Muscle Memory: What Is It? How Does It Work?
What is Muscle Memory?
Muscle memory is what will help you get back to where you were before the Covid19 lockdown regaining your strength and muscle mass not only does muscle memory work for muscles but also for your cardiovascular side making it easier for runners or high-end athletes to get back to their peak fitness even after weeks or months of inactivity.
Sounds too good to be true right?
Just think back to when we were younger and that first time we sat on a bike it took a few scraped knees and a few tears, however, we eventually gained confidence in our balance and coordination to learn how to ride a bike, this is the same with learning how to swim only a few of us got “thrown into the deep end” but eventually we learned how to keep our heads above water. The moral of the story is we can spend weeks or months not doing either of the two but we don’t forget how to do them…
This is called Muscle Memory and the same concept is applied to the gym and sports.
How Does Muscle Memory Work?
When we lift weights or training in general, we micro tear our muscle fiber’s they then repair, recover and repeat…
The more demand and stress we place on our muscles through weights and resistance our muscle fibers will multiply to keep up with the demand hence the increase in lean muscle mass.
Due to lockdown, a lot of us couldn’t train so what happens then? Well, there is no reason for your muscle fiber’s to tear and grow anymore so they stop…
“IF YOU DONT USE IT YOU LOSE IT”
And this is true! Yet here’s the good part, all those hours of blood and sweat you have put into the gym hasn’t gone to waste! The muscle you’ve already built is just dormant in the body due to you not using them when you start lifting weights again, your muscles will dramatically start to respond again and by the time you know it, you’ll be back ticking off your gym goals again!
Your fat storage works in the opposite way but this will be explained more in-depth in another blog…
How Can I Regain My Muscle and Strength? Here are some useful tips…
1. START LIFTING
The first step is to actually start lifting again.
However, just remember you’ve had time off from the gym so avoid jumping in headfirst give your body time to adjust to your workout program. To ease your body back in use weights that are approximately 50% to 60% of your 1RM and don’t worry if it feels heavy have faith in your muscle memory every session you have from now your body will start adapting gaining muscle and strength…
2. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
If you want to maximize your muscle memory you’ve got to fuel your muscles with high-quality protein and carbohydrates for your workouts and recovery so make sure to put the work in the kitchen as well.
But if your goal is to lose weight when you hit the gym again obviously you want to be eating fewer calories this shouldn’t affect your muscle growth just make sure you get your macronutrients in.
3. ACTIVE RECOVERY
We’ve all been itching to get back at Swift Fitness York and back into our training regime.
However, it’s still important to listen to your body making sure you are looking after it with some active recovery.
Due to months of inactivity your more likely going to get the newbie DOMS until your body adapts again, this will ease over time but you might find you may need more recovery time a lot more.
Dynamic stretches, foam rolling, or use the vibration plate we have in the blue room to minimize soreness
Is muscle memory real? YES!
During lockdown a lot of us will of experienced muscle loss due to inactivity, luckily, our bodies are well equipped to handle this and this is where muscle memory comes in. so don’t stress let your body get you back on track!
If you are wanting to get back in shape as soon as possible then feel free to come and see us at reception, we can help you from start to finish to reach your goals… See Danny’s Personal training information here.
Please don’t forget to LIKE this blog if you gained something from it
Thanks, Marcus SFY