A new study published in The Journal of Experimental Biology makes a great case for early life involvement in lifting weights. We know that building muscle the second time around feels much easier than adding that mass the first time.
Scientists have discovered a cellular memory in muscle that seems to remember hypertrophy and is able to regain mass faster after losing it. One aspect of hypertrophy is the recruitment of myonuclei form satellite cells. Muscle fibers that have attained a higher number of myonuclei grow faster. Research now shows that muscles hold onto those myonuclei even when subjected to atrophy from disuse. Scientists hypothesize that muscles retain this feature for over 15 years and possibly for life, although elderly athletes have a harder time attracting myonuclei than younger ones. Still, this is nothing short of a public service announcement for the introduction of weight training to teenagers.
Training your muscles early in life, and thus developing a string personal muscle memory, can pay dividends for years to come.