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Types of Muscles, Whats best for tricking?

March 4, 2008

You may not know it, but there are two different types of muscle fibers, Slow and fast twitch.

 

This from Wikipedia; “There are two broad types of voluntary muscle fibers, slow twitch and fast twitch. Slow twitch fibers contract for long periods of time but with little force while fast twitch fibers contract quickly and powerfully but fatigue very rapidly.”

 

Naturally you’re going to want a lot of fast twitch muscle fiber for tricking, sending the human body sailing through the air takes a lot of power! So now you may be thinking “how do I get more of this fast twitch muscle fiber stuff?” You don’t sadly.

 

This also from wikipedia; “Humans are genetically predisposed with a larger percentage of one type of muscle group over another. An individual born with a greater percentage of Type I muscle fibers would theoretically be more suited to endurance events, such as triathlons, distance running, and long cycling events, whereas a human born with a greater percentage of Type II muscle fibers would be more likely to excel at anaerobic events such as a 200 meter dash, or weightlifting. People with high overall musculation and balanced muscle type percentage engage in sports such as rugby or boxing and often engage in other sports to increase their performance in the former”

 

What a bummer right? Well no worries, you might not go to the Olympics for the high jump or 200 meter dash, but you can learn to trick even if you naturally have a whole ton of slow twitch muscle fiber. What you need to do is capitalize on what fast twitch muscle fiber you do have. You can’t get more of a muscle fiber type but you can exercise it and cause those muscle fibers to grow and become stronger. The key to this is in the way you exercise, specifically the number of repetitions per set of the exercises you do.

 

Strength 1-5 repetitions

Hypertrophy 6-10 repetitions

Toning 13+ repetitions

 

Strength training is ideal for increasing the strength of your muscles without increasing there size, and thus, perfect for tricking.

 

Strength training exercises fast twitch muscle fibers (types A and B, read this) but doesn’t encourage their growth in size as much as Hypertrophy.

 

Of course just doing 1-5 reps of pushups isn’t going to make it strength training, doing 1-5 bench presses at about 80%-90% of your 1RM (read this Wiki if you want to know more on strength training) is strength training, when strength training you should do about 3-5 sets of whatever exercises you do. To wrap up, here is a little more info on Type 1 slow twitch muscles.

 

From Wikipedia; “Various exercises require a predominance of certain muscle fiber utilization over another. Aerobic exercise involves long, low levels of exertion in which the muscles are used at well below their maximal contraction strength for long periods of time (the most classic example being the marathon). Aerobic events, which rely primarily on the aerobic (with oxygen) system, use a higher percentage of Type I (or slow-twitch) muscle fibers, consume a mixture of fat, protein and carbohydrates for energy, consume large amounts of oxygen and produce little lactic acid.”

 

Toning is what trains slow twitch muscle fibers, but if you’re looking to lower you BF% a little don’t be fooled, it isn’t the best way to lose weight, if you do a lot of toning you will cut down your overall muscle mass, and this is bad. Muscles take energy to be maintained (Calories) and every pound of muscle you have on you raises your metabolism. That not only burns Calories, helping you to lose weight, or allowing you to eat your favorite foods without gaining weight, but it also will make you feel more energetic during the course of everyday of your life.

 

I would also recommend reading these articles:

http://www.dogentricks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6058

http://trickstutorials.com/forum/showthread.php?t=38042

http://trickstutorials.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36390

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscle#Exercise

 

And watching the video on Conditioning found here

 

I probably left out a lot, but if you read the articles I linked they should probably explain that which I cannot, as well as the things I forgot.

 

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