T Nation

Muscle Memory

I’m taking a hiatus from lifting for a while, because my shoulder, back, and knee are always in pain. I’m worried about gaining size and strength back when I start lifting again. Will my body respond better to lifting now, than it did when I first started lifting weights?

I think it should be easier, but I’m not sure if it’ll be because of muscle memory.

I read somewhere that your muscles only ‘remember’ things after having done about 5,000 reps of an exercise, which is quite a lot if you haven’t been lifting that long. That said, you shouldn’t lose all your gains if you keep eating right while you’re taking a break.

I think that at the end of the day, if you feel that your body is telling you to rest, then that’s the best thing to do. There’s no point in injuring yourself, after all.

It will, you’ll come back to your current level of development pretty quickly. It would be better however if you kept going to the gym just enough to maintain your current physique. Once a week should be enough.

Remember, you don’t have to always do less than 8 reps per exercise. Rep ranges under this cause degenerative changes in the joints. If you do a simple workout, like, power cleans, squats and bench press and do more than 12 reps per exercise then it should be good for your joints. 1 to 2 sets each will be all you need.

Or you can increase your cardio, increase your flexibility or lose some body fat. There’s no need to drop working out altogether.

And it goes without saying that if you’re in pain, you need to get it checked out. Just waiting for things to get better won’t do it, you need to get some treatment.

Yup. Get yourself healthy and don’t worry about it…the strength and size will come back for you.

[quote]Elemental Method wrote:
I’m taking a hiatus from lifting for a while, because my shoulder, back, and knee are always in pain. I’m worried about gaining size and strength back when I start lifting again. Will my body respond better to lifting now, than it did when I first started lifting weights?[/quote]

Thank you for the information. It is greatly appreciated.