Do you ever wonder how elite athletes can recover super-fast and have the ability to train multiple times a day, several times a week?
Apart from the obvious factors such as; sleep, good nutrition and managing overall training load, there’s something else that happens behind the scenes…
We know that muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is the process that drives muscle growth, remodelling and recovery.
We also know that muscle recovery is only possible when MPS is greater than MPB (muscle protein breakdown).
Therefore when we look at strategies to maximise muscle remodelling, we’re looking at ways to maximise MPS.
From previous posts, videos and podcasts on the subject, we found that weight training, protein intake and calorie intake largely influence MPS and MPB.
As you can see from the image by Joanisse et al (2020), after a weight-lifting session, the initial MPS response from the untrained person is less pronounced then the trained (elite) person. However the peak lasts for longer…
Where the MPS response peaks far quicker in the trained athlete, but falls back to baseline faster.
Therefore, it can be said that the process of muscle breakdown and growth is far more efficient in trained athletes as the muscle can be fully recovered in a ~24 hour period, vs a ~48 hour period in the untrained after a weights session.
Knowing this, quicker MPB and MPS responses are going to be advantageous to athletes as they can return to normal or even heightened muscle functioning quicker…
Essentially, they adapt to the stimulus or stress by remodelling/recovering the muscle promptly so they can be exposed to another stimulus or stress far sooner than their untrained counterparts.
If an athlete wants to progress their physical development at a high rate, they ultimately need to train a lot. So having very efficient muscle remodelling capabilities is definitely going to support them!
To reach this state, you’ve just got to have skin in the game…it’s an adaptation caused by many years of lifting and training hard.
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