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Muscle Memory

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by knives_out, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. knives_out

    knives_out Blue Belt

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    Interesting new findings about Muscle Memory last indefinitely, throughout your life.
    No More Gym? Don't Worry, Your Muscles Remember : NPR

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    "Our findings suggest that there are permanent structural changes in the muscle," says Gundersen. "We don't know if they're really permanent, but they're very long-lasting in animals, at least."

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    Although the muscle might bounce back, Gundersen says its ability to develop memory does seem to weaken over time.

    "We know that to get these new nuclei, it's much easier when you are young," he said. "To me, that suggests that you should then train while you are still young and when it is still easy to recruit these nuclei, and you might benefit from that when you get older."

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    The only bad news from Gundersen's study might be for athletes who dope. Steroids also give you more muscle nuclei. "And if those are permanent," he says, "then the benefits that you have gotten from your cheating might also be permanent.
     
  2. turbozed

    turbozed Red Belt

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    The everlasting benefits of doping doesn't strike me as 'bad news' but rather another compelling reason to actually do it.
     
  3. mmacook

    mmacook Blue Belt

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    indeed!!

    Nice report TS, thanks for posting.
     
  4. speedtech

    speedtech White Belt

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    "And then, I guess, it's reasonable to suggest that exclusion time after [a] doping offense should be forever."

    So it would be bad news to professional athletes who dope and get caught, since permanent exclusion will end their career.

    Interesting information. I would like to read the entire study though.
     
  5. rckvl

    rckvl Blue Belt

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    I would like to know why they don't provide any citation.
     
  6. miaou

    miaou barely keeping it together

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    This is the abstract from that study. It's not yet been published.


    These findings make sense when compared to practical experience. Anyone who has rebounded after extensive muscle loss can attest to that it takes much longer to gain the muscle the first time around whereas if you lose it it's much easier to regain it.
     
  7. DrBdan

    DrBdan Something clever

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    Interesting study. It also makes sense if you think of muscle memory related to skill. Someone that gets good at something and then takes a long time off can "work off the rust" faster than someone new can learn the skill.
     
  8. miaou

    miaou barely keeping it together

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    Yes, that also makes sense.

    Sport "skill" is related to neural factors like reflexes, muscle coordination and motor patterns, and even changes in specific brain centers. When detraining, it makes sense that there would be some memory effect on these neural factors.

    My understanding is that this study talks about structural muscle properties that remain unchanged during detraining and make rebound hypertrophy gains easier.
     
  9. Ian Coe

    Ian Coe Silver Belt Professional Fighter

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    I would agree to this.

    I keep taking breaks and given it took me 3-4 years to get to a certain point in lifting, after 3 years break I got to about the same point (give for deadlifts by about 10-15kg and less for squats about about the same) after 4 months of two a weekers.


    That could also have been due to the me using a proper progressive progam in the form of 5/3/1, however that can't answer for that much that quickly.

    The problem also is that now I know I can get there so quickly, it's less of a challenge to keep on it.
     
  10. paolo27th

    paolo27th Black Belt

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    Very interesting. Would like to see the full study.
     
  11. miaou

    miaou barely keeping it together

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    Yes, it is pretty funny how this works.

    If you combine these two statements:

    ...then it actually follows that, by using steroids to give you more muscle nuclei, you might benefit from that when you get older. That would be particularly true for people who didn't train enough when they were still young.

    So, while that could be bad news for doping offenders in competitive sports (if that increases the exclusion periods), but it is actually good news for recreative steroid users.
     
  12. Ian Coe

    Ian Coe Silver Belt Professional Fighter

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    How's that?

    If they doped when young, say to early twenties during a heavy strength training regime before entering into their chosen sport and ceased, the doping agent would be long out of their system, but with the positive long term adaptions remaining.
     
  13. miaou

    miaou barely keeping it together

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  14. paolo27th

    paolo27th Black Belt

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    Oh thanks.
     
  15. miaou

    miaou barely keeping it together

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    I can see the point of view as "if the effects of steroids remain even many years after you have ceased using them, then if you are caught you should be banned for life".

    Of course this still means that anyone who is not caught could have very well been using them in his younger years and still get the same effects (but this wouldn't be possible to be proven since his system is now clean). But then this discussion would require an objective view on drugs based on actual scientific facts as well as common sense. So we know it's not going to happen.
     
  16. speedtech

    speedtech White Belt

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    I don't know nearly enough about common usage, the effects and the metabolism of anabolic steroids to comment on the feasability of the above. I was merely saying if a professional athlete did get caught; then under the guidelines proposed by this study, their career would be over. That's a pretty big deterrant right there, so coaches and athletes that do dope would see it as bad news. I don't think it is unreasonable to suggest that anabolic steroids provide other long-term adaptations (longer-term than the current exclusion period) too such as increased work capacity.
     
  17. joshetc

    joshetc butthole hurts from teh gay

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    Yes, but athletes could "sort of cheat" by doping while they are unknown and not tested
     
  18. Ian Coe

    Ian Coe Silver Belt Professional Fighter

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    ^^^^

    that was where I was coming from, but you communicated it better then I.

    Imagine me saying this in a posh english accent, because I do hear myself saying this as Hugh Grant;

    I do apologise, I didn't think of it like that.

    I was actually thinking of someone taking them for years before, as like youself, I don't know the metabolism rate of any, but I would doubt even the longest lasting would be out of your system within a year or two.


    I agree with your original post. The whole debate about length of exclusion will be tipped on its head because of these findings.

    On a side note- part of me was thinking of the little Hercules from a few years ago when I read this thread.
     
  19. pliftkl

    pliftkl Green Belt

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    I suspect that nobody will want to touch this, because the message it sends to athletes is "Doing steroids is good enough to give you a lifetime advantage, so do them when you are young before you are drug tested".
     
  20. turbozed

    turbozed Red Belt

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    This is still just one study but, if the finding stands up to repeated testing, I can imagine that some coaches/dads will run with it. If you can give your kid a lifetime advantage early on without worrying about getting caught later by testing committees, then why wouldn't you?

    They're already prescribing hormone replacement therapy to middle aged men with low testosterone. It's just another step to say that a teen has low testosterone compared to other teens his age and, therefore, he needs more. With all the pansy ass emo kids these days, this development might not even be such a bad thing.
     

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