Not going to the gym once in a while may be alright because there are times when the body needs to rest and recover but neglecting the gym for more than a week may not be a good idea because this could throw out a person's fitness level into rewind.

Experts said that there's no need to stress if it is only a week of break from the gym because whatever a person's workout history, it will take over seven days for the body to soften. Skipping the gym for two weeks, however, may have unwanted consequences.

A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology shows that easing up on workouts for two weeks could lead to significant reduction in cardiovascular fitness, insulin sensitivity and lean muscle mass. It will also take at least two months for a person to witness complete losses of fitness gains.

James Ting, a sports medicine physician from the Hoag Orthopedic Institute in California, said that the general rule is that the fitter a person is, the longer it will take his muscles to turn to flab. A person's physique does not also like to change so it constantly tries to achieve homeostasis. This means that the fitter a person is, the more time it will take for his body to know that it no longer needs to build muscle.

Marta Montenegro, an exercise physiologist and trainer, also said that the body reacts differently on whether or not a person skips endurance exercise or strength training. The reason for this is because the muscles both have type I (slow-twitch) muscle fibers, which contribute to endurance performance, and the more powerful type II (fast-twitch) muscle fibers, which help power high intensity exercise with their fast-switch capabilities.

Experts likewise said that jumping back into workout would also depend on how long a person has taken off and it would be a good idea to ease into shaping up. Individuals who have taken a break for over a couple of weeks may notice the differences and those who have taken a break for a month or more should opt for the less intense version of their regular workout.

Certified strength and conditioning specialist Brad Schoenfeld said that one thing to remember is back off a little during the first week.

"Choose a weight where you will be able to stop several reps short of failure on your sets," Schoenfeld said. "The following week you should be able to train at your previous level, assuming the reason for stopping wasn't an illness or injury." 

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