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 How do I train fast twitch muscle fibers?

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'Brix



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Age: 19
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PostSubject: How do I train fast twitch muscle fibers?   Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:11 am

How do I train my body to improve my fast twitch muscle fibers, as well as keeping my slow twitch ones intact?

EDIT: I believe I have a majority of either type I or II fast twitch, since I'm good at an all round type of running.

E.g Sprints, middle and long distance I'm decent at all, probably my best is middle. I want to swing the focus back around to sprints
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McCoy



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PostSubject: Re: How do I train fast twitch muscle fibers?   Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:50 am

Do explosive exercises? Slow twitch fibers are activated by slow, grinding movements. Think of a clean versus a heavy deadlift.
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'Brix



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PostSubject: Re: How do I train fast twitch muscle fibers?   Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:57 am

Never mind guys, doing a little bit of research on the net has paid off.

Maybe I'll do a tut if my training is successful...
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csaba



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PostSubject: Re: How do I train fast twitch muscle fibers?   Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:47 am

train for what you want to be by doing it, and your muscles will change the appropriate way without you knowing. i.e., if you want to be good at sprinting, do sprints and intervals. if you want to be good at long distance, do that. etc.

that said, if you found something more helpful than what i said, i would be interested in hearing about it.
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'Brix



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PostSubject: Re: How do I train fast twitch muscle fibers?   Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:34 pm

Basically, what I've found is that everyone has three types of muscle fibers. Slow, fast type 1, and fast type 2.

Slow is used for long periods of exertion, and fast type 2 is used for quick periods of explosive speed. When you jog, you only use slow type fibers, but when you sprint you have to use your fast twitch ones. Everyone has a mixture, but some people have a higher percentage of fast or slow, which can't be changed.

But when you train your fast twitch ones, they grow and take up more space. When you train your slow ones, your fast ones shrink and the slows take up more space. That's why sprinters have big legs, and cross country runners look lik twigs, but they hardly tire.

So, the basic principles of sprint training is this: pre/season, train for maximum leg strength. This makes the fast twitch fibers more powerful, and more power is needed if you want to get faster. Late preseason is agility and plyometrics training, plus sprint technique. This is where you train your fibers to fire that strength they gained fast. Theagility training is used to help with starts, and coordinating your feet. Running on your toes is how you sprint, so if you don't already, this is where you learn to.

During season and late season may lap over each other, depending on how successful your agility/plyometrics training is. But during season is maintenance, a.k.a maintaining your peak. This is composed of a mix of strength/agility and plyometrics, plus any radical changes needed in technique.

After season is recovery, which is generally a two week period. The muscles should be kept active, but at a lower level. This is to let them catch up on all the ATP they have lost, and let them charge back to 100%, without losing their firing capabilities.

I might be a little bit off in my information, but this is the general agreement from sport physiologists and biomechanics.

This post may be a little rushed, but I have to go to school
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csaba



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PostSubject: Re: How do I train fast twitch muscle fibers?   Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:26 pm

thanks, that was interesting. i guess the idea behind doing the pre-season strength training is because you build the muscle faster than actually just doing sprints? it seems a little weird they recommend building bulky muscles and then try to retrain them for different purpose.
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'Brix



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PostSubject: Re: How do I train fast twitch muscle fibers?   Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:47 am

It's not retraining them per se, more like training them.

My post was kind of incomplete, since I was pressed for time getting ready for school.

You see, when you train for strength, your growing your fast twitch muscle fibers. When you train for endurance, you train your slow ones.

The logic behind this is that when you run long distances, your slow twitch muscle fibers are being used. But you fast twitch ones aren't because they are not needed.

But for short distance sprinting, your muscles recruit your fast twitch muscle fibers, and tells them to fire as much strength as they can, as fast as they can. So, you go fast, but tire just as quickly.

When you gain strength (not endurance) this is your fast twitch muscle fibers growing in strength. Then, the logical thing is to train them to fire faster.

More strength per fire + faster fire = faster speed

Simple equation of sprint speed=

Strength+Speed = Faster sprint

You get my drift.

The only question I have is what my muscle fiber type is... :S haha. But, I can only guess.


P.S The reason as a generalization, cross country runners look like twigs, and sprinters look solid as rock, is because fast twitch muscle fibers are bigger than slow twitch ones. So from this we can conclude that fast twitch muscle is used for low reps, which require little endurance, but alot of strength. And high reps require high endurance. Yes, I bet you see a loophole right now. Your wondering why high reps doesn't require more strength than low reps, but I'll do my best to explain it to you.

Slow twitch muscles are used when the muscle does not require a large amount of force, but a large amount of endurance. Fast twitch is used when slow twitch muscles aren't enough. So Fast twitch is only activated at higher need times for strength, like a sprint.

Low reps for high weight = strength training
High reps for medium weight = endurance

From here on, this is totally theory.

So (and forgive me fellow bar-barians) I am going to use an example of lifting weights. Pavel did it, except he didn't go the whole way.

Pavel said that we can't use 100% of our muscle, only 20-30%. This is true, I think. But his theory that we use low reps to teach our muscles to contract harder, may be slightly off. I reckon his theory works, but at the same time, it's not just contracting harder, it's teaching us to use high twitch muscle more. The slow size gains with rigid density can be attributed to our fast twitch muscles getting stronger.

And when our strength gets to the level where an exercise becomes easy, then the fast twitch fibers do not grow, because the demand for them is not there.


That last bit is a bit iffy, but I kind of made it up myself, as a possible explanation for the whole muscle strength, and endurance thing.

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j8g2h



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PostSubject: Re: How do I train fast twitch muscle fibers?   Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:57 pm

Fast twitch fibres respond to very heavy movements. The twitch is the rate of twitches in the fibre from cross bridge cycling, not the speed of contraction. If you are working at your 3 rep max or something like that it would be fast twitch fibres no matter what speed you do the movement at.

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'Brix



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PostSubject: Re: How do I train fast twitch muscle fibers?   Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:35 pm

Thanks, I'm in no way an expert in this subject, but everyone has to start somewhere right?

Thanks for clearing that up...
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Pulpmachine



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PostSubject: Re: How do I train fast twitch muscle fibers?   Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:56 pm

the real truth is that yes, we are born with our percentage of fast twitch muscles, but also you can get your slow twitch muscles to fire up faster if you do explosive movement with them. eventually your slow twitch may not be able to pack in as much power as fast twitch, but they will be able to do fast contractions just like them.

One way of "converting" your slow twitch into fast twitch is to do explosive movement with not a lot of weight. One example is jump squats.

Also you have two types of fast twitch: fast twitch (b) and fast twitch (a)
your fast twitch (a) muscles are more of a neutral muscle and if you keep doing sprints and explosive movements or heavy weights... they will "convert" into fast twitch (b). which are REALLY fast contracting muscles

If you want to get faster I would recommend sprinting 3 times a week and doing jump squats to help convert your slow twitch and fast twitch (a) muscles

Hope I helped
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