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Muscle fiber type training
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Muscle fiber type training - 08-10-2019, 12:40 PM

All successful bodybuilders investigate their own muscle-fiber type balance in order to create an efficient weight training program to achieve maximum muscle size.
When you know your own muscle fiber make-up you're able to create an efficient training program/protocol. When you're working muscles in the wrong way you are simply cheating yourself out of your hard-earned muscle. Each muscle in our bodies is made-up of small bundles of fibers.
Each bundle has two types of fibers: fast twitch and slow twitch. Knowing the percentages of fast and slow fiber types your muscles are made of can and will help determine exactly how to train each muscle group, to ensure that you get maximum results.
Slow Twitch:
Known as red muscle fibers or Type 1, are responsible for any low intensity, long duration activity such like walking, aerobics, jogging etc.
Fast Twitch:
Known as white muscle fibers or Type 2, which are divided further into Type 2A and Type 2B. These are the muscle fibers responsible for high intensity, short-duration activity. Your Type 2B fibers are those that are built for very short, explosive type activities like the Olympic lifts. Your Type 2A fibers have been designed for any short-to- moderate duration, or moderate-to-high intensity activity/work, like one would train during most weight training sessions.
Taking elite athletes who are at the top of their game, and we look at a few extreme examples, we see glaring evidence how some endurance or marathon athletes build up to 80% of his lean body mass being slow-twitch muscle fiber. The same can be seen in some extreme examples of top fast-twitch sportsmen who have 80% or more of their lean body mass made up of fast twitch muscle fibers, making them strong and powerful but with limited endurance.
It's actually not complicated finding your own pre***inant fiber type in your body, we just need to test specific repetition limits of each muscle group and then compare that to its maximum strength. The first step is to establish what your own one rep maximum (1RM) is for a specific movement like doing a D/B curl.
Once you've figured out what your one rep max is, you then select a weight that's 80% of it, done by multiplying your maximum weight by 0.8, you then perform as many reps as you can using that 80% weight.
If you're only able to rep out 4 to 7 reps lifting 80% of your own 1 RM, then you have pre***inantly fast-twitch fibers in that specific muscle group.
If you're able to rep out 10 reps lifting 80% of your own 1 RM, then your fiber-type mix is approximately an equal 50/50 split between fast and slow twitch fiber types.
If you're able to rep out 12 to 15 or even more reps using 80% of your own 1RM, then your fiber make-up is mostly slow-twitch fibers.
One needs to be able to repeat this procedure on each muscle group that you wish to know your pre***inate fiber type; it will vary between different muscle groups. When you know what your pre***inant muscle type is, you'll be able to adjust your training accordingly. Let's take the calf muscle as an example.
The calf muscle (gastrocnemius) is made out of slow-twitch fibers primarily, but the soleus (lying underneath the gastrocnemius) is pre***inantly made out of fast-twitch fibers, just like the hamstrings. Weight training for muscle gain will mean working as many of your muscle-fibers as possible. When your weight training program affects more muscle fibers it means you'll get greater strength and muscle gains.
If the muscle fibers in any particular muscle group you're training consist primarily of slow-twitch fibers, you'll have to train that particular muscle group with higher reps, higher volume and shorter rest periods. Because these muscle fibers take longer to reach fatigue, they are able to recover quicker, therefore require more work in order to maximize growth.
Slow twitch-muscle fibers are severely limited in their ability to grow in size for any muscle group that is primarily made of slow-twitch. For these slow-twitch muscle groups you'll need to do lower rep training in order to maximize the fast-twitch muscle fibers that you have got in that specific muscle group you're training.
If one particular muscle group you're training doesn't grow there's a very good chance it's because there's a pre***inance of only slow-twitch muscle fibers. Higher reps (12 to 15 reps), more sets (higher volume) and rest periods shorter (30-60 seconds) will help you to reach a maximize size in slow-twitch muscle.
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08-10-2019, 09:34 PM

I train everything using different rep ranges. It just makes more sense than doing the same thing every signle workout. It also helps give my joints a rest from the heavy (low rep) sets.
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08-14-2019, 08:50 PM

Anyone into this would enjoy Neil Hill's Y3T training program. I have done the same but changed the rep ranges slightly.


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08-15-2019, 04:58 AM

I do the same as surge, however this is very good info thank you for posting it!
   
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08-15-2019, 11:34 AM

I'm having a real struggle with endurance.
Example - If I do dips with say +60*10 then set 2 would be like +45*8 and set 3 more like 45*6 but if I did +70*6 set 2 could be +80*6 then set 3 +90*5 and I can keep going up to say +100*4 or +110*3 until I hit a number just a bit higher (haven't pushed on dips yet but would guess +125) where I can't really move the weight...

Basically as soon as i go anywhere close to failure at over 8 reps my workout is functionally over but if I stay in the 5-6 range I can keep adding weight and the reps don't go down...

Does this suggest the I'm VERY fast-twitch ***inant?
Should I try to fill in the weaker rep-ranges or just lean in to my natural fast-twitch ***inance?
   
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08-15-2019, 02:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpher View Post
I'm having a real struggle with endurance.
Example - If I do dips with say +60*10 then set 2 would be like +45*8 and set 3 more like 45*6 but if I did +70*6 set 2 could be +80*6 then set 3 +90*5 and I can keep going up to say +100*4 or +110*3 until I hit a number just a bit higher (haven't pushed on dips yet but would guess +125) where I can't really move the weight...

Basically as soon as i go anywhere close to failure at over 8 reps my workout is functionally over but if I stay in the 5-6 range I can keep adding weight and the reps don't go down...

Does this suggest the I'm VERY fast-twitch ***inant?
Should I try to fill in the weaker rep-ranges or just lean in to my natural fast-twitch ***inance?
It doesnít really suggest much of anything, IMO. Far too much is made of muscle fiber type. The research shows that all of the top athletes in any sport, even endurance sports and bodybuilding, have a prevalence of type 1 muscle fibers. Reps in the 8-10 range just doesnít qualify as endurance training, either. If you want to do more reps, train to do more reps. Add in a day where you lower the weight significantly and focus on getting your rep range up. If you have to go down to 50% of your normal weight to do so, then do it. Muscles are forced to respond/adapt by changing the input stimulus. Itís a fairly simple idea, but one that many guys often try to make much more complicated than it needs to be.


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08-15-2019, 03:31 PM

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Originally Posted by GearPro View Post
It doesnít really suggest much of anything, IMO. Far too much is made of muscle fiber type. The research shows that all of the top athletes in any sport, even endurance sports and bodybuilding, have a prevalence of type 1 muscle fibers. Reps in the 8-10 range just doesnít qualify as endurance training, either. If you want to do more reps, train to do more reps. Add in a day where you lower the weight significantly and focus on getting your rep range up. If you have to go down to 50% of your normal weight to do so, then do it. Muscles are forced to respond/adapt by changing the input stimulus. Itís a fairly simple idea, but one that many guys often try to make much more complicated than it needs to be.
I was working in the 10-12 range for primary lifts and adding some high rep stuff (15+) but I never sensed any kind of adaptation to it. Just to get 8 reps on set 2 would require a drop of 20%+ and by set 3 I'd be lucky to get 5 reps at a 30-40% drop...
Dropped down to the 5-6 range yesterday and kept getting stronger right through the 5th set. The only real wall was getting too close to my 1 RM

I was in this higher range for 2 months but never saw any adaptation... How long would you give it / wait?
   
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08-15-2019, 07:08 PM

Adaptation takes time and consistency. 2 months is very short in the overall scheme of things. And even 15 reps isn’t that “high”. I consider 12-15 reps to be midrange as far as numbers go. 25(ish) is more what I consider to be “high”, and even that’s not really terribly high. I’ve known guys that did 35+ reps on high rep day. Rep count isnt everything, though. Total volume is a more important factor.

There’s a fairly simple formula for figuring volume. Weight x reps x sets= total volume for a workout, although it’s more meaningful when applied to an entire weeks worth of workouts rather than comparing one day against another. Total volume shouldn’t change drastically from low rep day to high rep day. In theory your muscles should be able to handle the same total amount of volume/work, regardless of the rep count.


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