Muscle memory is a myth that encourages the wrong way to use repetition when learning MTB skills
Neuroscientist Andrew Huberman says muscles are dumb
There's no such thing as muscle memory, says neuroscientist Andrew Huberman, the Huberman Lab podcast host.
The emphasis on "developing muscle memory" ignores other aspects of the nervous system that can help us learn a motor skill faster and make it stick.
But it seems a handy way to describe repetition for developing motor skills, right?
Yes, but there's a problem, and it’s tricky. Simple repetition feels better, we think we’re making progress, but it doesn’t stick as well as other strategies.
Here’s an excerpt from the book, Make It Stick—The Science of Successful Learning:
The Myth of Massed Practice
Most of us believe that learning is better when you go at something with single-minded purpose: the practice-practice-practice that’s supposed to burn a skill into memory. Faith in focused, repetitive practice of one thing at a time until we’ve got it nailed is pervasive among classroom teachers, athletes, corporate trainers, and students.
Researchers call this kind of practice “massed,” and our faith rests in large part on the simple fact that when we do it, we can see it making a difference. Nevertheless, despite what our eyes tell us, this faith is misplaced. If learning can be defined as picking up new knowledge or skills and being able to apply them later, then how quickly you pick something up is only part of the story. Is it still there when you need to use it out in the everyday world?
I’ll delve deeper into the elements of more effective strategies for repetition in upcoming posts.