Slow Twitch, Fast Twitch Tips
Let’s talk about some techniques to train for your muscle fibers! It’s important to stay in tune with your body to simply understand where you naturally gravitate. If you enjoy short durations of exercises, especially those that are strength-based, it’s likely that you have more fast twitch muscle fibers. If you love aerobic based endurance workouts like that of distance running, swimming or cycling, it’s likely that you have more slow-twitch muscle fibers. Nonetheless, science shows that for the most part, many have a fairly even split of muscle fiber types in the body with a slight dominance of one over the other.
Knowing your body’s natural preference can certainly aid in your personal determination of what types of exercises appeal most to you so that you can secure a consistent workout that you actually enjoy and are willing to commit to. So let’s take a look at a few tips you can give a try to train your slow and fast twitch muscle fibers!
Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber Training Tips
- Utilize explosive and powerful movements using weights such as a kettlebell, barbell, dumbbells and so on, or just your own body weight. This requires fast-twitch fibers to kick in.
- For efficiency and effectiveness, try limiting your heavy-weight repetitions to no more than 8 reps due to the fact that fast-twitch fibers fatigue rapidly.
- Take 60-90 second rest periods after any explosive or heavy lifting exercises. This allows your fast-twitch fibers to regain ATP (a primary source of energy in the body/muscles) and to recover.
- Strength and resistance based training with heavy weights utilize more muscle fibers. Thus, the heavier the weight, the more fast- twitch muscle fibers are recruited during your workout.
Slow Twitch Muscle Fiber Training Tips
- Aim for slower movements, lighter weights and higher repetitions of 15 or more in order to recruit slow twitch muscle fibers while resistance and strength training.
- A circuit or super-set workout as well as isometric exercises with little rest between exercises will help engage more slow twitch fibers.
- For efficiency and endurance of slow twitch fibers, try high repetitions of body-weight exercises.
- Take a short rest period of about 30 seconds when using lighter weights or body resistance in order to engage slow twitch muscle fibers. This allows the aerobic metabolism to fuel the workout.
According to all credible exercise resources including the American Council on Exercise, American College of Sports Medicine and National Academy of Sport Medicine, it is critical to keep in mind that a balanced exercise regimen includes cardiovascular, flexibility, strength and balance exercises. Do you need help drawing up a plan that works for your body and lifestyle. Sign up to talk with one of our certified health advisers and personal trainers today by contacting our concierge team!
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– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC
Health Advisor | Email Casey