Returning to previous strength level after a break

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Returning to previous strength level after a break

Post by j88 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:40 pm


I'm curious if anyone knows of studies done on how quickly a person can return to a certain level of strength after they have achieved it, but then the muscle has atrophied.

It seems that it's accepted that once you have built muscle but then stopped excercising for an extended period of time, it's much quicker to return to that level of strength than to get there the first time around, but I haven't been able to find any studies done on it.

I'm curious if there is some effect where a muscle can actually return to a previous strength level more easily than gaining, or if it's just a combination of having weight lifting experience means you can excercise better now than when you first started, or that the muscle really doesn't atrophy much, rather the nerological signal does but can easily return.

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Post by KPj » Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:58 am

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Post by stuward » Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:14 am

I haven't seen any studies about high school or college atheletes that drop training and take it up again in there 40s but browsing the "over 35" section on T-Nation will provide all sorts of anecdotal data. It appears that those that were athletic in their youth make fairly rapid gains once they get back to training but that could just be their genetics. It would make sense that those more capable of building muscle in their youth would also be able to build muscle better in later years. Whether that's muscle memory or just genetics, I don't know.