If you’ve spent time lifting weights or playing sports, taken a break for a bit for a few months (or years), and then started up again, you’ve probably noticed that you seemed to regain strength and size in your muscle growth much quicker than the first time around. If you have noticed this for yourself the acceleration you are undergoing in your muscle progress is a scientifically proven phenomenon usually referred to as “muscle memory”.
Muscle cells are large and one of the very few multinuclear cells in our bodies and they don’t contain just one nucleus but lots. As you work your muscles with training, new “nuclei” are added to the muscle cells, which then allows them to grow larger in size. In fact, the number of nuclei within the muscle fibres is one of the most important conditions that regulates muscle size. Simply put, when you teach your body how to do something—lift, ride a bike, box, run a few miles—it creates a physiological blueprint.
Once more, according to scientists, “filling up” our muscles with as many nuclei as we can while we’re young can greatly benefit us as we age because building muscle gets harder as we get older and muscle loss as we age can be associated with serious health risks. And there's more good news: Muscle memory's impact extends beyond general fitness. The physical changes your body undergoes while building a fitness helps to speed up your metabolism, make you more resilient to stress, and strengthen your immune system.
We personally find this extremely reassuring, to know that the work being put in now will pay dividends in the future to our overall health and fitness! 😊 Back to the gym we go...