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Fast Or Slow Twitch? | Find Out What Type Of Muscle Fibers You Have

How much time have you spent in the gym trying out various Get Huge training programs made for everybody, but haven’t had the results you expected? Everybody is different so everybody will need a different way of training adjusted for it. It actually comes down to picking a template and adjusting it.

To successfully do that, you’ll have to listen to your body for a long time and from time to time adjust that template. But what if there’s a shortcut to that? In this article, I’ll explain how to create your own training program that is adjusted for your body, or more detailed, adjusted for your type of muscle fibers.

Types Of Muscle Fibers

Within the muscle, there are fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibers. Most people have approximately the same ratio of those fibers, but some people can have a larger percentage of one. What does that mean for bodybuilding? If your body has a higher ratio of fast twitch muscle fibers it will get tired faster and you won’t be able to get through some intensive high rep training styles. It’s nothing to worry about – it just means that you’ll have to adjust training program for yourself, which in this case means using of lower reps with higher loads (power style training). If you have a hard time to get tired it means that you’ll probably be going to need to do a volume training to stimulate muscle growth.

What Type Of Muscle Fibers Do I Have?

Although trying to figure out which type of fibers you have may seem like science fiction, it isn’t so hard to figure out. Note that with this method you’ll only get a rough estimate of your muscle build – definite results can only be discovered out with a DNA test which is, unfortunately, pretty expensive. To reach these rough estimates, you will be doing this so-called fiber tests 5 times. This test will determine whether you benefit more from power or volume training, or you need a combination of both.

The procedure is very simple – work out every muscle at the gym. No, it’s not a typo. But it is important to note that you’ll do two sets of one exercise for each muscle. More accurate results will be produced by using single-joint exercises, and repetitions won’t be counted, but time under tension will.

We’ll start by using biceps curls with a straight bar as an example. Put the weight that suits you on a bar and start doing reps with constant tension, no pause at the bottom and top of the movement. The positive part of the movement should last about two seconds, and the negative of about 3, which means that the average rep lasts five seconds.

Measure time of that set – this is crucial. Do that set to the absolute muscle failure and then stop the stopwatch. Write down the time (eg 70 seconds), rest for a minute and then do one more set to failure (eg 50 seconds). Now you’ll divide the duration of the second set with a duration of the first set and multiply that number with a 100. In this case, you will get 71%.

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What Does This Percentage Mean?

This 71% tells us that after just one minute of rest from total failure, you are able to perform 71% of the time under tension from the first set.

If your resulting percentage was less than 50% it means that you have more fast twitch muscle fibers in this muscle. In the first set, you have exhausted them so much that they’ve failed to fully recover. If the percentage is greater than 75% the situation is the opposite; your muscle consists primarily of slow twitch fibers for which you will need a lot of repetitions to get it properly stimulated. Anything between that shows you that you have mixed fibers, so you’ll need to do a combination of power and volume training.

After you have completed the fiber test for each muscle group you will have a rough estimate of how certain muscles needs to be trained. But it doesn’t end here – the fiber test should be repeated a few times (5 is recommended) because there is a possibility that a certain muscle is sore from past workouts and it will not provide accurate information. Add up the results of that 5 tests and divide it by 5 and you’ll get the average from which you’ll write your training program.

Once you complete all the steps from above, the fun part starts: writing a program made just for you.



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