Muscle Memory (a.k.a. Myelination)

The following was written by Chris Sajnog. His books include, NAVY SEAL SHOOTING.

“What most people (including me) call muscle memory is the process of myelination. Myelin is basically insulation that your body puts around your nerves. Repetition of motor skills builds myelin around the nerves responsible for your movements so that the next time you do a practiced movement, it can be faster, smoother and easier. This happens slowly… but it DOES happen no matter what your movement.”

A definition of myelin written by Dr. Colleen Doherty is, “Myelin is made of fat and protein….”

Have fun.


Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

That fits perfectly with something I recently told a friend about his draw. I’m of the school that if you practice good form, speed will naturally come. Based on what you just shared, it’s even more important to practice the correct motions of we want a faster draw, even if those practice motions are slow.


In other words, training and repeating the same action builds your muscle memory and strengthens that neural pathway?

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I think you said it perfect.

Here is the analogy I made up that I like, and seems to be correct. Probably anybody who has been driving for years can hit the brakes, fast. And probably they didn’t practice for speed, they just hit the brakes a lot. And as a result, they can do it FAST. On auto pilot.


I am not a doctor, so I’ll let others draw conclusions.

That I believe is termed, Cognitive Conditioning.

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My MA coach puts it like this “Get the Technique down, power and speed will follow and you will be surprised.”

  1. Slow is smooth.
  2. Smooth is fast.
    When learning to ski, the bunny hill is preferable to a double black diamond run.
    Train from the ground up. Get a good shot timer and learn how it can help you.

“Our results suggest that consuming high levels of saturated fat in conjunction with a sedentary lifestyle can lead to a reduction in myelin-forming cells.
But exercise training can help reverse this process and promote the myelinogenesis necessary to meet increased energy demands,”
Isobel A. Scarisbrick, Ph.D.
Director of the Neuroregeneration and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Rochester, Minnesota

Train, practice, shoot, exercise !
Otherwise your muscle memory sucks… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Seems that this is a process that has developed from the day we were all born, throughout our life development, and will continue for as long as we stay mobile, and feed your face with healthy protein, eat heathy fats, healthy diet, staying physically active and mobile.


That is what made me a successful Professional Guitar player & performer. Same principle. Practice, practice, practice. The same is true for shooting. I am 65 years old & retired from the US Navy & all business including the music business. I still play guitar & write songs every day as I still continue to enjoy my handguns just as much as when I was shooting competition. As with all endeavors, golf included, my only competition is myself. Mike270 is posting the truth. Use it or lose it.


Mike you are the first person that brought up what we clled Motor Memory in the unit we I was in,and that i have continuously been doing the same training i did that the unit trained us,and it does really work,it worked automatically with out a thought in my confrontation in 2019 it definitely does work!



Sometimes I try to do something really fast from memory and forget to look what I am doing and mess up . I realized I have to look what I am doing many times before I can do it blind or from memory. Just thought I would share.

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This happens a lot.

Coming from the medical side of the house for 30 years mylination is the forming of more mylin. The muscle memory part is when the actions are repeated so often that the nerve no longer sends the signal down the nerve fiber (through the middle) and out but sends it down the mylin sheath covering the nerve fiber which according to some is anywhere from 10 - 100X faster. Anything that requires manual dexterity and a repeated task can and will eventually form a muscle memory, correctly or incorrectly. That is partially why bad or previous habits are so difficult to break. Add a little stress and the body will do what has done the most out of pure reaction.




It takes years to train mussel memory to do the action automatically with out a thought and to keep you eyes on the target,and also to contentious train that motor memory as if you don’t,you lose is,it is a constant drill you need to have

For an excellent description of myelination and how it has been developed in a variety of skills, read The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle.

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Will do.