Could This Research Change the Way We Look at Muscles and Strength?

A study posted on Experiment, a science-based crowd funding site, could be a game changer for athletes everywhere. Lead authors Andy Galpin, Jimmy Bagley, and Irene Tobias believe this study could be a link that’s been missing in Sports Science. The authors want to dive into human musculature, but unlike other studies in the past that stop at the cellular level, they want to study the molecular makeup of muscle.

Their goal is to isolate and study thousands of muscle fibers from a variety of individuals such as Olympians, weekend warriors, and recreationally active/sedentary individuals. The current goal for the researchers is to start the study in December 2016 with an anticipated publish time in Summer 2017.

While there’s an understanding that the body contains fast and slow twitch muscles, there lacks the understanding as to what makes these muscle types responsive at a molecular level. The authors believe that the myonuclei of fast and slow twitch muscles differ. By learning about this difference, authors propose we’d gain a better understanding of the mechanisms that play roles in the muscle growth/wasting properties of various activities. Below we’ve embedded a video by lead author Andy Galpin explaining the study’s purpose and goals. 

Athletes and those with muscular wasting diseases could be the populations that benefit most from the proposed study. If one could understand how their muscle responds and reacts to different stimuli, they could, in theory, train to optimize their performance and growth. 

Thus far, the team has raised over $5,000 dollars toward their $17,500 goal by November 14th. That’s still a wide gap to cover in less than a week’s time, so we’re keeping an eye on how things pan out.

If this research is executed as the authors predict, it could lead to monumental finds in the Sports Science world. Although, like with all research, there needs to be a little skepticism about the perfect implications the authors are proposing. We’re hopeful though. After all, in the video they do mention we’d learn things like – why the calves grow at such a slow rate….grow calves grow!

Feaute image from Andy Galpin YouTube video