If You Bulk Up When You’re Young, Your Muscles Will Remember How to Get Big

Your body’s muscles, at least according to researchers who tested their theory on mice, truly have “muscle memory,” remembering their former strength abilities even if you quit the gym for years and begin a diet of bacon and cheese. Which means for those of you who were fit as young people, it should be easier to regain that strength when you’re older. If you were teased for being fat on the playground, well life sucks doubly for you if you want to look like this guy in middle age.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #anatomy #biology #fitness stories and more


  • Enron

    Crappy research, I have seen guys who were overweight during childhood and teens become the most ripped sex sirens in their late 20’s and early 30’s when they hit the gym for the first time in theirs lives. What you have to realize about abs, pecs, biceps is the fact that it requires living at the gym in some cases 7 days a week and you have to give it the dedication.

    I started working out at home everyday early in the morning with sit ups and even in the nights along with pushups and lifting some buckets of water each day. I was surprised to see within 2 weeks I started getting abs, strong biceps and carved pecs.

    I personally was doing it with a goal, I was hoping to get awarded for an award to travel abroad. When I didn’t get awarded, I kinda got depressed and stop working out. I got the award earlier this year though, but I haven’t had the push to try working out again, maybe in September.

    Another thing, fat guys make the best ripped or bodybuilder guys. Another thing I notice is, Bodybuilders who stop training make the worst obese people. My brother stopped many years ago and he just eats and eats building this huge gut! So, becareful, it can be a double edge sword.


    So this is Queerty’s warning to us that we are gonna be seein’ Davey Wavey videos for the next 60 years???? :p

  • Fitz

    AND.. un-pc comment heading your way: fat kids grow smaller dicks. Stomach fat inhibits testosterone development.

  • L.

    @Enron: But the research doesn’t say that fat kids can’t become sculpted adults – it says it’s easier for fit people to become fit again than it is for more obese ones to become fit. There’s a difference.

  • L.

    @Fitz: It is much more incorrect than it is non-PC, actually

  • Jayb3369

    Never mind the research, who’s the hot guy in the photo?

  • Hilarious

    Sorry but that’s bullshit.

    First of all most fat kids are carrying more muscle than anyone else because they’re carrying more weight. You just can’t see it because it’s under fat. Hippos for example are very powerful regardless of the fact that they look fat on the surface. I got in a fight with a fat guy once, that’s all it took for me to learn to just back down(he was picking on me) because you’ll basically just look stupid.

    Secondly most of the ripped guys you see now are doing it artificially. Supplements with god knows what in them and actual steroids are passed around my generation like they’re perfectly normal and not at all harmful to the body. It’s more water than muscle.

    Finally exercise is the only reason your muscles will grow and it won’t be any faster or slower than anyone else. They come out with this defeating bullshit every other year and it’s all lies. I’ve known many a fat guy who decided he was tired of not liking the way he looked, hit the gym(some naturally, and others through the above harmful substances), and later came back looking like a god(those who used the weird crap did it in a few short months… but their kidneys will probably fail at 40).

    These “experts” always have a bottom line of selling you a product or service. They have to keep it confusing, make it sound impossible without them, and have to keep you unhappy(fit or fat, doesn’t matter, unhappiness is key so you never stop striving even when you reached your goal).

    It’s “research” like this that keeps these guys clinically depressed and obsessed with working out because the most in shape guys used to be fat. These assholes know where their money is coming from so they keep targeting them.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones



    Not to mention that fat, (adipose tissue) is an excellent fuel for muscle building.

  • El-Brucio

    Dammit, I knew that my fat teenage years were going to betray me as I got older!

    Ah well, at least it kept my parents from questioning why I wasn’t dating girls at the time.

  • GayForever

    @Jayb3369: Ramon Davos.
    Muscle memory does exist.

  • GetReal

    So Queerty publishes a link to a research study and you all say ‘this is b.s. because I saw such-and-such at my gym’ or in grade school, or I knew a fat guy who got muscular once, etc.
    Research is actually structured, if done right, to be more than just your own opinion. You’re sounding like Sarah Palin, et al., who want ‘the truth’ to be whatever they think it should be based on how they feel right now, as Stephen Colbert satirizes so well.

  • L.

    @alan brickman: What took you so long?

  • Phil

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones: That is a horrible reply. Fat CAN NOT be used to build muscle because of the fact that fat=/= protein. Your body goes for whatever’s most easily available, and that is generally Carbs. During exercise barely any fat is used at all simply because your body is not that good at using fat as a fuel source quickly. What exercise does is raise your resting metabolic rate and hopefully that puts you in a caloric deficit so you, gasp!, lose fat. While it is possible to lose fat and at the same time gain muscle, remaining at your starting mass, this is more difficult to do the further you go along a training regiment. They even have a word for the first easy fifteen pounds. Noob gains.

    Another thing is that endomorphs typically have more muscle and gain muscle more easily while training. The downside is that they also put fat on more easily, so when they do start working out, they have an easier base from which to start. It’s a bitch for them to cut down but when they do it’s totally worth it.

    Oh, and your fat cell count stays relatively stable after youth. If you had a lot of them then, you’ll have a lot of them now. How much fat is inside of them and how easily you put on more fat is determined by then. This has been known for a while. The study then, doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with fat, and only deals with muscles and strength, which, really, leads to a misleading article. (Oh hey look guys CNS-strength has some validity to it lol.)

  • Sceth

    From the linked article: “Strength training not only builds muscle, it also generates new muscle nuclei. According to a new study, these nuclei stick around even when muscle mass goes away.”
    That’s it. Now stop exaggerating, fretting, and demeaning findings.

  • Shaun Azzopardi

    Who would want to look like that guy? Not me fer sure.

  • Iron Mike

    @Shaun Azzopardi: Not to worry blimpy!

  • Daez

    @Fitz: Hate to break it to you bro, but I’m living proof that is aboslutely bullshit.

  • Daez

    @Iron Mike: Iron Mike, or condescending ass, there is a big difference between not wanting to look like a steroid whore and wanting to look decent. Many men over do it with the muscles, and when they do it looks more disgusting and more unnatural than those that carry some extra fat around.

  • Jay P

    well this does wonders for my self esteem.

Comments are closed.