T Nation

Regaining Muscle

I’ve heard it mentioned quite a bit around here that once you have muscle mass, but lose it, it is infinitely easier to regain that beginning if you had never had mass before. CT said something to this effect on how he was able to quickly put weight back on without gaining too much fat. So I ask you, why is this?

I’m assuming that it has to deal with the manner in which the body breaks down muscle protein to use for energy, in that it breaks down the actual protein but not the other parts that are required for that muscle to function, such as blood pathways and whatnot. Perhaps, as part of gaining muscle mass is gaining the support system to keep it going, the reason for people being able to rapidly regain muscle mass is because their support system for larger bodyweights is largely in place and new muscle protein needs to be synthesized only, not these structures.

Personally, I used to be a big guy, I went to being a very small guy. Now I’ve started lifting a good deal, and I have put on nearly 30 pounds since June. Sure there was some fat gain, though not a great deal as I still have quite good definition in many areas, not a lot different from when I began. However, my strength levels have skyrocketed, leading me to believe that while many others seem to struggle with such goals that my own experience is largely due to having had a heavier bodyweight and higher strength level before and thus having much less work to do to regain such a state.

Any thoughts on this phenomenon?

Do a search here and google for muscle memory. On short if you had it and long enough for the body to get used to it (LONG TERM) then you can gain it back Much will be the muscle fibers stretching and refilling again those tissues have been that large so they have the ability to store again.

Its much like a person who was FAT and lost a lot or someone who was skinny and blew the hell up. If they dont stay at the new weight for a LONG term. then the body will very easily go back to its comfortable state.

Plus personally I think it also has a Lot to do wit experience, intensity and work ethic. If you were big at one point that means you were busting your ass and well you’ll do that again you know what it took.

Phill

[quote]Phill wrote:
Do a search here and google for muscle memory. On short if you had it and long enough for the body to get used to it (LONG TERM) then you can gain it back Much will be the muscle fibers stretching and refilling again those tissues have been that large so they have the ability to store again.

Its much like a person who was FAT and lost a lot or someone who was skinny and blew the hell up. If they dont stay at the new weight for a LONG term. then the body will very easily go back to its comfortable state.

Plus personally I think it also has a Lot to do wit experience, intensity and work ethic. If you were big at one point that means you were busting your ass and well you’ll do that again you know what it took.

Phill[/quote]

Jolly good show ol boy. I concur 100%. I spent 3 years training like an unleashed predatory animal and eating like a fiend in the early 90’s and put on a good chunk of meat back then.

Coming back, the previous experience and the foundation that never fully disappeared allowed me to get back on the right track with startling speed.

Basic Anatomy and Physiology tells us taht when muscles grow, they aren’t actually producing NEW muscle cells, but instead the existing muscle cells you have just expand (this is called hypertrophy). There’s an interesting story about a species of Bull that have a genetic mutation allowing them to pack double muscle. I forget which country bred these bull (Belgian maybe), but the advantage was the massive amount of meat these bulls were providing.

They then found this mutation of Myostatin in a kid, whose parents were both carriers of this “disease” (that I wish I had). The kid at a few years old was BEASTLY! He was able to hold 2 3.5 kg dumbells in horizontal suspension at the age of 4.5 years.

Myostatin is a Growth and Differentiation Factor 8. It basically keeps your muscle mass low. Every normal person has this. But when this gene is mutated you do not have this ability to downregulate muscle, and muscle builds profusely. It’s bloody amazing!

Here’s a picture of the bull.
Below is a picture of the kid at 7 months.


the bull.

Kid pic?

No pic, but reputable source.

Funny, I can’t find a pic of the kid, so I’m torn between praising the folks for stopping this kid becoming (more of) a freakshow and between flat out thinking “Hoax!”

I saw a picture of the kids calf on some site one time, I suppose it’s what I would consider impressive for that age.


kid at 7months old.

ah, the problem was that it was .emf
i converted it to .bmp
hope this works

My understanding and experience is that muscle memory is a fact. I have read about it and I personally experience it since I have been in and out of the gym since age 16.

Since I started back at the gym in August, my lifts have doubled in weight. I could not do that without the benefit of muscle memory.

[quote]Petedacook wrote:
My understanding and experience is that muscle memory is a fact. I have read about it and I personally experience it since I have been in and out of the gym since age 16.

Since I started back at the gym in August, my lifts have doubled in weight. I could not do that without the benefit of muscle memory. [/quote]

Is this muscle memory or CNS memory. Because lifting requires both muscle and CNS taxation does it not?