need to make it happen!


  1. Drummond, M. J., Dickinson, J. M., Fry, C. S., Walker, D. K., Gundermann, D. M., Reidy, P. T., Timmerman, K. L., Markofski, M. M., Paddon-Jones, D., Rasmussen, B. B., & Volpi, E. (2012). Bed rest impairs skeletal muscle amino acid transporter expression, mTORC1 signaling, and protein synthesis in response to essential amino acids in older adults. American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism, 302(9), E1113–E1122.
  2. Breen, L., Stokes, K. A., Churchward-Venne, T. A., Moore, D. R., Baker, S. K., Smith, K., Atherton, P. J., & Phillips, S. M. (2013). Two weeks of reduced activity decreases leg lean mass and induces "anabolic resistance" of myofibrillar protein synthesis in healthy elderly. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 98(6), 2604–2612.
  4. Galvan, E., Arentson-Lantz, E., Lamon, S., & Paddon-Jones, D. (2016). Protecting Skeletal Muscle with Protein and Amino Acid during Periods of Disuse. Nutrients, 8(7), 404.
  5. Paddon-Jones, D., Sheffield-Moore, M., Zhang, X. J., Volpi, E., Wolf, S. E., Aarsland, A., Ferrando, A. A., & Wolfe, R. R. (2004). Amino acid ingestion improves muscle protein synthesis in the young and elderly. American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism, 286(3), E321–E328.
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