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  1. #1
    Trusted Advisor Doug's Avatar
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    Default How to find your muscle fiber type.

    Ever wondered why a muscle isnt growing....

    A normal person has a 50/50% split between fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibres. But some people can have a predominance of fast or slow twitch muscle fibres. But how do you find out what is your muscle make up, so that you can alter your training to suit you muscle fiber type...

    It is quite common to have a slightly predominant muscle fibre type, thats why professional athletes are good at what they do, long distance runners are predominently slow twitch, bodybuilders are mostly fast twitch. But to find out the fiber type in a particular muscle takes time to sort out..

    How to find your muscle fiber composition.

    The objective of the muscle fiber test is to determine the fiber composition of the muscles being used for a particular exercise. Two test protocols are described: The Dr F. Hatield muscle fiber test and the Charles Poliquin muscle fiber test.

    Required Resources:
    To undertake this test you will require:

    Weight training facilities
    An assistant/spotter
    Selection of exercises

    How to conduct the Dr F. Hatfield muscle fiber test:

    Determine your one repetition maximum (1RM) on an exercise
    Rest for 15 minutes
    Perform as many repetitions as possible with 80% of your 1RM
    Analysis:

    Less than 7 repetitions – Your fast twitch (FT) dominant
    7 or 8 repetitions – You have a mixed fiber type
    More than 8 repetitions – You are slow twitch (ST) dominant
    If you are FT dominant, then you should use heavier loads and lower repetitions predominantly in your training. ST dominant individuals, on the other hand, will respond better to lighter loads and higher repetitions

    How to conduct the Charles Poliquin muscle fiber test:

    Determine your one repetition maximum (1RM) on an exercise
    Rest for 15 minutes
    Perform as many repetitions as possible with 85% of your 1RM
    Analysis:

    Less than 5 repetitions – you are fast twitch (FT) dominant
    5 repetitions – you have mixed fiber type
    More than 5 repetitions – you are slow twitch (ST) dominant
    If you are FT dominant, then you should use heavier loads and lower repetitions predominantly in your training. ST dominant individuals, on the other hand, will respond better to lighter loads and higher repetitions.
    Doug

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  2. #2
    Stealth Mod Saurus's Avatar
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    A most useful post!

    rep +
    A person is only as big as the dream they dare to live.

  3. #3
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    Default

    if you are dominant to either fast or slow, do the rep/weight changes go more towards the strength/'toning' ways....

    ie. let's say normal muscle growth = 8-12 reps.
    would FT then move into the strength reps (4-8) or (6-10).

    oh, and does FT/ST have different affects in terms of the ability to gain muscle and/or strength?
    Last edited by delaroche; 09-07-2007 at 11:19 AM.

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    Muscle & Strength Boss Damien's Avatar
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    Excellent post Doug, here, have some rep!
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  5. #5
    Coming Up The Ranks zeph's Avatar
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    v. good post doug, sure it will be very useful to many people, even if only for the intrest side. rep+

  6. #6
    Trusted Advisor Doug's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by delaroche View Post
    if you are dominant to either fast or slow, do the rep/weight changes go more towards the strength/'toning' ways....

    ie. let's say normal muscle growth = 8-12 reps.
    would FT then move into the strength reps (4-8) or (6-10).

    oh, and does FT/ST have different affects in terms of the ability to gain muscle and/or strength?
    Slow twitch muscle fibers are the endurance fibres and dont grow bigger like the fast twitch fibers.

    If you have a greater number of slow twitch fibers then to affect the greatest number of fibers you will have to use higher reps (!2-15), shorter rest periods, and higher volume(more sets). Slow twitch fibers recover quicker, take longer to fatigue, and require more work to maximise growth. Slow twitch fibers are limited in the potential for growth. Remember also that you will still need to do some lower rep training to maximise the fast twitch fibers in that muscle.

    If your muscles have a fairly even mix of fibers, you can evenly divide your training between focusing on the lower rep, fast-twitch fiber training and the higher rep, slow-twitch fiber training. This will help you to develop all the fibers in your muscles, maximizing your ultimate development.
    Doug

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  7. #7
    Watchin what yer doin! tadolfi's Avatar
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    Superb my man!
    Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail
    What's your plan?
    Yes, I am a Moderator

  8. #8
    Regular Poster Orome's Avatar
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    Default

    Excellent post

    rep+

  9. #9
    jlbirdwell
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    Default

    Can different muscles in the body be different? Or are they all the same. Such as if you are a FT in the Bicep, you are a FT in the Glut, Chest, etc.?

  10. #10
    Trusted Advisor Doug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlbirdwell View Post
    Can different muscles in the body be different? Or are they all the same. Such as if you are a FT in the Bicep, you are a FT in the Glut, Chest, etc.?
    Yes you can have a difference in different muscles, it is down to your own personal genetic makeup.
    Doug

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    Coming Up The Ranks Dunes19895's Avatar
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    Very good Doug. A earned rep+. You have much knowledge you should write a book!
    Isiah 41:10
    5'6 140 9-12% (not exactly sure) bf
    Goals 165lbs 7% bf (2007)
    5'6 145lb maybe 14%
    goal 150 lean by summer 2012

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    Is it possible?Is it difficult?
    sreeja r nair

  13. #13
    M&S Power User ssslayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sreeja View Post
    Is it possible?Is it difficult?
    What is possible and what id difficult?

  14. #14
    Regular Poster noobusguy26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug View Post
    Yes you can have a difference in different muscles, it is down to your own personal genetic makeup.
    could you be FT dominant in your left bicep and be ST dominant in your right bicep?

  15. #15
    Trusted Advisor Doug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noobusguy26 View Post
    could you be FT dominant in your left bicep and be ST dominant in your right bicep?
    No, I have never heard of that one...
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  16. #16
    Regular Poster Thebigark's Avatar
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    which method is more accurate. they are both are similar but you are using heavier weights with one than the other and different rep ranges. wouldn't the heavier weight load favor FT muscle and the other favor ST. just thinking out loud. which would you suggest or should they both be done, on separate occasions?

  17. #17
    Regular Poster Thebigark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug View Post
    Slow twitch muscle fibers are the endurance fibres and dont grow bigger like the fast twitch fibers.

    If you have a greater number of slow twitch fibers then to affect the greatest number of fibers you will have to use higher reps (!2-15), shorter rest periods, and higher volume(more sets). Slow twitch fibers recover quicker, take longer to fatigue, and require more work to maximise growth. Slow twitch fibers are limited in the potential for growth. Remember also that you will still need to do some lower rep training to maximise the fast twitch fibers in that muscle.

    If your muscles have a fairly even mix of fibers, you can evenly divide your training between focusing on the lower rep, fast-twitch fiber training and the higher rep, slow-twitch fiber training. This will help you to develop all the fibers in your muscles, maximizing your ultimate development.
    So if i understand this right:

    ST dominant: High volume training
    FT dominant: High intensity training

  18. #18
    Trusted Advisor Doug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thebigark View Post
    So if i understand this right:

    ST dominant: High volume training
    FT dominant: High intensity training
    Yep...
    Doug

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  19. #19
    M&S Power User ssslayer's Avatar
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    What would you make out of me:

    I have muscles that are never ever really hard in relaxed state.

    Do I have more of Slow twitch, or is it because of somethign else?

  20. #20
    Trusted Advisor Doug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssslayer View Post
    What would you make out of me:

    I have muscles that are never ever really hard in relaxed state.

    Do I have more of Slow twitch, or is it because of somethign else?
    If you do the test mentioned in the article then you will find out which fiber type is more dominant,

    Nobody has muscles that are hard in a relaxed state, it is muscle growth that causes muscles to look harder, carb depletion is one reason for small muscles.
    Doug

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug View Post
    Yes you can have a difference in different muscles, it is down to your own personal genetic makeup.
    Great post Doug, A+ rep

    I got two quick question:

    Can I use a machine for some exercise? and
    IF PT in some muscle and ST on others, then would you suggest to excersise hig rep on ST muscles and low rep on PT muscles?

  22. #22
    Trusted Advisor Doug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjaifan View Post
    Great post Doug, A+ rep

    I got two quick question:

    Can I use a machine for some exercise? and
    IF PT in some muscle and ST on others, then would you suggest to excersise hig rep on ST muscles and low rep on PT muscles?
    Hi, yes you can use machines for some of your exercises, but free weights are better for building muscle on the compound exercises.

    You will have to see what rep range suits you best for the slow twitch fibers, start by using 12-15 reps and see what gains you get from that...
    Doug

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    Good information.If i reduce the repetitions it will not be helpful?The repetition of exercise can only make the muscle fiber type?
    sreeja r nair

  24. #24
    Regular Poster chadsly's Avatar
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    This is good. I'll have to try this test soon. Quick question - Can the dominance change over time? Months? Years? Decades? Or is it completely genetic? Can it be trained?

    Ok so maybe that wasn't a quick question.
    There are 3 types of people in the world - those who can count their own reps and those who can't.

  25. #25
    Regular Poster British Rich's Avatar
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    Thanks Doug - good info as always...

    I have a question.
    if we are "dominant" in one or the other that means that we are all made up of both type of course, just the proportions vary.

    In that case it would be beneficial to do BOTH high rep AND high intensity to target both types of fibres...you just tweak the proportions to match the proportions of your fibre type...?

    Or is doing both types of training for the same muscle counter-productive...?
    "Failure is the evolution of success. It is only when you stop trying that failure becomes pointless".


    Latest assessment:
    Aug-13-08 BF 5.24%...Looks like the 5.9% last time was no fluke, AND I gained 6lbs of lean mass!! (7 Site Skin fold caliper test)

 

 

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