From the age of 16-19, I went to the gym 6 days a week, ate and slept well and was in excellent physical fitness.

Now I am 24, haven't worked out in 5 years, and have a terrible sleeping pattern (4-7 hours a night), and eat even worse! My body is gone well and truly to seed, but despite all this, I am a lot stronger physically than all of my friends, even those who exercise regularly.

Why is this?

  • Consider how you spent your prime muscle building years vs. how they did.
    – Carey Gregory
    Apr 10, 2017 at 4:50
  • There might be a lot of conditions involved, e.g. genetics. I think it's a at least quite widely held notion that muscles built from the gym only keep up as long as one keeps regularly exercising.
    – xji
    Apr 12, 2017 at 21:29

1 Answer 1


Studies do suggest the existence of "muscle memory", possibly related to the nuclei of muscle cells (myonuclei). See here for instance. Still, the precise dynamics and hysteresis of strength and their causes do not seem to be fully explored yet.

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