If you are an athlete – or just a fan of sports – you have probably heard of fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscles fibers. If you are looking for a deeper understanding of what they are, how they differ, or how to train each type of muscle, the experts at Insports Centers are here to break it down.

Slow-Twitch Muscle Fibers

Slow-twitch muscle fibers, also known as Type I muscle fibers, use oxygen to create energy in your body. These muscles are used for continuous muscle contractions over a long period of time and do not fatigue easily. Slow-twitch muscles are what allows an athlete to run a marathon.

How to Train: Slow-twitch athletes should focus on increasing their time under tension. Use high reps (eight or more) and lift with a slower tempo. Keep your rest periods short by super-setting or circuit training. Every few weeks, train to failure.

Fast-Twitch Muscle Fibers

Fast-twitch muscle fibers, also known as Type II muscle fibers, create energy through your anaerobic metabolism. They are better than slow-twitch muscles at creating short bursts of speed or strength, but fatigue more easily. Fast-twitch muscles are what allow athletes to explode upwards in a high jump competition.

How to Train: Lifting heavy weight is the best way to train your fast-twitch muscles. The heavier the weight, the more fast-twitch muscle fibers that will be recruited. Perform explosive, power-based movements for a limited number of repetitions (no more than six). Allow yourself adequate rest time, and never sacrifice form to lift more weight – that’s how injuries occur.

Want to learn more about fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers? Check out this article from Men’s Fitness.

Train your muscles at Trumbull Elite Sports Training – Connecticut’s premier athletic training facility. Founded by some of the area’s most renowned strength and conditioning coaches, our personal and group training sessions are sure to whip you into shape. Whether you want to train your fast-twitch or slow-twitch muscles, we will design a program for you and work with you every step of the way until you meet your goal. Visit our website for more information, or give us a call at (203) 685-0804.