Training

Is It Okay To Skip The Gym? | A Blueprint On What To Do

May 21st 2020

Skipping the gym may not be the end of the world if it is only a month but you do need to ask yourself important questions...

If you committed to starting working out, you will find that life will still find ways to get in your way.

Whether it may be due to illness, work, or personal relationships, there will be times when going to the gym must be put on the back burner and as you will find out from this article, it’s ok!

It is perfectly fine to miss a gym session once in a while.

But when you start missing gym sessions consistently, that is when you have a problem.

If you are constantly skipping gym sessions, you will make minimal to no progress towards your long-term fitness goals.

This sacrifice might be worth it if your job is on the line.

But if what you are skipping the gym for something that is not a high priority (such as skipping the gym because you are tired and just want to play video games), then you need to reevaluate your goals and whether or not you want to achieve them.

And, even if you are skipping the gym for something that is of high priority, is there something else you can do with your schedule to decrease the chances of skipping the gym in the future?

In today’s article, we will discuss all of these topics on what skipping the gym will do for your body, some time-management advice, as well as advice on what to do if you actually don’t have enough time.

Skip Gym Meme Picture

And for those of you who want to meme about skipping the gym, this is not a laughing matter.

You want results and this article should clarify certain stumbling blocks and questions you have about skipping the gym.

It should get you back on track.

So how bad is skipping the gym really?

When speaking in a broader context, skipping a gym session will not hurt you much if at all.

Skipping a session will not cause your muscles to start breaking down, it won’t make you weaker, all the negatives people say about skipping a gym session are unfounded.

But what does have an impact on your long-term progress is if you are skipping the gym consistently.

When you are constantly skipping the gym, you are not giving your body the stimulus it needs to grow.

You will find yourself losing size and strength.

And this might be fine if you are content with your size and want more time to pursue other activities.

But if you are looking to get bigger and stronger, then you need to find ways to try and prevent outside circumstances from interfering with your gym time.

Later on, we will discuss some of the time-management tips you can use to help balance your gym time with your work and personal time.

Gym skip leg day

This is especially true for leg workouts, which is often the first thing lifters skip when thinking about not going to the gym.

Don’t be that guy and get your life back on track.

Often, what comes most difficult and has the most resistance will be where you learn and develop the most.

Just make sure you are not making any of these embarrassing gym mistakes though...

Skip gym when tired

If you are debating on whether or not to skip the gym when you are tired, this will depend solely on your priorities. 

Usually, people who ask this question want the results from working out without working hard.

You treat your workouts casually but want all the success from not doing anything.

This will hurt your mentality in the long run while your physical shape remains stagnant.

But let us go into some solutions to this dilemma:

Realize your priorities

How seriously do you want to take going to the gym?

If you are a recreational lifter, your results will follow your attitude.

Early morning workouts

You might want to dive deeper into when is the best time to work out.

People who are tired tend to work out in the evenings after their day job.

They dedicate their effort, intensity, and focus on their job first while their training takes a backseat.

One way to alleviate this issue is to workout out before you go to your job.

This way, the first thing you do will have the highest focus and attention it deserves.

You may need to wake up earlier, so this means that you need to sleep earlier to accommodate. 

But you might ask why?

Here is one example of greatness...

If Arnold Schwarzenegger and his crew worked out early in the morning to win all those titles, it speaks volumes about the effectiveness.

How long will I keep my gains without working out?

You can keep your gains for up to 2 weeks before neuromuscular changes start occurring.

The first thing that occurs when you stop exercising is your nervous system becomes less adapted to recruiting your muscle fibers.

This will result in decreased strength but no changes in size.

It is when you have skipped the gym for a month when the size of your actual muscle starts to decrease as it is broken down because it is not receiving enough of a stimulus to grow.

Because of these facts, you will want to minimize as much time away from the gym as possible if your goal is to get bigger or stronger.

Coming back and working out

On the bright side, working out results in permanent changes in your muscles that when you start working out again, will cause them to grow much faster.

Think about it this way, when your muscle grows bigger, structural changes occur which results in the growth of more sarcoplasmic reticulum in the muscle.

This change is permanent and stays even when you stop exercising and the muscle decreases in size.

When you start working out again, because you already have these structures, you will be able to regain the strength and size that you previously had much more quickly.

So, if you must skip going to the gym for a long period, don’t be distraught.

Understand that you will get to your previous level very quickly.

Steps you can take to avoid skipping the gym or mitigate its effects

Make time for the gym

People have this misconception that they don’t have enough time to go to the gym.

In reality, you must MAKE the time to go to the gym.

If one of your top goals is to develop your physique or to achieve a certain weight, then you should make going to the gym one of your top priorities.

By doing so, you will shift your schedule and sacrifice other things that are not a high priority to GET the time you need to work out.

This is a mindset shift. Time is limited so things MUST be sacrificed whether it be work time or free time.

Choose a workout program more suitable for your schedule

If making time for the gym isn’t an option, and you find yourself consistently skipping the gym week by week, then you may want to look at a program that is more suitable to fit your schedule.

If you are currently following a 5-day program but find yourself always missing the one day that just so happens to be leg day, then hop onto a 4-day program.

That way you won’t have to worry about missing workouts and messing up your entire program.

The difference between a 5-day, 4-day, and 3-day program is minimal.

Though a 5-day program will get you the best results as it maximizes the amount of volume you lift (putting more time into something will get results quicker, we all know this), that doesn’t mean 4-day or 3-day programs are useless.

4-day and 3-day programs can still be great for making long-term progress to help you achieve your goals.

4-day and 3-day programs are designed to fit everything into each session. 

Though there will be some body parts you miss, you will still be able to hit the main muscles important for a well-developed physique.

Another option is to simply decrease your workout time.

If you find yourself working out for 2 hours, you can finish faster by super setting, decreasing your rest time, or the worst-case scenario, cut out some exercises.

Get some done is better than getting nothing done at all.

Look for alternative ways to work out or stay in shape

Another step you can take is by looking at alternative ways to work out whether it may be performing bodyweight exercises which you can easily do at home or alternative ways to stay in shape such as optimizing your diet so that you at the very least aren’t gaining weight.

You’ll be surprised how much of a workout you can get simply at home with little to no equipment.

Doing these exercises are a lot better than nothing as they can still give you a stimulus to build muscle.

Bodyweight exercises are very time-saving as you don’t have to spend time driving to and back from the gym, and you don’t have to conform to the gyms hours, you can simply perform them when you wake up before you go to bed, or any time that is most suitable for you.

Alternatively, you can also look into building your own home gym.

With a small investment upfront, you can buy the equipment you need to stay in shape simply from your own home.

Building a home gym doesn’t have to be expensive.

You’ll be surprised how many different exercises you can do with dumbbells and a workout bench.

Summary

Skipping the gym isn’t all that bad as long as you aren’t constantly skipping the gym.

Skipping the gym once in a while or even for a short time won’t give you any detrimental effects in the long run. 

You can quickly bounce back to your previous level as long as you train hard and consistently right after.

If you find yourself consistently skipping the gym, you may want to reevaluate your time-management skills, your workout program, and on ways, you can still maintain your physique if you have no other option.


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