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UnfinishedBusiness
10-16-2009, 04:15 PM
Is muscle memory a real phenomenon, or is it BS?

By this I mean the concept of muscle size growing to previous levels easier/faster than the initial effort/time required to build them?

homonunculus
10-16-2009, 04:29 PM
Someone asked me this on another board a few weeks ago. This was my response:

-----------

Few thoughts:

-Motor learning: Once you've learned how to train hard / activate muscle to best stimulate growth, etc. there is a learning effect that allows you to do this more effectively the next time.

-Program design: When you come back at it, you've worked out the kinks (or YEARS of inefficient training) and start with a smarter, more effective training program.

-Behavioral: You know what it takes in terms of food, rest, recovery techniques (when to not training, take a break), etc.

-Epigenetics. Environmental exposure / historical activity of cells leaves molecular mechanisms intact that are longstanding and survive cell division, but are separate from DNA. (Run a google. For instance, studies of identical twins where one twin gets cancer finds that these epigenetic changes (multiple mechanisms), explain why one twin's genes are turned on in a way that ends up in cancer, whereas the other twin does not, despite having identical DNA.)
Basically epigenetic control of cell behaviour is that that is not strictly coded in your DNA (not due to mutation) but can change during your lifetime d/t lifestyle, and, I would presume, your training history. This is my hypothesis / guess, as epigenetics seems to be a mechanism of adaptation, that it could be involved in what really is kind of muscle memory such that the muscle cells more readily adapt to the training stimulus.

-Psychological perception of the person. (Seeing what they want to believe.) This includes Bro talk: "Dude, you're getting HYOOGE again!" LOL

-Scott

ironwarrior22
10-16-2009, 07:41 PM
Someone asked me this on another board a few weeks ago. This was my response:

-----------

Few thoughts:

-Motor learning: Once you've learned how to train hard / activate muscle to best stimulate growth, etc. there is a learning effect that allows you to do this more effectively the next time.

-Program design: When you come back at it, you've worked out the kinks (or YEARS of inefficient training) and start with a smarter, more effective training program.

-Behavioral: You know what it takes in terms of food, rest, recovery techniques (when to not training, take a break), etc.

-Epigenetics. Environmental exposure / historical activity of cells leaves molecular mechanisms intact that are longstanding and survive cell division, but are separate from DNA. (Run a google. For instance, studies of identical twins where one twin gets cancer finds that these epigenetic changes (multiple mechanisms), explain why one twin's genes are turned on in a way that ends up in cancer, whereas the other twin does not, despite having identical DNA.)
Basically epigenetic control of cell behaviour is that that is not strictly coded in your DNA (not due to mutation) but can change during your lifetime d/t lifestyle, and, I would presume, your training history. This is my hypothesis / guess, as epigenetics seems to be a mechanism of adaptation, that it could be involved in what really is kind of muscle memory such that the muscle cells more readily adapt to the training stimulus.

-Psychological perception of the person. (Seeing what they want to believe.) This includes Bro talk: "Dude, you're getting HYOOGE again!" LOL

-Scott
Excellent answer!
I have also heard that after training for a while you stretch the myo facial tissue surrounding your muscles and when you come back to training after a lay off it is much easier for the muscle to grow because the myo facial tissue does not shrink as the muscles do, so growth occurs much quicker until you reach the size of the myo facial tissue.

saiyajinali
10-17-2009, 01:10 PM
I have experienced the muscle memory personally over the years. I think that once you build real muscle cells you never lose them. They may shrink from not training & nutrition, but they are yours. I also have experienced this while competing. I think that when you use AAS your muscle cells hold more volume as opposed to competing clean.

I see competitors that make huge jumps in muscle mass from one year to the next because they were not using gear before, or very little. They get on gear & BAM, they blow up. I think some muscle hyperplasia takes place, but most jumps in gains are from intramuscular water that AAS causes. This is also the reason that when one throws GH in the mix they can be bigger & leaner. The GH also has a muscle volume effect. I am not a scientist or have a degree in any sciences in this, just my experience over my 23 years of training.
I have a firm belief that this is the phenomenon that Kevin Levrone is a poster child of. He still has the muscle that he did back when he was at his peak years ago.

B7emm
10-17-2009, 01:17 PM
Colorado Experiment

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The Colorado Experiment was a bodybuilding experiment run by Arthur Jones (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Jones_(inventor)) using Nautilus equipment at the Colorado State University in May 1973[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_Experiment#cite_note-0).
It is of interest due to its claims that incredible results can be achieved with a small number of sessions using single sets of high intensity repetitions to momentary muscle failure focusing on negative or lowering multi-joint exercises. The first subject, Casey Viator, was said to have gained 63 pounds of muscle in 28 days and the second, Arthur Jones, gained 15 pounds in 22 days.
These claims are considered controversial because it was only performed with two subjects who were not "average" but regaining pre-existing muscle mass, [2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_Experiment#cite_note-1)
The results of the experiment do not appear to have been repeated in a scientific study.

Northman
10-17-2009, 01:19 PM
Yep, I totally believe this as well, I did bbing for 3 years with no time wasted on diets.

Quit for 2 years, at the end of that 2 years I did boot camp and lost even more.

My LBM was measured at 167 when I got out of boot.

Today, 2 and half years later bbing again my lbm measures at 195. Muscle Memory.

ob205
10-19-2009, 11:29 AM
Yes, I think muscle memory is fact, as many have reported and experienced. As for the Colorado experiment, impressive as the results are, I feel they were tainted by the fact that Viator had not trainer or taken AAS for a few months prior to it. Great testament to the muscle memory and anabolic theories!

TheTransformator
10-19-2009, 11:40 AM
I think muscle memory is more linked to the fact that you actually know what works for your body and what not...something which is creaed due to the course of time...by trial and error...

bodyhard
10-21-2009, 03:51 PM
IMO muscle memory exist, after my accident (which caused me to lose over 40lbs of LBM) after I started training again my muscle starting coming back at a fast rate. So much so that some people question if I was on something.

Colossal
10-22-2009, 12:54 PM
I'm not aware of any prospective controlled studies on "muscle memory"; or even a direct observational study, but this phenomenon has long been reported by gym rats and bodybuilders.

The Colorado study is very interesting indeed...although the methodology was weak in my opinion. There were two subjects, no controls, and nothing to mitigate confounding variables such as diet, supplementation (if any), and AAS use. I am also going to call bullshit on Casey Viator's 63 lb lean bodyweight gain---I would bet much of that was transient hypertrophy in the form of fluid affluence.

The question is, if this type of Nautilus training was so effective, what happened to Nautilus??? I have been to maybe 1 or 2 gyms in my life that had a Nautilus machines. These days someone in the strength community would get blasted for even mentioning Nautilus. They're artifacts. Even if they truly were effective, they have been lost in the ebb and flow of training dogma.

Regarding "muscle Memory", my theory is that it is an adaptive mechanism, like the epigenetic phenomenon. The body naturally will revert to a more efficient metabolic state when untrained, but from a biological perspective it makes sense that a previous level of development could be attained relatively quickly if environmental stimuli demanded it. As far as the actual mechanisms of this phenomenon, I have no idea. I would guess it has to do with transcriptional factors at the myofiber level.

Chi-town1984
10-23-2009, 11:38 AM
IMO muscle memory exist, after my accident (which caused me to lose over 40lbs of LBM) after I started training again my muscle starting coming back at a fast rate. So much so that some people question if I was on something. Yup. I know exactly wut your saying. Thats why i love muscle memory, ESPECIALLY when you start training again at a new gym. You know how it is when youve been training at the same gym for years.....you see the same old faces, then when someone new comes along, "the regulars" of the gym start talking about ya, "hey ya see that new guy in here".....then after 4-5 months of training they come up to you and ask wut your taking and think your a newbie who starting juicing from the start, " You look at them and smile and say "two words.....MUSCLE MEMORY".

BLUEBARON75
10-23-2009, 11:04 PM
your right, everyone has something different that works for them. ive been putting on size pretty quick because of the maturation of my muscle. stretching after exersizes really helps tear the tissue more :)


I think muscle memory is more linked to the fact that you actually know what works for your body and what not...something which is creaed due to the course of time...by trial and error...