If you are one of those gym-enthusiasts who are afraid to miss a day in a gym, because they don’t want to lose their muscle mass, you can breathe out. Today we are gonna talk about muscle memory and the ability of our body to remember the moves we’ve repetitively done a lot of times.
In short, it’s big chemistry, but I’ll try to explain it in the simplest possible way. Our cells contain oodles of nuclei, which contain the DNA, which is responsible for the construction of the new muscles. Among the millions of different cells, satellite cells are the ones that play the biggest part in muscle growth. When training, you damage your cells, and that’s where satellite cells come to play: they attach themselves to the damaged cells and “present” their nuclei to them. Thus, it results in stronger and bigger muscles. Once satellite cells have donated their nuclei, it stays there for good.
What it means is that when you go to the gym for the first time, gaining muscles is a really difficult and long-lasting process. When you take a break and want to come back to your previous shape, this process is way shorter and less complicated as your muscles remember your shape. Regaining a few pounds is easier than gaining them for the first time. So, don’t be afraid to miss even a week of training if it’s needed — you won’t lose anything. And even if lose, the process of getting it back will super easy.
The next question: is it possible then to gain weight faster when taking breaks? Because when you do the same exercise a lot of times, it’s harder to add nuclei to muscle cells. Your body gets accustomed to such movement and remembers it, you need less strength to perform it. So, will taking breaks and letting your muscle begin atrophying aid it faster muscle gain? Maybe. The more detailed answer you may see in this article.