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Rep Cadence and Muscle Fibers
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spud

Hi,

I know this is a fairly simple question, but I would still like to know the answer to it.

Does the speed at which you lift have any bearing on what types of muscle fibre you hit?

Some say that lifting fast hits your fast twitch muscle fibres, and that lifting slowly hits your slow twitch muscle fibres.

The argument then continues that fast twitch muscle fibres have the most potential for growth and so you should lift fast.

I thought that load had more to do with activating the fast twitch fibres than the speed of movement?

Can anybody help clear this up?
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Bill Sekerak

California, USA

Thats not the way muscles work , muscle recruitment is not selectively dependant upon speed of movement.

Bill
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Fiber types will mainly affect two things:
1. Frequency (ST fibers may be worked more frequently)
2. Time Under Load (TUL) [FT muscles should have shorter TULs, like 40-60 seconds; ST muscles should have longer TULs, like 60-90 seconds]

Fast reps affect ALL fiber types by increasing your chance of injury and should be avoided.

Scott
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Acerimmer1

spud wrote:
Hi,

I know this is a fairly simple question, but I would still like to know the answer to it.

Does the speed at which you lift have any bearing on what types of muscle fibre you hit?

Some say that lifting fast hits your fast twitch muscle fibres, and that lifting slowly hits your slow twitch muscle fibres.

The argument then continues that fast twitch muscle fibres have the most potential for growth and so you should lift fast.

I thought that load had more to do with activating the fast twitch fibres than the speed of movement?

Can anybody help clear this up?


I really don't know the answer to that. I've been wondering myself, there is some debate about this.
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spud

Acerimmer1 wrote:
I've been wondering myself, there is some debate about this.


I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one.

Let's hear the debate.
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Nwlifter

There really is no question about how this works,

Momentary force percentage determines recruitment and rate coding levels.

When you move faster, you have to push harder for the speed, so yes it increases recruitment. But, it's not the best way for weightlifting type exercises. It can increase the chance of injury and you will build momentum which will cause an unloading as you approach the end of the rep.

Different muscles in the body have various percentage of effort recruitment levels. For example, the biceps fall in the 80-85% range. This means, anytime you are exherting 80-85% or greater effort, you will be recruiting all the available fibers in the biceps muscles. Extra force beyond that is determined by rate coding levels. (Speed of firing per second, aka frequency in HZ).

Ron
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Spud,

There is no debate except amongst those who don't wish to do their homework. ST fibers are still very fast and are slow only by comparison to FT fibers. Furthermore, there is a fairly broad spectrum of fiber qualities to consider. The main thing is what Bill said and the fact that the speed difference is insignificant (Most important what Bill said).

Regards,
Andrew
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Acerimmer1

AShortt wrote:
Spud,

There is no debate except amongst those who don't wish to do their homework. ST fibers are still very fast and are slow only by comparison to FT fibers. Furthermore, there is a fairly broad spectrum of fiber qualities to consider. The main thing is what Bill said and the fact that the speed difference is insignificant (Most important what Bill said).

Regards,
Andrew


There is a debate! Often in a debate one point of view is invalid. That usually doesn't prohibit a debate taking place.

How can you say slow twitch fibres are fast what are you comparing them to if not FT fibres? What other meaningful comparison exists?

PS: If you did your "homework" then prove it to us! We might learn something, thats the whole point of this forum. Since I don't have a fixed opinion either way you can hardly expect me to prove that it hasn't been proven now can you.

I lean in the same direction you do but I can't say I know that for a fact. How is it that you think you can?
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Acerimmer1

By the way the argument is that elite speed/power athletes can become adapted in such a way that they skip recruiting some of the ST fibres. Now even if you could disprove that this happens in every day folk, I doubt very much that you know of a comprehensive study based on elite athletes.

Am I wrong?

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RUGGED_INTELLECT

This is a sincere question.

Do we know through science that there are different muscle fibre types or have people simply guessed that because some people are born with less total muscle fibres(and therefore have the prediliction for a lightler build) and are given to longer duration, low intensity exercise, and some are born with more total muscle fibres and have the potential therefore to be more heavily muscled and therefore stronger, which leads them towards more short duration, higher intensity exercise, that there must be something different about the muscle itself, and not just that one has more and the other less?

It makes sense to me that way, because you are born with a ceratin number of fat cells also. I know that could be dropping the context, but it makes some sense to me, and the different muscle fibre thing never has, and being that it's still being disputed in some way or another, it could be correct.

Luke.
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

RUGGED_INTELLECT wrote:
This is a sincere question.

Do we know through science that there are different muscle fibre types or have people simply guessed that because some people are born with less total muscle fibres(and therefore have the prediliction for a lightler build) and are given to longer duration, low intensity exercise, and some are born with more total muscle fibres and have the potential therefore to be more heavily muscled and therefore stronger, which leads them towards more short duration, higher intensity exercise?

It makes sense to me that way, because you are born with a ceratin number of fat cells also. I know that could be dropping the context, but it makes some sense to me, and the different muscle fibre thing never has, and being that it's still being disputed in some way or another, it could be correct.

Luke.

Luke,

Though HVT involves more sets, the duration of EACH SET is much less. Not only that, but the much greater involvement of momentum (in faster reps) assures that the muscle(s) involved are not loaded throughout the duration of these already-shorter sets.

If you were to compare the true total TUL of an entire workout of HVT vs. HIT, I think they would be much closer than you think. In fact, I would venture to predict that HIT would work better for ST-type muscles, since each set (if properly performed) keeps a muscle or muscles lodade throughout 100% of the set.

Casey Viator is an example of someone who probably had/has many ST-type muscle groups, as he responded very well to higher-rep sets. He excelled at Arthur's quick series of leg exercises --- while this same series put Sergio Olivia on the floor gasping for air. Truthfully, this is also a matter of conditioning, maybe even more so.

On a small (individual) level, the actions, recruitment, and fatigue characteristics of the different fiber types is NO matter for speculation. It's been scientifically demonstrated. Logically, this SHOULD be transferrable to exercise performance.

"What studies have demonstrated this?" you ask. Very few. Only some of the MedX research has adequately addressed this issue. The lack of studies doesn't mean it isn't true.

Scott
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Acerimmer1 wrote:
By the way the argument is that elite speed/power athletes can become adapted in such a way that they skip recruiting some of the ST fibres. Now even if you could disprove that this happens in every day folk, I doubt very much that you know of a comprehensive study based on elite athletes.

Am I wrong?


Ah, Ace. Again with the studies...

"What studies have demonstrated this?" you ask. Very few even on every day folks. Only some of the MedX research has adequately addressed this issue. Here, I am only talking about normal fiber recruitment in the course of a resistance training set and NOT this far-fetched notion of selective recruitment.

On the subject of the "Where's the studies?" style of debate: The lack of studies doesn't mean you win an arguement, it only provides you with an excuse to ignore an area for potentially improving your training.

To answer your question: No, you are not wrong. No one has conducted such a study. Why would they waste their time? I don't need a study, I'll just tell you: THAT'S NOT HOW FIBER RECRUITMENT WORKS.

I don't care how elite an athlete is, they cannot selectively "skip" recruiting certain fiber types. I'm not even sure why anyone would waste money on such a "study" anyway. What benefit would it have? None that I can see. Where do you come up with this stuff?

Scott
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RUGGED_INTELLECT

I wonder if Casey didn't have more ST muscle fibres, and was just born with more muscle fibres period and a certain metabolism which allowed him to progress and recuperate no matter what he did. I do believe he went to old school volume after he left AJ and Nautilus.

Since there aren't conclusive studies either way, it would make more sense to me that the case is you're born with more or less muscle fibres, just as with fat cells. Match that with a certain born with metabolism and you get what you get.

Aren't all strength, short duration high-intensity athletes(successful record setters) heavily muscled(degrees of depending on what it is they're doing), and aren't all endurance athletes lightly built? If the muscle fibre type idea were valid, couldn't there be a lightly built athlete who had all ST and was really strong or vice-versa?

Just trying to get my head around this one.

Luke.
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tylerg

In answer to the original post of speed and fiber recruitment, we need to remember the principle of orderly fiber recruitment can't be bypassed by the speed of a movement. In pondedring this question, I came to this conclusion: if fast twitch fibers fatigue faster than slow twitch, and if speed supposedly bypassed the slow twitch and went directly to the fast twitch, then the length of the exercise would, by necessity, be very short. This is just me thinking late at night. Does it make sense to anyone else?

Another issue, and I think it has been raised already, is the question of momentum in faster, more explosive exercises. When the resistance being moved is traveling at such a speed to where it is "moving itself", and the person quickly employs a counter movement to exagerate this and get into a better position, then, with no resistance on the muscles, are any being recruited, and if so, for how long (TUT)?

Tyler
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Acerimmer1

simon-hecubus wrote:
Acerimmer1 wrote:
By the way the argument is that elite speed/power athletes can become adapted in such a way that they skip recruiting some of the ST fibres. Now even if you could disprove that this happens in every day folk, I doubt very much that you know of a comprehensive study based on elite athletes.

Am I wrong?


Ah, Ace. Again with the studies...

"What studies have demonstrated this?" you ask. Very few even on every day folks. Only some of the MedX research has adequately addressed this issue. Here, I am only talking about normal fiber recruitment in the course of a resistance training set and NOT this far-fetched notion of selective recruitment.

On the subject of the "Where's the studies?" style of debate: The lack of studies doesn't mean you win an arguement, it only provides you with an excuse to ignore an area for potentially improving your training.

To answer your question: No, you are not wrong. No one has conducted such a study. Why would they waste their time? I don't need a study, I'll just tell you: THAT'S NOT HOW FIBER RECRUITMENT WORKS.

I don't care how elite an athlete is, they cannot selectively "skip" recruiting certain fiber types. I'm not even sure why anyone would waste money on such a "study" anyway. What benefit would it have? None that I can see. Where do you come up with this stuff?

Scott


You forget I'm not arguing for either side I'm saying that it's unproven. You guys were saying it was a proven fact. So yes unless you can prove it I win the debate, it really is that simple!
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Acerimmer1

tylerg wrote:
In answer to the original post of speed and fiber recruitment, we need to remember the principle of orderly fiber recruitment can't be bypassed by the speed of a movement.

Tyler


It has been suggested that there are exceptions to the size principle. Many studies have concluded that eccentric repititions selectively recruit FT fibres. The assumption is that the size principle always applies, as far as I know this is unproven and what is being presented as fact on this thread is no more than educated guesswork.

That being said I think it is "probably" correct in that it seems to make sense.

So here I am again asking for you to enlighten me.

PS: Bodybuilders would be considered elite athletes!
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Acerimmer1

Certainly if you train for a year and still consider yourself one of the "normal folks". Then theres a problem.
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Acerimmer1 wrote:
Certainly if you train for a year and still consider yourself one of the "normal folks". You shouldn't be giving out training advice to anybody.


When I say normal, I mean those of us with average and not superior genetics.

The fact that I've trained as long as I have means that the main thing that ISN'T normal is my stubbornness.

Scott
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Acerimmer1 wrote:
You forget I'm not arguing for either side I'm saying that it's unproven. You guys were saying it was a proven fact. So yes unless you can prove it I win the debate, it really is that simple!


How can you win a debate when you admit that you haven't even taken a side?

Answer: You can't --- it really is that simple!
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Acerimmer1 wrote:
You forget I'm not arguing for either side I'm saying that it's unproven. You guys were saying it was a proven fact. So yes unless you can prove it I win the debate, it really is that simple!


Sorry if I am getting bit pissy about this, but I put myself out there with some ideas and don't enjoy being badgered by fence-sitters.

I do know this for a fact: The "Do you have studies to back that up?" argument is lazy and lame.

I never presented any of this as fact, I just said I believe these things to be true.

Scott
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Acerimmer1

simon-hecubus wrote:
Acerimmer1 wrote:
You forget I'm not arguing for either side I'm saying that it's unproven. You guys were saying it was a proven fact. So yes unless you can prove it I win the debate, it really is that simple!

Sorry if I am getting bit pissy about this, but I put myself out there with some ideas and don't enjoy being badgered by fence-sitters.

I do know this for a fact: The "Do you have studies to back that up?" argument is lazy and lame.

I never presented any of this as fact, I just said I believe these things to be true.

Scott


You just said this:

"I do know this for a fact...I never presented any of this as fact".

Yes I am sitting on the fence, thats how I can see whats on both sides. You can't see whats on the other side if the fence is in your way!

(PS; How do you like my fence example? This is kind of a joke but at the same time it might hold some truth)
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Acerimmer1

simon-hecubus wrote:
Acerimmer1 wrote:
You forget I'm not arguing for either side I'm saying that it's unproven. You guys were saying it was a proven fact. So yes unless you can prove it I win the debate, it really is that simple!

How can you win a debate when you admit that you haven't even taken a side?

Answer: You can't --- it really is that simple!


I'm not taking a side in THE debate. But OUR debate is over whether or not there even is a debate! Take a look at the earlier posts if you don't believe me.

PS: Stop messing around with semantics.
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Acerimmer1

simon-hecubus wrote:
Acerimmer1 wrote:
Certainly if you train for a year and still consider yourself one of the "normal folks". You shouldn't be giving out training advice to anybody.

When I say normal, I mean those of us with average and not superior genetics.

The fact that I've trained as long as I have means that the main thing that ISN'T normal is my stubbornness.

Scott


Is that the kind of stubbornness that make a person open to all different points of veiw? Or the kind that allows him to re-assess a integral part of his belief system whenever it's frequently necessary to do so?

I think the reference to elite athletes may not have been a reference to their genetic endowement but rather their years of training on power and technique. After all they are talking about a training adaption, in the text I have it isn't implied that genetics has anything to do with it.
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tylerg

On the one hand, I think we place too much emphasis on, and give too much credence to, genetics.

In many (some)cases, the genetics issues is simply an excuse to not push to full potential. It becomes an excuse for coaches to ease off because their athlete's don't have the "right" genetics.

In other cases, we confused genetics with supplementation, and I don't mean from the health food store. Are some of the "big" body builders genetic freaks. Freaks, maybe, not necessarily genentic.

Genetics alone will never take the place of hard work, be it in bodybuilding or athletic competition. I have seen too many times where the "genetcially" superior team comes up short. Exceptional genetics can be just as much a curse as non-exceptional genetics.

As for muscle fiber recruitment and genetics: there are those who, at birth, are more pre-disposed one way or the other in the ST-FT split. The question remanins, and I wish I had the answer, "can you switch the twitch?" Meaning, can you convert slow twitch into fast twitch. I am not referring to percentages but transformations. The idea of working / moving fast to recruit fast twitch muscles is new to me.

Tyler
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Acerimmer1 wrote:
Is that the kind of stubbornness that make a person open to all different points of veiw? Or the kind that allows him to re-assess a integral part of his belief system whenever it's frequently necessary to do so?

I think the reference to elite athletes may not have been a reference to their genetic endowement but rather their years of training on power and technique. After all they are talking about a training adaption, in the text I have it isn't implied that genetics has anything to do with it.

The kind of stubborness that told me I would find the best formula for ME if I kept trying. The kind of stubborness that has kept me training, despite mediocre results on many "systems". The kind of stubborness that keeps me assessing and reassessing what I am doing.

I have re-assessed integral parts of my belief system, just not that many times ---- if I needed to do it frequently, it would seem that I'm jumping to a lot of false conclusions. My days of grasping for magic-bullet routines are over. I have way better assessment skills at my disposal these days.

Sorry, but I still think elite is the wrong word. "Seasoned" athletes might be a better one. There are guys in my gym still using the same weights as 5 years ago, doing the same damn routines. Would you consider them elite?

Scott
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