Using Muscle Memory to Improve Fitness

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

What is muscle memory and how can you use it to improve your fitness regimen? Muscle memory is the concept of performing something repeatedly until the muscles can do it automatically. Most experts believe muscle memory is nothing but a myth. After all, the muscles don’t have brains. They won’t be able to recall things they used to do.

In fact, if you do the same activity repeatedly, it will cause you to get worse at it. That’s because muscles get tired from doing the same thing without resting. For example, you can throw a ball all day to get better but if you don’t rest, you will become progressively worse at it. When you’re tired, you will start performing poorly. This hurts the motor skills. It could also cause fatigue to the central nervous system.

That said, you can condition the brain itself to recall motor skills. This is where the concept of muscle memory is derived from. In today’s post, we are giving you tips on how you can use muscle memory to improve your fitness.

Using a Blocked Environment

The key to conditioning the brain to recall motor skills is to find the perfect spot. You want a blocked environment free from audio or visual stimuli. Now, perform your usual fitness routine. Repeat each activity until you can achieve the perfect form without mistakes. Track how many times it took before you got the perfect form. Now, practice several times to overlearn.

Practicing in the Gym

If you prefer working out in a variable environment – like a gym – you can still build muscle memory but you will use a different technique. If say, you started training in a blocked environment and then moved to a variable environment, start training at the same speed. Start gradually until you get the hang of it. You want to overlearn the training at 50%. And then, once you are able to perform at the same level as you would in a blocked environment, repeat the training in a variable environment.

Training in Any Environment

You can train and reach the same level of performance as you would in a blocked environment in a random environment. Think of it this way, say you’ve practiced throwing a ball in both blocked and variable environment. Now you’re ready to hit the stadium and do your stuff. You can rely on your motor skills to perform a great throw despite the distractions.

Start by easing yourself into the environment. If say, your fitness class is held outside and you’re not comfortable, you will get used to it if you train in the gym. There’s not a lot of people in the gym, but there are enough to help you get used to the idea of training outside your home. Now, start practicing the routine at the same pace. At this point, you might not be accustomed to the new environment. If you don’t do the set right, it’s normal. Again, you will get used to the idea once you expose yourself as you train. Then, go back to the variable stage to practice if you feel that you are not getting the results you want. You can also go back if you feel that you perform better in a variable environment.

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