The proportion of muscle in our body can be between 25% -60%, and higher for anabolic steroids users.
The muscles consist of many muscle fibers, which also perform various tasks and stimulated by other exertions.
There are two types of muscle fibers: FT = fast-twitch muscle fibers and ST = slow-twitch muscles fibers; whereby both are always active during training, but one of the two plays the more dominant role.
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ST muscle fibers:
Slow twitching muscles fibers are enduring and can cope with low stress over a more extended period. They work aerobically, i.e., with oxygen and where the red color comes from.
- Low rate of contraction
- Low-stress development
- Very high fatigue resistance
- High mitochondrial number
- A high number of enzymes for aerobic carbohydrate and fat metabolism
- Low anaerobic capacity
- Red color
FT muscle fibers:
Fast-twitch muscle fibers are a lot stronger than the ST fibers and can handle a lot of force over a short period. For example, FT fibers trained in weight training with high resistance and low repetitions. They work anaerobically and, therefore, without oxygen, which is why they are white.
- High speed of contraction
- High tension development
- Low fatigue resistance
- White color
The average person has a 50 to 50 ratio of the muscle fibers just mentioned. Bodybuilders tend to have more FT than ST fibers, and long-distance runners do the opposite.
Usually, the muscles in our shoulders, calves, and abdomen are mostly made up of ST fibers. That’s why they recover pretty quickly and can cope with more effort than other muscles.
How to train your muscle-fibers
If you are one of the bodybuilders (anyone who wants to shape their body specifically) and want to build up a few layers of muscle here and there so that you can take off your shirt in summer without any embarrassment, I do not recommend the higher repetitions to neglect. Unfortunately, the ST fibers are too often overlooked, and so the muscle potential is not fully exploited.
So either try to integrate a few higher repetitions (15-20) in the next training session or rotate the repeats weekly or monthly, e.g., for two weeks between 6-12 and 1 week 15-20 repetitions (reps).
For example, to incorporate it into an exercise, you could do two sets of 6-12 reps and then 3rd set of 15-20 reps. There is also the advantage that an enormous amount of blood is pumped into the muscle >> the muscle is supplied with nutrients.
And who doesn’t like to see their body inflated when everything looks a little bigger?
Besides, our muscles should be stimulated differently every few weeks. Otherwise, they will get used to the exertion and will not develop any further.