How silly would it be to wash and polish your Ferrari every morning but never drive it? Sounds ridiculous but many people do the equivent with their bodies! Many people go to the gym an hour a day, three to five days a week but are afraid to go play soccer, go for a nice long bike ride, or do a week of backpacking for fear of losing muscle – ask yourself, what are those muscles for if you never use them outside them gym? As I say on my philosophy page, I believe that bodybuilding is an important part of a healthy lifestyle but its not an end in itself!
I have said this many times but I will say it again, cardio does not burn muscle, bad nutrition does! Unless you are a serious marathon runner your cardio will not burn muscle – our bodies were designed to handle massive abounts of exercise. Reducing your caloric intake more than 20% in an effort to cut fat quickly is the usual culprit in muscle loss.
As far as losing muscle while on vacation, nope. A week off one or twice a year will only help you by letting your body recover. This is even more important with powerlifting type workouts than it is with bodybuilding type workouts. As far as extended trips of more than a week in length, its easy to incorporate in maintenance workouts! For example, I often do cycling trips of two weeks or more – legs are not an issue as they get pounded every day. On a trip like this, all that is required to maintain upper body strength is two or three pushup/pullup workouts a week – thats it, just 1.5 to 3.0 hours a week to maintain strength and mass in the upper body.
So please dont let your fear of losing muscle keep you from enjoying a vacation or keep you from enjoying a favorite sport! Use them muscles!!!
Im doing a pushup/pullup workout right now!