How long can you take off from cycle training?

How long can you take off from cycle training?

On this edition of the Ask Coach Parry Cycling podcast we chat about getting back into cycling training when you have had a lay off period.  We find out from our cycling coach Devlin Eyden, how long one can go without training before it becomes detrimental to your muscles and capacity to resume cycle training.  We find out about total loss of fitness and how rapidly you lose error of incapacity where your muscle strength will decline.

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David Katz:          Welcome to the latest edition of the Ask Coach Parry Cycling podcast, we’ve got Devlin Eyden with us once again, I’m Mr Active, David Katz and straight into today’s question and Devlin, we want to know how long can you stop before it starts to be detrimental to your muscles and thus your ability to resume after that break?

Don't lose the gains you have made in cycle training

Devlin Eyden:      Obviously stopping training, the longer you lay off, the harder it is for you to get back up to a particular point to where you left off, for instance. Keeping in mind, the whole idea of training, you’re making gains as you go along, so for you now to lose those gains, we start looking at anything from as little as up to two weeks, you start losing those gains made already.

Obviously the longer, the more you tend to lose the gains and when I talk about the gains that are made, we’re referring to things like your heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently around the body, your muscles capacity to process oxygen, obviously needing oxygen to function and your bodies enhanced ability to use carbohydrates as a fuel source.

Anything as little as up to two weeks and again, depending on, are we talking layoff as complete rest. So doing absolutely nothing or just completely laying off and doing a little bit of light recovery work. Then it’s also going to have an effect on the rate of in training, what we call re-training.

Be cautious not to let muscle strength decline as a cyclist

When we start referring to total loss of fitness, we start looking at anything, and it is quite individual, but anything between 2-8 months where we could see almost a full loss of your cardiovascular fitness. And then also, I think in general, it’s also important to note that you’ll lose error of incapacity a lot more rapidly than what you would your muscle strength will decline. It is something that we tend to see happen quite quickly and you’ll feel it if you’ve laid off the bike for a little while, you just feel that it’s really difficult to get going.

If it hasn’t been that long, it is quite easy to pick it up again, it’s just usually a longer period that we start finding that the muscle strength efficiency, well, not efficiencies but declines and then obviously like I mentioned 2-8 months where we start feeling almost an entire loss of where your cardiovascular [inaudible].

DK:         Devlin, thank you very much for a fantastic answer here on the Ask Coach Parry Cycling podcast.

If you want some one on one time with Devlin, all you need to do is join our really engaged group, sign up for the online community and to do so, go to for exclusive members-only video content, video coaching and access to the private Facebook group.

From Devlin Eyden and myself, Mr Active, David Katz, we’ll catch up with you again on the next edition.

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