February 14, 2018 — The Mirriam-Webster Dictionary defines Muscle Memory as “the ability to reproduce a particular movement without conscious thought, acquired as a result of frequent repetition of that movement.”
First, and for the purposes of our discussion, let’s distinguish between the two different types of muscle memory:
#1. The kind of muscle memory that allows you to perform a physical task years after your body last performed this motion (riding a bike, swimming, roller skating, etc).
#2. The kind of muscle memory that allows for former athletes, bodybuilders and gym-goers to return to the weight room after years on hiatus and have better muscle recovery than their sedentary counterparts.
The study of muscle memory is in its infancy but researchers are now gaining a better understanding of how you can ride a bike years after your last pedal and why muscle atrophy doesn’t mean you’re back at square one if you take a hiatus from pumping iron.
This fascinating study recently published in Scientific Reports draws a conclusion about the Epigenetic Memory of Hypertrophy in Skeletal Muscles.