People wanting to improve themselves in athletics are well advised to understand the difference between the muscle fibers in their body. By understanding the muscle fibers, and how they are affected, you can maximize your time spent in the gym by focusing on the right exercises. The three muscle fibers in the body are:
- Slow Twitch Fibers - ”Weaker” muscle fibers. great endurance. used in high-endurance events like marathons.
- Hybrid Fibers – Mix between slow twitch and fast twitch fibers. Explosively strong and resistant to fatigue. Infrequently found in humans.
- Fast Twitch Fibers – Explosive, fast fibers that contract very quickly. Tire out very quickly.
Keep in mind that fast twitch muscle fibers aren’t necessarily stronger than slow twitch. Fast twitch fibers just contract faster, allowing for greater exertion against a weight.
There hasn’t been too many studies showing demonstrating a person changing fast twitch to slow twitch, or vice versa. It is widely assumed your genetics plays a part in the distribution of slow twitch and fast twitch fibers throughout your body. It has however been documented in studies that individuals can change pure fast twitch muscle fibers into the hybrid muscle fiber type. This is often accomplished by constant endurance training combined with a weight lifting program.
That being said, hybrid muscle fibers are the best type to have for anyone wanting to increase their vertical leap, speed, strength, and endurance. They are super fibers, in a sense; they possess the positive attributes of both slow and fast twitch fibers. The best way to affect your muscle fiber composition is to do a routine that combines plyometrics and weight training. These two activities will positively effect your fast twitch fibers. The more fast twitch fibers you have, the more potential you have for the hybrid muscle fiber type.
Sprint training is the best routine there is for creating hybrid muscle fibers in your body. Combine sprint training with weights and some endurance exercise and you will be well on your way to developing these super fibers.
Remember, in order to maximize the number of hybrid muscle fibers in your body, you must have an abundance of fast twitch fibers. Consult the chart below for some tips on how to best train your fast twitch muscle fibers.
Having a specific training program designed by a professional athletic trainer with your goals in mind is paramount to making serious gains. Train hard and train effectively to start seeing progress in your development.