Health

Want a Break from Weight Training for Vacation? How to Maintain your Strength & Weight Loss

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“I’m a woman over 50, how do I take a break from my regular workout routine for vacation without losing my progress?”

“Will I lose my strength and weight loss results if I take a weight training break over 50?”

“Will I lose my results if I don’t weight train for the entire summer?”

I get asked these questions every summer season!

I’m Alicia Jones from Alicia Jones Healthy Living. For over 16 years, I’ve helped transform the health and lives of women over 50 through fitness and weight loss strategies.

In this blog, we’ll go through EXACTLY what you can do to ensure you maintain your strength and weight loss results over 50. Even if you take a break from your regular weight training routine for vacation or other reasons!

It’s summertime outside right now, and maybe you don’t want to be stuck inside lifting weights. You might wonder if you can start to do AquaFit, walk, lift heavy planters or do other outdoor fitness activities instead. And can it take the place of your weight training?

Surely, there are ways that you can take your weight training OUTSIDE as well. But what if you go on vacation? You may start out having every intention of lifting weights and working really hard at it. That being said, maybe you can’t get to it when you arrive at your destination or rrreally don’t want to. And of course, the burning question on everyone’s mind is:

“Am I going to lose all of my strength and weight loss results if I take a weight training break over 50?”

Well, if that is a question that you are asking yourself right now or you know you’re going to be asking it in the future, stick around!

Because today I’ll let you in on the secret. I’ll tell you the exact amount of fitness and weight training you should do in order to stay strong, firm up and CONSISTENTLY lose weight and feel your best over 50.

In particular, we are talking about what consistency means in terms of weight training.

How many days a week do you really have to work out?

First off, if you are doing Zumba, AquaFit or you’re walking in the summer, that is FANTASTIC.

And even though that is a GREAT place to start, it is not enough to elicit shifts in lean muscle mass. So you do (as you probably already know) have to lift weights 2-3 times a week.

Lean muscle declines with age, especially during menopause. Another reason is that lean muscle is very metabolically active. And consistent weight training over 50 will rev up your metabolic rate. 

So the only way for you to replenish the lean muscle is to be consistent with weight lifting. Not only will it keep your lean muscle healthy, but it will also greatly enhance your quality of life.

What is not well-known about weight training and taking a weight training break over 50, is that the number of days you do weight training can vary.

I like to call this the 3-2-1 principle of weight training.

If you weight train 3 times a week, 2 times a week or 1 time a week throughout the years, then you are being consistent. Yet the change that you will see and feel in your body is very different, depending on the number of times a week you choose to do weight training. And naturally, eating well makes a great difference too (read my blog about the importance macronutrients here).

Weight Train 3 Times a Week for Maximum Results & Physiological Changes

When you weight train 3 times a week, you are maximizing your results. Not only anatomically by enhancing your lean muscle and firming up the lean muscle, but also physiologically. You’re literally balancing hormones and you’re boosting certain hormones that decline with age. When you weight train 3 times a week, you hit these physiological shifts.

One of those shifts, for example, is you boost testosterone levels. Testosterone levels decline with age, with a drastic drop during menopause and post-menopause. You need a higher level of testosterone in order to enhance lean muscle growth, which is in charge of boosting your metabolic rate. In other words, testosterone has a key role in making you strong. What’s more, testosterone also helps raise libido.

So this is just one of the physiological changes that you will start to see if you weight train 3 times a week.

Weight Train 2 Times a Week for Strength & Tone

Let’s face it, especially in the summertime when there are so many other activities going on, you might not want or be able to weight train 3 times a week. You might want to take a weight training break and enjoy your second half over 50 in other ways. That takes us to number 2.

With 2 days of weight training a week, you’re certainly making progress. You are enhancing your lean muscle growth, creating strength and working on your best quality of life. Although you’re not getting the same physiological depth or balance of hormones that you would get if you weight trained 3 times a week, 2 days is great! You’re reducing your risk of falls and other injuries. You’re still increasing tone and becoming stronger. And if that’s your main goal and this weight training works for you CONSISTENTLY, then stick with 2 times a week.

Weight Train 1 Time a Week to Maintain Strength & Weight Loss Results!

So what about just once a week? Well, let’s say you’re going on vacation and you’re having a great time. You have ALL the good intentions in the world of doing weight training workouts on your break. You know that it’s really important for women over 50. But despite all of this, you don’t get to it.

I’m here to tell you: there’s no need to feel guilty whatsoever!

When you come back at the end of your week away, do 1 weight training workout. Doing one weight training workout statistically shows us that you can maintain the amount of lean muscle that you have worked so hard to get. What that means is that even if you take the entire rest of the week off, you are holding on to all of the benefits of your previous weight training. And if you’re really feeling out of shape after your holiday, then go ahead and give these exercises a try.

So what is the rule for taking a weight training break over 50?

We’re talking about 3-2-1:

  • Maximize results at 3 times a week, even physiologically.
  • Get stronger and better quality of life at 2 times a week, while toning your body.
  • Maintain all of your amazing results with 1 time a week, you will not lose your strength & weight loss progress.

I’d also like to point out that you can cycle your weight training workout schedule between these different numbers of days as well.

That means that sometimes you’re doing 3 days a week, sometimes you’re doing 2 and once in a while, you’re doing only 1 day of weight training in a week. Cycling yourself like this is actually an advanced training principle that reduces your risk of overuse injuries. Not to mention, it allows your joints to heal.

I’m not saying you should stay at 1 day a week all the time. For the best long-term results, you need to do 2-3 times a week of weight training MOST weeks.

However, if there are periods where you know you’re planning on doing other alternate exercises, you’re actually cross-training. This allows your body to adapt to different movement patterns and allows your body to heal between workouts.

In short, do you not want to lose the lean mass that you have worked so hard to get?

Just remember to get your weight training in at least ONE DAY A WEEK.

If you’re taking a little bit of time off from weight training right now, but you know that you want to get into it again. Especially once September hits, you know the schedule is going to start up again…

If you need a fitness & weight loss plan specifically designed for you and the over-50 body,
then click here to join the waitlist for Over Fifty Fit & Fabulous!

Link to waitlist sign up for program Overy Fifty Fit & Fabulous

Over Fifty Fit & Fabulous is the only program of its kind that helps you create maximum fat loss, increased strength and optimal health in your 50s, 60s, 70s & beyond.

We do this without restriction. I teach you how to do this in a way that fits you, your hormones and your lifestyle.
I hope to see you there!

Doors are opening soon! Join the waitlist here.

For motivation and support, join the Get Back to Fit Over 50 Facebook group and post your success for a chance to win two 1-1 online VIP coaching sessions with me!

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Celebrating our best lives at fifty and beyond! 50ismorefun brings you motivational news and stories centered around life, fitness, fashion, money, travel and health for active folks enjoying the second half of lives.