Restoring Muscle Memory Quickly
Interruptions to one’s routine are unfortunate, but can be unavoidable in some cases. For example, we may be forced to temporarily stop training because of the death of a close relative, a divorce or increased work commitments. After these lay-offs, a weight trainer may be very discouraged once they return to the gym.
One of the best ways to return to form involves the reawakening of muscle memory. There are both training and nutritional tricks that can restore muscle memory faster. This article provides some tips to ensure that their muscle memory does not develop a case of Alzheimer’s.
The first step requires rearrangement of your training. Eccentric training in its various forms will restore past levels of strength faster. You should alternate between the two types of protocols outlined below for about 6 weeks. That is all it should take to get your strength back.
Protocol One: Adding some weight
At the end of a conventional concentric 4-6 R.M. set at 80-82% of your 1 RM, additional eccentric work can be performed by adding 25-30% extra weight to the concentric training poundage on the barbell and performing additional eccentric only repetitions.
As an alternative, a training partner can manually apply resistance (i.e. push down on the bar) for the eccentric portion instead of adding weight. These additional negative repetitions will exhaust eccentric strength levels after achieving concentric muscular failure.
This method helps get the contractile proteins that used to be built up to return to their original training size. You want to complete eight total sets per body part. Ensure that you rest four minutes between sets, or two minutes between antagonistic pairs. Each eccentric lowering should last between 4 to 6 seconds.
Note: It is essential that you control the descent of the resistance selected. Otherwise, injury may occur.
Protocol 2: Retapping high threshold motor units
Use a 120-130% of your 1 R.M. load. Do 2-3 reps for 10 sets, resting 4-5 minutes between sets. Take 8 to 10 seconds for each lowering. On that day, only use one exercise per body part.
This protocol will help you retap into the high threshold motor units that were responsible for your big poundages.
Using the Proper Nutrients
Second, nutritionally it is important to use the four following nutrients:
Vinpocetine: 10 mg twice a day - Vinpocetine, extracted from the lesser periwinkle Vinca minor, is an excellent vasodilator and cerebral metabolic enhancer with apparent benefits for vascular-based cognitive dysfunction. I find very beneficial to restore muscle memory.
I love it as part of any brain stacker, as it known as the gate opener. It allows other brain nutraceuticals to do their job, for example it will magnify the effects of any stimulant. Dr. Ken Proefrock, a professor at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine considers it a far better “gate opener” than the compound Hydergine.
Bacopa - 100 mg twice a day. - Bacopa is an Ayurvedic botanical with well-demonstrated anti-anxiety, anti-fatigue, and memory-strengthening effects.
L-carnitine 6 grams per day-It significantly reduces pain, tenderness and CK release after the effort with respect to placebo. It is concluded that L-carnitine has a protective effect against pain and damage from eccentric effort. This effect is mainly attributed to the vasodilatation property of the compound, which both improves energetic metabolism of the hypoxic/damaged muscle and enhances washout of algogenic metabolites.
Some people report difficulty sleeping when using L-carnitine after 4 PM. Make sure you spread out your dosages, and to take at least two grams post-workout. I prefer to use a PPC product called Panthetine Synergy that contains both the stable form of B5 pantethine and L-carnitine. Pantethine does wonders to restore the adrenal glands as it a precursor to the mother hormone pregnenolone.
If you combine both the nutritional approach to the training strategies, you should return your best ever training poundages in record time.