What Happens When You Don't Workout For Weeks - Brittany Lesser

What Happens When You Don’t Workout For Weeks

February 10, 2015

Two weeks. That’s how long it’s been since I’ve stepped foot in the gym to workout.



Throwback to quad pump.

For someone who is active, a personal trainer, a bikini competitor, and genuinely LOVES to workout, that is a quite a long break. I have been completely sedentary this entire time. No cardio, no lifting, nothing. Maybe small walks here and there outside, but not really. I think I only walked one day and it was for like 15 minutes. Aside from that, it’s been just living my life and doing my day-to-day activities.

Am I alive? Yes.

Has it been easier than I thought it would be? Yes.

Have I actually enjoyed the break? Yes.

Do I miss the lifting? Yes.

Do I miss cardio? No.

Did I lose all my muscle? No.

Did I gain a million pounds? No.

Have I restricted my calories and barely eaten anything because I can’t workout? No.

Have I felt negatively about myself? Yes and no.

Lets talk about the last one real quick, since it deserves some sort of explanation. I have felt negatively about myself because I’ve just felt LAZY. The first week was fine since I was recovering from surgery, but since I started feeling better I just felt like a slug. I LOVE to move and I love endorphins, so I’m definitely feeling the effects of not getting that workout high. I’ve been sitting on my bootay instead of squatting it. I miss feeling sore and that pump.

However, when I look at my body, I am happy and content with what I see. I’m a little bit softer, I have a little bit of cellulite on my legs, my arms aren’t as defined, I don’t have abs, etc. but that doesn’t define me. I look healthy and I still look great in my opinion for not working out and eating whatever I want.

So many people get so anxious to take time off from the gym. I already took 1-3 rest days per week when I was working out, but I haven’t taken more than a week off from the gym completely in who knows how long. I thought I would go absolutely insane, but honestly, it has been nice. I really needed the break. I was actually cleared to do light cardio tomorrow, but I’m debating even skipping it and giving myself more time off. I can’t lift for about another month, so I have a ways to go until then.

I’m still eating the same amount of calories, maybe a little less, but barely less. I’ve been listening to my body – some days I’m hungrier and I eat more, some days I’m not and I eat less. That’s living life.

I’ve gone out for froyo, out to dinner multiple times, not tracked macros, and not exercised at all. I’m FINE. I’m still fit, and still healthy.

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It just shows you that our bodies are amazing machines. They adapt to whatever we are doing, and they help us LIVE, which is why it’s important to take care of them. You don’t need to exercise excessively to be fit and healthy and you also don’t need to restrict your calories to be fit and healthy. 

Rest is a good thing, and I think everyone should take a couple weeks off and give their bodies and minds a break once in a while. Who knows, maybe I’ll take the entire month off and do a little experiment. Bottom line is, nothing bad will happen from skipping the gym, even for multiple weeks in a row. I promise.


Have you ever taken a couple weeks off from the gym?

How did you handle it?




    1. Hi Brittany! Of course you still look great! You had a strong foundation which will stay with you for a long time. All that hard work stays in your system, I’m sure. As someone who also workouts in fitness, I too have to take time off every once in a while. I take a week off about twice a year, usually around the holidays or vacation. And when I get back to the gym, my body feels great. Breaks are good. But I do miss group fitness when I’m away for too long. Nonetheless, thanks for this realistic post. Good stuff!

    1. Needed to hear (read?) this right now. I am dealing with an unknown injury and it looks like I’ll be on the rest train for the next little while…AGAIN. Sometimes it’s so necessary to get reminders like this….our bodies don’t change overnight and a little time away from working out is small beans in the grand scheme of life. You are such an inspiration Brittany! Thanks for being so open and honest as always…and for being REAL.

      1. Ahhh I’m sorry girl. No fun 🙁 definitely rest up!!! the more rest you get, the faster you’ll heal. feel better <3

    1. You still look great! You are fortunate that you have a great base of muscle and adapted well to the time off. The last time I took a full week off fro the gym may have been when I was sick and like anything else you just get back to it and work hard when you are ready. Thanks for being so honest and real. 🙂

    1. LOVE this and love you. Of course you still look amazing– I never doubted that you would. All of the hard work you put in over the past few years has transformed your body into a healthy machine that can adapt to anything. Plus, like you said, sometimes breaks are the most amazing thing for us…physically and mentally.

      So proud of you & can’t wait to see your pretty face in cali! xo

    1. Lovely post! Agree with everything you said…as always!
      And if you feel crazy with 2 weeks, I have not been allowed to work out for going on 16 weeks now. Thankfully, I just got permission for 5 minute walks. Who knew a broken ankle would take SOOOO long!!! Haha, I’ve been driving myself nuts;)

    1. Loved to hear this!!! For me rest is not rest as such because our bodies are still working. They are adapting and learning to the new situation, of course it is a different work but they are never resting. I am so happy to hear that you are enjoying this time of recovery and hell yeah you are still healthy!! 😉

    1. I needed to hear this right now, especially from a competitor like you! 🙂 I am too much of a wimp to take THAT much time off of the gym, but I feel like maybe I will in the future because I could use it and focus on other studies as a priority then head back into it.

      But I’m still too much of a whimp right now.

    1. 100% yes to all of this. I have taken several weeks off (here and there) over the last few years and guess what? I’M STILL ALIVE!! It’s kind of nice to do it sometimes, even if you don’t “need” to. It brings back a spark in you when you do get back to exercising. Enjoy the time off, girl!

    1. I love this so much. I have tried to take extended time off from the gym, but truth is I just feel so much better when I work out regularly. When I need rest though I take it–balance and moderation are always key to healthy happiness.

      1. So do I! But I also feel even better after taking time off 🙂

    1. Like they say – you didn’t build it overnight and you certainly won’t lose it overnight. Try to enjoy the time off, and then come back and kill it! My boyfriend just took 4 months off due to an injury, and looks as good as ever 🙂

    1. I love this Brittany!! I take 1-2 planned restweeks a year. I extremely enjoy them and always come back so much stronger and motivated. And no, I never gained a million pounds 🙂

    1. Had my 4th csection last April and was cleared for exercise after 6 weeks, but when you have 4 kids and the youngest one doesn’t want to sleep (even at 10 months old…), you realize that sleep trumps everything. I didn’t do anything but short walks here and there until just a few weeks ago. It feels like it’s been YEARS since I have done anything, but waiting until I was completely ready to come back is making everything a lot easier than I thought it would be.

    1. Why exactly did you decide to give yourself this break??
      I am actually going through something this Thursday that is going to make me scale back HARD CORE from my exercise regime for 4 – 6 weeks and while I am not freaking out about it at all right now… I have a feeling I am going to go stir crazy after the first 3 – 5 days! Yipes! But your post made me a bit more confident about it!

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