The Mind To Muscle Connection: What Is It Really? Pt. 2

The Mind To Muscle Connection: Acetylcholine

In the first article, we took a look at a study that was done that showed some evidence pointing to the reality of the mind to muscle connection. When an athlete focused on utilizing a specific muscle group during compound movements the muscle they put their focus into showed to have increased activation. You think about the muscle, and it contracts, it's as simple as that. In part 2 of this series I'd like to show you a breakdown of the actual neurotransmitter process of the mind to muscle connection.

It's All About Acetylcholine

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter released by nerve cells in order to send signals to other cells. In other words, when the nervous system sends a signal to contract a muscle, the motor neurons release acetylcholine in order to make that happen. Check out this diagram of acetylcholine processing:

All I really want you to get from this image is the gap where acetlycholine is sitting right there in the middle. That space is called the neuromuscular junction. It is when acetylcholine is released from nerve cells and crosses over the junction and taken in by a receptor that a muscular contraction happens. Think of it as a light bulb. The switch is the nerve cell, the wire is the junction, the electric flow is the acetylcholine, and finally the light bulb is the muscle. 

It is because of this process that we can understand that the mind to muscle connection exists. The brain tells our nervous system what to do. We don't move any skeletal muscles without having the conscious thought to do so. We can put our focus into a movement to enhance a specific muscle group to be worked. This becomes incredibly useful during a movement like the squat, deadlift, power clean, snatch, or even bench press. This idea of the mind to muscle connection is also one of the reasons why we created NooClear. By using nootropics and adaptogens in our formula, it can enhance the effect of the mind to muscle connection.

Alright, that's enough science to throw at you for one week. Now get in the gym and put this idea into practice!

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