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Thread: Possible to fool the brain to build muscle on the body?

  1. #1 Possible to fool the brain to build muscle on the body? 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    When you work out a specific muscle, a signal is sent to the brain giving it a message right? Simply a action with a reaction... We use our muscles and they rebuild stronger.

    Isnt it possible to find out what EXACT part of the brain that reacts to each specific muscle. And then make a device that simply sends that same signal?

    The human mind is so limited with its connection to the body in my opinion. We CANT just want/wish to be stronger and send the message to that stubborn pile of goo that way. That useless thing MUST be stimulated the real way for it to work. Or atleast thus far...

    Have this idea been tested or even considered yet to someones knowledge here? Is this something that realisticly could work or is it just mere science-fiction?

    Edit: As far as i know, its allready possible with electric signals to the brain - to lift peoples arms and the like. Is stimulating muscle growth or doing other bodily functions that much harder to pinpoint?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    depends what you mean by muscle growth, I'm no expert but this is my basic understanding of it

    muscles are made bigger primarily(if not completely) when you have more capillaries. More capillaries are made? when you exert the muscle, the lack of oxygen stimulates new capillaries to grow so more oxygen can be supplied. This happens when you do endurance training. Long distance running for example, as compared to sprinting.

    Muscle tone is what you get when your muscles are used so often they remain tense

    Strength is what you get when your muscle fibers tear and repair. I don't understand why this makes you stronger, but I do not know what thinking has to do with this.

    You might be able to think your muscle to be more tone, but I doubt you can think your muscle to grow more capillaries, or tear tissue. Maybe.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    Strength is what you get when your muscle fibers tear and repair. I don't understand why this makes you stronger, but I do not know what thinking has to do with this.
    Don't they grow back stronger after they tear? Your bodys trying to not let it happen again i would imagine



    EDIT: btw interesting topic Raziell.

    When u get one of those vaccinations that has a small part of the virus so your body builds anti-bodies to combat it.. isn't that kind of on the same line, fooling your body to cause a desired effect within it?
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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    I didn't know that the brain regulates muscle growth. Is that something you made up or a fact.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    Theres a a lot to it

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscle_fibers

    there are different types of fibers, and you don't use your whole muscle either

    your body adapts by growing different types of fibers and learning to use more of the muscle

    there is reason to think that the mind can help you "grow" muscle

    but it might be useful in learning to use the muscle more efficiently

    visualizations while exercising might be a way to test this
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  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman

    there is reason to think that the mind can help you "grow" muscle

    but it might be useful in learning to use the muscle more efficiently

    visualizations while exercising might be a way to test this
    yes, but where is the reference for that particular part.

    Your wikipedia reference doesn't even mention the brain.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    I'll find a reference for "using only some of our muscles potential"

    as for using visualization to possibly increase the amount of our muscles that we use, I have no reference that is what the key word "might" implied
    edit:
    actually, I just read my post and I messed up... I meant to say "there is NO reason to think the brain can help you grow muscle" but then I went on to say "it may help you learn to use the muscle more" in different words... that last part is me pondering
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  9. #8  
    Forum Freshman Reidar's Avatar
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    Your brain doesn't dictate anabolism. It's about how your body reacts to a calorie excess combined with the infliction of microtrauma, inciting the restoration process afterward.

    Strength, on the other hand (separate from muscle growth, since a bigger muscle isn't always a stronger muscle), is almost entirely about the brain. Pavel Tsatsouline coined strength as a skill. Force output is all about the efficiency of the central nervous system communicating with your muscle myofibrils. This is why powerlifters go to such lengths in preventing burnout of the CNS and endocrine system and avoid training to exhaustion.
    A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    there we go... do you have any sources? this is what I was trying to say, just didn't know exactly what was responsible for it
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  11. #10  
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    Yeah what you're talking about sounds a lot like mental imagery to improve sports performance. Studies have shown that if you were to spend say 20min a day literally imagining you were doing an exercise on a certain muscle/muscle group, the strength of that muscle will increase.

    However, the bulk of this muscle remains the same. The theory behind it is that a muscle building course in the gym only starts to show an increase in muscle bulk towards the end of the programme. Before this happens, its hypothesised that the progress made is by re-enforcing and developing neuronal pathways.
    Imagery (what I talked abut above) is theorised to do this, without directly affecting the muscle.


    Martin, K.A., Hall, C. R. "Using Mental Imagery to Enhance Intrinsic Motivation." Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 17(1), 54-69.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    Makes me wonder how far you could go, say using a method like tai-chi to produce phenomenally strong yet deceptively lean individuals
    Dick, be Frank.

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  13. #12  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    When muscle cells are exercised, such as when pumping iron, some are damaged, and release a range of chemical substances. Some of these substances are signalling chemicals and direct the muscle to grow in bulk. Thus, it becomes stronger. The brain does not have to be involved. Whether signals from the brain can have an effect I do not know, but I suspect that, if so, it would be via muscle action, rather than a direct 'grow stronger' signal.
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