It is hard for the physically active person to have a long break from training/exercising. There might be emotional as well as physical factors which don’t let us stay away from training for long.

There almost always comes a time when you have to take a break. It may be because you’re tired, injured, extra busy, sick, go on vacation or have some other life events happen that takes you away from your workout routine.

It was 29th September night when I was going to Delhi from Faridabad around 930 pm to stay at my friend’s place so that i can run THE SBI GREEN MARATHON on next day early morning. Midway on Mathura road, I got hit by a car who was overtaking me due to which I got skid and bike dropped on my leg and my lower leg bones broke down. Then I was rushed to a nearby 🏥 hospital by the person from whose car I got hit. Then doctors started the emergency first aid which later turned out to surgery in another few days.

Research says when you take a break from training for more > than 3 weeks you will gradually lose strength up-to 20-33%, muscle loss can be from 3-8%, endurance performance decreases from 4-25%, flexibility decreases by 7-30%.

The process is faster in untrained people as compared to those who were training regularly. Bed rest or immobilization also speeds up this process.

You can see the muscle atrophy(muscle loss) clearly in my right leg picture. After only 3 weeks of immobilization due to tibia fibula fracture.


A new study found that when a limb on one side of the body is immobilized, as in the case of my broken leg, it’s possible to preserve muscle strength and size to some extent by exercising the corresponding limb on the other side of the body. This is a phenomenon known as “cross-education,” which has been written about since at least 1894. Since then, a number of studies have backed up the existence of cross-education.

The type of training I am talking about is referred to as “unilateral training” (one-sided training)

Unilateral training studies have found measurable strength gains in untrained limbs and even the small deep muscles.

16 highly regulated studies revealed an average strength gain of about 7-11% in the untrained limb.  Although this was less than the trained limbed (which averaged 25-52%),

This seems far preferable to the alternative of not training…which cost a significant amount of loss in strength and muscle mass.

So, if you are recovering from an injury and have the option of training around then – do it!. Training one limb helps build strength in both.

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