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Muscle Activation Techniques ?

  1. May 6, 2013 #1
    "Muscle Activation Techniques"?

    I'm working on getting more physically active and fit, and I've received a recommendation for a (patented, naturally) exercise program (or perhaps "paradigm" is a better word) called "Muscle Activation Techniques" (main site). I know there's a lot of BS in the fitness world, and the abundance of acronyms and buzz words—and lack of scientific studies—appearing on that webpage have me a bit wary. I was hoping someone with a better knowledge of how the human body works could allay or confirm my skepticism.

    There's not a lot there on the nature of the technique (which is probably another red flag), but the most detailed explanation seems to be in the FAQ here. Further details are here and here.

    As I've said, I can't find any studies on the efficacy of the technique. However, it would be helpful if PF members could comment on the theoretical foundation on which MAT is based; that is, the idea that: "every injury may have a negative impact on our neuromuscular function and that over time, the communication between the nervous system and the muscular system becomes negatively altered. If this altered communication is not regularly addressed, then the cumulative effect may be a progressive weakness of the muscular system as a whole, resulting in an increase susceptibility to pain, injury and/or degenerative issues."

    Is this notion of 'muscle weakness (defined in MAT as decreased ability to contract efficiently) due to compromised communication between the muscular and nervous systems' sound? If so, then is there anything in the FAQ's overview of the program that gives it plausibility as a remedy? And, if that's the case, then is it something genuinely novel, or something that would tend to happen during any well-rounded exercise regimen?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 6, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    What do you mean by "patented"? If it is patented, what is the US patent number? Reading any associated patent should get you better scientific references.

    Sounds like BS to me, and not something to try early in the process of getting into better shape. Just ease into a well-rounded cross-training program (swim/bike/run/whatever) and work on your nutrition a bit. After a year or two of that, you could look around at innovative exercise routines to take you to the next level. Something like Cross-Fit, but you do need to be concerned with injuries with a program like Cross-Fit.

    I work out 6-7 days a week, and manage to stay in pretty good shape. Even though you do lose some as you get older (I'm 55), as long as you are cross-training well as you age (for variety and to reduce repetitive motion injuries), that mitigates any nerve/muscle communication loss pretty well.
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  4. May 6, 2013 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    It's a bunch of cd's showing exercises, which are pushed by their fitness assessors.

    Yes, the entire website is word salad.
  5. May 6, 2013 #4


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    Gold Member

    I was expecting a TENS sort of product when I saw the title. There's some old Oriental freak on late-night infomercials who is trying to pass one of those off as a weight-loss miracle. They're designed for localized pain relief and are somewhat effective at it. (There's one kicking around the house here somewhere that my doctor cousin gave to my mother to help with her rheumatoid arthritis, but I haven't seen it in over 25 years. I tried it on the torn tendon in my knee and it did help a bit, but only while being applied.)
    Hospitals and physiotherapy clinics do use a stronger version with paralyzed and perhaps even comatose patients to prevent muscle atrophy, but it's not something suitable for a gym sort of purpose.
    Anyhow, that doesn't seem to be what they're trying to sell in your link. That is, indeed, garbage.
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