The first module will cover the physiology of muscle fibers, focussing primarily on the all-important fast twitch fibers. It will also address why developing the fast twitch fibers are beneficial for explosive athletes and also whether it is in fact possible to increase your ratio of fast twitch fibers
What are fast-twitch fibers and why are they key for the development of an explosive athlete?
Fast twitch fibers (Type II) are the fibers responsible for producing maximal force and/or power. Any action that requires a high level of force output or explosive movement is going to be performed by the Type II fibers.
Type II fibers are not dependent on oxygen for energy production, which facilitates their fast production of force, but likewise means they will fatigue quickly compared to their slow-twitch (Type I) counterparts.
Type II fibers also have a lot of potential for growth (hypertrophy) in response to resistance training, whereas Type I fibers do not.
What are the benefits of a high ratio of fast twitch fibers?
A higher ratio of fast twitch fibers is going to bring with it a lot of benefits for an athlete, including:
- Increased potential for hypertrophy
- Increased maximum force potential
- Increase maximum power potential
Increased endurance/performance in alactic/non-oxygen dependent activities
As we can see these benefits are going to be of much interest to any athlete involved in a sport that involves singular or repeated bouts of high force/power movements.
Is it possible to increase your ratio of fast-twitch fibers?
Recent studies have shown that not only is it possible to increase your ratio of fast twitch fibers, but it can also happen in a very short time frame.
Studies have found significant increases in fast twitch fiber ratio with 4-6 weeks of power-based training.
The driver of this adaptive process is the training stimulus that is placed on the muscle (and nervous system). We need to heavily favor training methods that not only recruit fast twitch fibers but also methods that stimulate an increased firing rate.
THE SCIENCE OF MAXIMIZING FAST-TWITCH FIBER RATIO AND DEVELOPMENT
The Explosive Fast-Twitch Training Course
THE SCIENCE OF MAXIMIZING FAST – TWITCH FIBER RATIO AND DEVELOPMENT