A new study, published this week in theslotxo Journal of Neuroscience, shows that weightlifting affects the brain weeks before the muscle changes. Researchers at Newcastle University in England experimented with this study on a macaque monkey, which has a brain system that controls movement similar to that of humans. In exchange for food, the researchers had the monkeys pull their weight with one arm for food, and over three months the scientists added their weight every week. In summary, the Samae Dam monkey draws its weight 50 times a day and can pull the bar at least 4 cm from the ground.
The results show that this weight pull strengthens the nervous system that connects the brainstem to the spinal cord and controls movement and balance. The changes occurred several weeks before the build-up of muscle mass.
The researchers explain that when lifting weights, we get stronger because more muscles are exposed to this nerve signal. However, these larger or stronger muscles are not instantaneous, they are built after changes in the neurons that control them.
Professor Stewart Baker, co-author of the study, said that once we understand the neuromuscular mechanisms in muscle building processes, we can find ways to help people with limb weakness. People who have experienced accidents or people with cerebral ischemia or stroke, which eventually cause their muscles to become unusable.