With the overwhelming amount of styles and trends out there for fitness, are there any insights regarding what might be a good match with our bodies when it comes to training?
Many factors certainly play a role when it comes to training and sports, including age, genetics, hormones, diet and other predispositions. But are there any keyholes that we can peek into that might give us an insight as to what we are built for? Why do fish have fins and therefore swim, and why do birds have wings and therefore fly?
Some interesting correlations have been made between muscle fiber types and training.
The ‘Fast Twitch’ and ‘Slow Twitch’ Muscle Fibers:
Our muscles are comprised of mainly Type 1 Slow Twitch Red Muscle Fibers and Type 2 Fast Twitch (a & b) White Muscle Fibers.
- Slow Twitch Type 1 Red Muscle Fibers are more endurance and aerobically oriented and are predominant in muscles that contract slowly and can hold long durations without fatigue, such as core muscles, muscles along the spine and muscles in the calves.
- Fast Twitch Type 2 (a & b) White Muscle Fibers are more anaerobic and power oriented. They are predominant in the larger muscle groups like the legs and thicker muscles of the back and are engaged in power moves like sprints or explosive punches.
Our muscles have percentages of both and there have been studies over many years with findings indicating that people who have a predominance of red muscle fibers are better suited for endurance sports like marathons and people who have a predominance of white muscle fibers are better suited for exercises like weight-lifting or power training. Although more studies are arising where the behavior of the type of a muscle fiber can possibly change based upon the training style that is imposed upon it, the studies regarding muscle fiber type and its correlations to body morphology and training affinities is certainly something to think about.
I can say that over the many years that I have been training, I have observed that a fair amount of people who are long, slender and sinewy, do seem to gravitate to aerobic training over heavy weight training. I have also observed that those who are bit thicker or have a little more meat on their bodies seem to have a greater affinity for heavier weight training over aerobic styles of training.
This gives a new and expanded search for answers to the question of ‘What’s Your Type?’
Edited by Sean Paler