Muscle Memory for Growth: Myth?3/13/18
Memory is an awesome thing. If it was not for memory, relearning things would be the norm for everyone. Memory enables people to do just do without really thinking. Memory enables people to remember their name, dial a phone number, recite a poem, or even play a song. Memory enables the body to overrun the mind and take over.
When we think of training and weightlifting, some people have talked about muscle memory. The mindset with this is more so in ability and function. So maybe you have not skated in a while. The theory and idea are that even though you may be rusty at first, your body will remember what it needs to do and just do it.
But what about muscle memory when it comes to growth? Can the muscles remember what it is like to be bigger? New studies are suggesting this is the case.
Our DNA is our identity. It is the core of our being and our physical makeup. The ability to put on muscle is a genetic situation (our genes are made up of DNA). You have seen it before, people that just look at a weight can grow. Then there are folks who struggle. Even though genetics play a role in this, one should not throw in the towel to achieving muscle growth, but that is a whole other topic.
When it comes to growth, there has been a discovery that muscle memory happens on a DNA level. Studies show that when a person is done exercising and the muscle grows, the DNA is chemically tagged as a reminder of that growth. This is referred to as an epigenetic change. Basically, the DNA strand structurally is not changed, but the genes are told when to be active and inactive.
To make this a little bit more comprehensive, take a bodybuilder who has been retired for a decade or so. In their prime, they were monsters. They trained hard and ate right. After they retired, the intensity of training went way down or maybe halted altogether. The eating is not as strict and clean. They can still look muscular, but nothing like they once did.
Now let us say the bodybuilder comes out of retirement. He goes back to the same eating regiment and training intensity picks back up. The idea of muscle memory and growth happening on a DNA level will suggest that this individual has chemical tags in his DNA that will remind the muscle to grow quicker than someone else who lacks these tags. I am sure some of you have seen these older bodybuilders coming out of retirement as of late and putting on amazing size very quickly.
Muscle memory for growth on a DNA level does not seem so far-fetched now, does it?
So, if you were once a beast in the gym and have taken a break, this article is not saying you will be what you once were. This article is stating the claim that you have an advantage over others when it comes to putting on size quicker because of your lifting past.
So, get back to the gym and put it to the test.