Any bodybuilder who has been doing his own thing for a long time is familiar with such a concept as “muscle memory”. Thanks to the so-called muscle memory, modern scientists have been able to find out that it is much easier for a person who has taken a long break in classes and for this reason to lose muscle tone to return their former results than an athlete trying to gain them from scratch. Even with a high level of atrophy, a bodybuilder is able to gain relatively high muscle density.
Recent research, focusing on muscle memory, has revealed the mystery behind this issue. During these studies, scientists were able to analyze the distribution Myosin Heavy Chains (MHC). Myosin, in fact, is the main component in the process of muscle tissue contraction (40-60 percent of the total number of all muscle proteins). By combining myosin with other types of proteins, for example with actin, or myofibril, it was possible to find out that the actomyosin formed in the process is the dominant element in the process of muscle tissue contraction.
Also, the components of muscle fibers were studied, scientists investigated the type of fibers, their size and composition. The experiments, the main theme of which was muscle memory, were carried out on men of age with a sedentary lifestyle; men were divided into 2 groups; those who train hard for several weeks and those who regained their shape after a long rest.
Scientific Research of Muscle Memory
In the hard training group, MHC IX content decreased from 9 percent to 2 percent, while MHC IIA content increased from 42 percent to 49 percent. After, during prolonged rest, their level of MHC IIX exceeded, cured before and after the training process (about 17%). Scientists have been able to prove that type II hypertrophy experienced by muscle fibers exceeds the norm after prolonged training and even after a prolonged rest for more than three months.
MHC can be referred to as muscle tissue of the contracting variety – functional muscle fibers. MHC acts on the muscle element, causing it to contract violently, contract slowly, or not at all. Also, some MHCs have the ability to change or transform as a consequence of increased training.
In this case, it is impossible to determine the type of MHC until the MHC begins to take effect. Once the MHC is operational, they are categorized as MHC IIAs. As a result, we find that muscle fibers containing protein, namely MHC IIX, are a kind of reserve fibers, because only they have the ability to quickly synthesize, during intensive training.
Features of Muscle Memory
In principle, as in any more or less large study, the main theme of which was muscle mass, the scientists were able to find exactly what they expected. I, in turn, turned my attention to this study due to the long-term changes in skeletal and muscle mass, during the period of intensive training. This is what was really not expected, and what can actually make you wonder, is that prolonged rest following intense exercise contributes to an increase, or so-called excess of the level of MHC IIX lysoforms (their level is much higher, even compared to the period of training).
This proves the fact that muscle mass for the most part is available for synthesis only during the period of rest, and precisely during the rest that follows an intense training process. What am I thinking, and I mean that in fact all this research is nothing more than confirmation of the consistency of the memory of the muscle element.
Of course, there are several questions left, the answers to which scientists have not been able to find. For example, it was not possible to measure the maximum MHC level. Although an explanation for this misunderstanding was still found, scientists who studied muscles took their measurements only at the beginning and end of the training process and at the beginning and end of the rest period. If muscle measurements were carried out regularly, on an ongoing basis, this embarrassment would not have happened.
In fact, for bodybuilders whose muscles are developed and for athletes interested in the latest news from the world of bodybuilding, these studies have become a kind of discovery. Let’s hope that the study of our body, muscles, under the influence of training will continue and we will be able to develop with the help of them several revolutionary training methods. Not only workouts but also bodybuilding supplements and anabolic steroids affect muscle tissue.