What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Working Out for 90 Days

For many gym devotees, a workout routine is just that—routine. Take away that predictable exercise schedule, and more than just your body can change. It may even impact your mental state. For Hudson White of Buff Dudes, a fitness YouTube channel with more than two million subscribers, an 8-foot fall lead to a break in his gym routine for a staggering 90 days.

After three months of recovery from a three-part ankle fracture and dislocation, he was cleared to begin light workouts. So what happens when you quit the gym for 90 days?

“I found out, it kind of sucks,” White writes in the video’s caption. In the viral video, Hudson White goes on to recount how he noticed his cardiovascular system weaken and his overall strength lower throughout the 90 days. But he says those setbacks were minimal compared to the doubts that would creep in, including questions of if he would ever recover from the injury or return to the gym with the same vigor.

“The physical aspect of going through this can be pretty hard,” White says, “but the mental one can actually be a lot worse.”

But White says overcoming those doubts has lead him to greater determination to reach — and even surpass—his fitness level pre-injury. For now, however, he is not going back to the same gym routine as before the injury. He is taking things easy, per instructions and consultation with both a doctor and physical therapist.

In his new routine, White does cardio in a pool to help put minimal weight on his foot, followed by light mobility exercises. For his upper body workout, White is able to go a little harder with bodyweight exercises and weight training. The “buff dude” also says his right leg—the one impacted by the injury—is now much smaller than his left due to muscle atrophy. It’s a common problem many experience post-injury, and White says has plans to work on the muscle imbalance as his road to recovery continues.

“Coming back from an injury, it’s very tempting to want to get back to where you were before.” White says in the video. “But I have to keep reminding myself to take it easy…The road is just beginning.”

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