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Old 04-27-2009, 03:52 PM   #1
Antun Karlovac
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Speed at which you "lose" strength

I just started my second cycle of CrossFit Strength Bias. Before that, the only strength-training (i.e. heavy squat, deadlift, press...) I've done was what got posted on the main page. This isn't a Strength Bias-specific question; it applies to strength training in general.

I completed my first 6-week cycle. My 5RM squat, front squat and press were: 235, 185, 110 respectively. My 3RM deadlift was 300.

Then I rested. First a 1/2 effort week. This included extra rest days, a couple of runs, a MetCon. Then I had to rest almost completely for another week (head injury). So essentially, I'd just finished 6 weeks of strength training, and had a decent rest.

This week I started my second cycle, and couldn't hit any of these loads. I managed:

Back Squat * 5: 230
Front squat * 5: 175
Shoulder press * 5: 105
Deadlift * 3: 295

So I'd "lost" 5-10 lbs in all of my lifts.

Since I'm quite new to strength training, I'm wondering if it's normal to lose 5-10lbs in a lift after only 1-2 weeks of rest? (Actually, only one complete week of rest).

Thanks,

Antun
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:57 PM   #2
Scott Allen Hanson
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Re: Speed at which you "lose" strength

Quote:
Originally Posted by Antun Karlovac View Post
I just started my second cycle of CrossFit Strength Bias. Before that, the only strength-training (i.e. heavy squat, deadlift, press...) I've done was what got posted on the main page. This isn't a Strength Bias-specific question; it applies to strength training in general.

I completed my first 6-week cycle. My 5RM squat, front squat and press were: 235, 185, 110 respectively. My 3RM deadlift was 300.

Then I rested. First a 1/2 effort week. This included extra rest days, a couple of runs, a MetCon. Then I had to rest almost completely for another week (head injury). So essentially, I'd just finished 6 weeks of strength training, and had a decent rest.

This week I started my second cycle, and couldn't hit any of these loads. I managed:

Back Squat * 5: 230
Front squat * 5: 175
Shoulder press * 5: 105
Deadlift * 3: 295

So I'd "lost" 5-10 lbs in all of my lifts.

Since I'm quite new to strength training, I'm wondering if it's normal to lose 5-10lbs in a lift after only 1-2 weeks of rest? (Actually, only one complete week of rest).

Thanks,

Antun
Antun,

I'm no expert, but I'd expect that much of your "loss" is due to your nervous system "forgetting" how to fire the muscle you built, especially given that you are relatively new to strength training. I suspect that it will return quite quickly to where you left off.
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:20 PM   #3
Jacob Cloud
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Re: Speed at which you "lose" strength

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Originally Posted by Antun Karlovac View Post

Since I'm quite new to strength training, I'm wondering if it's normal to lose 5-10lbs in a lift after only 1-2 weeks of rest? (Actually, only one complete week of rest).

Thanks,

Antun
Sounds about right. I've heard before, and can believe, that every missed workout puts you two workouts behind. Sorry to hear you had a head injury, but 5-10 pounds is nothing. Hit it hard and you'll bounce back in no time.

I will say, though, that typically, guys who train hard are right on the verge of overtraining, and a rest period like you described will often result in increased strength when they come back to the gym refreshed.
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:16 PM   #4
Steven Low
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Re: Speed at which you "lose" strength

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Originally Posted by Scott Allen Hanson View Post
Antun,

I'm no expert, but I'd expect that much of your "loss" is due to your nervous system "forgetting" how to fire the muscle you built, especially given that you are relatively new to strength training. I suspect that it will return quite quickly to where you left off.
This is correct.

You've lost some strength specific to those movements.
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:06 PM   #5
Antun Karlovac
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Re: Speed at which you "lose" strength

That sounds like a pretty good explanation. Does that mean that you get to a point where you don't "lose" strength like that?

It may sound silly to be worried about this, but I'm putting a lot of effort into this strength training. I'm not always going to stay on the strength bias program - my goal is to develop more strength and power, since that's my weak spot. Might switch back and forth between normal CF and the CFSB. But on the CF program, it could easily be a month between two heavy workouts of one of the basic movements - possibly 2 months between a 3RM day and a 5RM day. So if I lose 5-10 lbs in the first two weeks of non-strength training, then my concern is that after a month or two of the normal CF cycle, I could erase all the gains I'd made during strength training.

-Antun

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Allen Hanson View Post
Antun,

I'm no expert, but I'd expect that much of your "loss" is due to your nervous system "forgetting" how to fire the muscle you built, especially given that you are relatively new to strength training. I suspect that it will return quite quickly to where you left off.
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:34 PM   #6
Steven Low
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Re: Speed at which you "lose" strength

Motor pattern strength is fairly transient.... usually goes away in a week or two. Which is why if you're doing a program like grease the groove it is imperative to do strength cycle right after to solidify the gains.

But training CNS attributes (such as recruitment, synchronization, etc. -- by lifting heavy/explosive) all last a bit longer, but they do start to go away after a few weeks. Same thing with muscle mass.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:35 PM   #7
Kevin Sinclair
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Re: Speed at which you "lose" strength

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Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
But training CNS attributes (such as recruitment, synchronization, etc. -- by lifting heavy/explosive) all last a bit longer, but they do start to go away after a few weeks. Same thing with muscle mass.
How fast do we loose strength if unable to train and how easy is it to regain? I've sometimes been told that once a certain level of strength has been acheived it is easy to get back to it, say after six months of non training but of course the longer it is left the more loss there is. Is that true?
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:25 PM   #8
Zach Gates
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Re: Speed at which you "lose" strength

My bench is down about 50 pounds since I started Crossfitting.

Keep in mind I'm also dieting heavily, have lost 20 pounds, and do it six days a week. Still, fifty pounds.
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:38 PM   #9
Justin McGinley
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Re: Speed at which you "lose" strength

Weight loss almost always results in strength loss.

Zach, How are your deadlift, squat and press numbers doing? They all drop as well?
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:51 PM   #10
Zach Gates
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Re: Speed at which you "lose" strength

Not really sure. I've been training without a belt and until this I never did that much hardcore shoulder work (stupid on my part). The weird thing is my close-grip isn't too far down. It seems to be just my chest that doesn't know what it's doing any more.

Last Saturday, though, I threw on the belt and did some rack pulls from just under knee height and got 545x3 without TOO much trouble although it was definitely a max. That's a new one for me.
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