T Nation

Synaptic Facilitation Into Gains?


Synaptic facilitation into mass/strength gains?

Ok, this has been on my mind for the past hour, and well, I'm curious.

I was reading an article by pavel on synaptic facilitation (I dunno why) and if I remember correctly, strength gained from this type of adaptation can umm....."wear off" after maybe a week or two of rest and not continuing.

So this leads me to my question. Is it possible to use the strength gained from synaptic facilitation to build mass and "permanent" strength? I hope ya'll get what I mean, if not, I can hopefully clarify.


Suppose you use synaptic facillitation to get your max number of chins from 8 to 12. After doing that, before the gains wear off, you start doing 3 sets of 10 to develop mass. Doing the 3 sets of 10 would allow you to develop more mass than had you done the 3 sets of 6 like you would have had to before.


Ah, excellent. Thankyou for the reply. That's what I was thinking in the back of my head, but wasn't QUITE sure. So say you work up to insane squat numbers, just up the reps and lessen the weight (which will still be heavier than you're accustomed to) to put on size and gain "permanent" strength. Hmm...maybe I'll experiment with this...:smiley:


I think you may be taking Pavel's 'synaptic facilitation' thing the wrong way. 'Synaptic facilitation' is just a fancy word for 'strength acquired by practicing one exercise a hell of a lot.' It is as real and permanent as any strength gain.

Is strength simply lost when it temporarily goes away? No. If this was the case, the method of periodized training would not work. The body 'remembers' its strength.

Is strength from muscle-cross section the only real strength? No. Sure, if you don't increase your muscle size you'll never be strong, nor even strong for your size; but if you only cultivate strength through mass gains you set a threshold to your strength.


That's all it means. Your body learns how to do a movement making it easier to do that movement again. This isn't something that just fades away the same way you will always know how to ride a bike. Will you ride a bike better if trained on one daily? Yes. But you won't forget how to ride. I am still trying to figure out why people are separating strength gains from mass gains. Who is doing this and why? You have to get stronger to get bigger. I think some of you need to spend less time trying to read the latest strength coach's training notes and more time learning the basics well.

If you have to ask about "synaptic facilitation" and truly don't understand that this simply means how your mind adjusts to doing an exercise or any movement at all, then you probably shouldn't be trying someone's program based on the concept before you even get basic understanding of the concept down.

Baby's learn how to do a movement. This movement then get hardwired into normal brain function and activity. If that person grows up and gets into a car accident and damages the part of the brain that controls that action, they can often reroute the nerve impulses in order for a new section of the brain to learn the response.