6 Things You Need to Know About Muscle Memory


  1. Your Muscles Don’t Actually Have Any Memory

So muscle memory is technically a misnomer. Your brain on the other hand, does have the capacity to “remember” certain how to perform certain actions which is why “practice makes perfect”. The more you do any activity, the easier it becomes to do that activity subsequently but this also means that you have to make sure that you get the technique for any exercise, correct from the start as mistakes will be harder to stamp out subsequently.

  1. You Make More Gains After a Break in Training

You might have heard of this “retraining” effect and it probably doesn’t make much sense that muscles would grow faster after a week or two week break in training, but yes it is true and scientist think muscle memory might be responsible for this. So if you find yourself approaching a plateau in your resistance training, feel free to take a break for a few days and return to training the better for it.

  1. Muscles Are Multi-Nucleic

Muscles are very unique in the sense that, unlike other tissues in the body, muscle cells have more than one nucleus. This is significant because these nuclei form the foundation for growth. Also, cells develop new nuclei with exercise but when you stop exercising, these nuclei do not disappear and so even after a long lay-off (perhaps due to injury), individuals who have acquired a sufficient amount of nuclei will find that recovering “lost” muscle is relatively easy.

  1. Muscle Memory Makes Exercise Much Easier

Ultimately, once your muscle memory is developed for a particular activity, you tend to use much less energy to perform this task. Not only does muscle memory leave you with more energy for actual performance, your brain is free to concentrate on other things such as keeping proper form.

  1. Imagination Can Create Muscle Memory

This is one of those truly, wondrous facts about the human body: apparently, the brain cannot really distinguish between actual physical activity and the imagination of executing the activity. The implication of this is that you might spend time imagining yourself executing a certain motion and this will result in increased muscle memory just as if you were actually practicing it. The catch, though, is you must already be very familiar with this motion.

  1. Practice Should be Shorter but More Frequent

The total number of times you perform an activity is basically what creates muscle memory, so it might seem sensible to practice for longer periods. However, most beginners begin to make mistakes when they are tired and unfortunately, muscle memory works as well for good technique as it does for bad technique; so to ramp up your numbers without running the risk of “memorizing” bad technique, practice more frequently but for shorter periods.


Muscle memory can be a powerful tool to help you achieve your fitness goals; so even though you might find it hard picking up a new physical activity, you should keep at it with patience and soon enough, your skill level will start to grow.

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