(Slow Vs Fast twitch fiber)
Are you a better sprinter or a distance runner? Can you be great at both? Many people believe that having faster or slow twitch muscle fibers may determine what sports athletes excel at and how they respond to training.
The Muscle-Fiber Test
On a big strength exercise like the bench press or back squat, load the bar to 80% of your one-rep maximum (1RM). For example, if your one-rep max on the bench press is 200lbs, then use 160lbs. Then, do as many reps until you fail or your technique gets really bad.
Less than 7 reps: fast-twitch dominant
7 to 9 reps: balanced between slow- and fast-twitch fibers
More than 9 reps: slow-twitch dominant
If you’re slow-twitch dominant, you have a great advantage in longer-duration activities. With your resistance training, focus on increasing your time under tension.
Use higher reps - eight or more - focus on a slower tempo (i.e. two seconds up and two seconds down) with your strength exercises. Also, use shorter rest periods (like 30 seconds) and, every few weeks, train to failure, count how many reps you could do, and try to beat that next time. If you think, however, slow-twitch training will make you look like a skinny marathon runner, think again. Those guys run for hours per day—you don’t.
Finally, occasionally target your fast-twitch muscles with low-rep training to boost your maximal strength. Also, add a few power exercises and perform some high-intensity intervals with less than 15 seconds of work.
If you’re fast-twitch dominant, you thrive in activities with quick bursts of power, speed, and strength. In your training, you respond well to explosive exercises. When creating your workout, add fast movements like box jumps, medicine ball slams, and kettlebell swings. Then, add heavier power exercises like power cleans, push presses, and jump squats; with your strength training, lift very heavy (90% or more of your 1RM) and lift as fast as you can.
Finally, periodically target your slow-twitch muscles with high-rep sets or slow eccentric movements. Also, use long jogs, hikes, or bike rides for cardio to improve your aerobic system. Did you find this useful? Share!