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Muscle Memory Myth: Can It Really Remember Endurance Training?

First Posted: Sep 24, 2016 03:33 AM EDT
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Muscles do not really have a memory, well that's somehow true for endurance training based on a new study that tackles if muscle memory is real or not.

During the study, the researchers found that other parts of the body may have that so-called 'memory' since it may remember the training performed. However, they found that long-term memory of muscles for endurance training like swimming, running or biking does not happen as stated by Science News.

Karolinska Institute researcher Malene Lindholm from Stockholm, Sweden conducted the study and concluded that muscles do not really remember endurance training but it does not mean that endurance training is not good. Endurance training is proven to be a good action to fight off diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and some kinds of cancer. It also helps hasten metabolism. But the study wants to see how long the body can retain these improvements.

Lindholm and her co-researchers observed the training of 23 sedentary people and instructed them to kick their leg 60 times in a minute for 45 minutes four times each week that lasted for three months. After that time period, they were asked to go back to their sedentary lifestyle for nine months. And Live Science reported that they again repeated the endurance training now for both legs.

The researchers took muscle sample tissues of every participant before and after the study to compare and analyze them. they noted the changes in mRNAs of the muscle tissues and found that there was no difference in gene activity between the untrained and trained legs. Lindholm said that the training effects were likely lost during the time they were asked to rest.

Even though muscle memory does not last long, other body organs do remember the training activities like the cardiovascular system and heart. They could go back to a previous fitness level if they happen to rest due to some circumstance.

For comparison, strength training is remembered by the muscle in terms of muscle size getting bigger as training goes by. The muscles get bigger because they add more nuclei to each cell. But the case is opposite for muscle endurance training.

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