Muscle growth requires vicious and honest training, followed by adequate nutrition and rest.
Hit all these three on the head and you’ll be well and truly on the way to success.
Now I bet you’ve noticed some of your training buddies or old friends tend to have larger amounts of muscle mass – no matter what they do.
They do curls only with a beer can – yet you bust your guts day in day out and still can’t split t-shirts like your mates.
No – they’re not closet training (training hard without telling anyone) their natural size comes back to their SOMATYPE – which you’ve learnt all about.
They’re most likely an MESOMORPH – full of more TYPE 2 MUSCLE FIBERS.
In order to understand how to attack the gym – you must understand the difference between your muscle fibers.
TYPE 1 – SLOW TWITCH FIBERS
Your SLOW TWITCH fibers can go for a LONG time before fatigue kicks in. SLOW TWITCH fibers have a LOW amount of creatine phosphate within and are very beneficial when it comes to anaerobic activity. A marathon runner has plenty of them!
They are mostly fuelled by fat stores. Your morning cardio walk will call upon your TYPE 1 fibers as will lifting a lift weight, but NOT going to failure.
These fibers are in between Type 2 and Type 2B fibers, with characteristics of both.
They have a moderate resistance to fatigue and are called upon for things like supersets, and drop sets.
A marathon runner would NOT call upon these fibers – but a sprinter running 400 meters would.
These are the biggest and baddest of them all!
Someone like USAIN BOLT in a 100 metre sprint is the perfect example of one calling upon their TYPE 2B fibers for duty!
These are also the golden nuggets when it comes to weight training because they allow us to generate the most power in the least amount of time.
TYPE 2B fibers pack the MOST amount of creatine phosphate, meaning they generate ATP the quickest (ATP is your bodies high powered energy molecule)
So when it comes to looking as good as your mate in that t-shirt – TYPE 2B fibers are what you need to be targeting for some serious hypertrophy (muscle growth).
OK – HOW DO I FIGURE OUT WHICH FIBERS I HAVE MORE OF?
Chances are – you probably have an idea already. ECTOMORPH’S tend to have more TYPE 1 fibers, while an MESOMORPH and an ENDOMORPH will have more TYPE 2 fibers.
But just to be sure – you can thank Dr FRED HATFIELD (a world champion powerlifter and PHD holder) who once created a MUSCLE FIBER test.
HOW TO DO THE TEST:
1. Start by finding out your one repetition maximum (1RM) on an exercise
2. Rest for 15 minutes
3. Perform as many repetitions as possible with 80% of your 1RM
If you scored LESS than 7 repetitions – You’re fast twitch (FT) dominant
If you scored 7 or 8 repetitions – You have a mixed fiber type
If you pumped out MORE than 8 repetitions – You’re slow twitch (ST) dominant.
OK – I’ve FIGURED IT OUT – What’s the next step?
Let’s say you’re FAST TWITCH dominant – then your TRAINING should be geared more towards LOWER reps – 6-10 is a good range. And remember – always go to FAILURE.
If you happened to come out of the test SLOW twitch dominated – then you would be better to aim for HIGHER reps.
HOWEVER – that’s not to say that an ECTOMORPH with more TYPE 1 fibers should forget ever trying to target his TYPE 2 fibers.
You’ll NEVER be able to increase the AMOUNT of fibers that you have, but you will be able to make them BIGGER.
It is still vital for an ECTOMORPH to attack those TYPE 2 FIBERS and bring them out.
Essentially – all THREE somatypes should be training with a VARIETY of low and high reps, with SUPERSETS and DROP SETS too to make sure you’re hitting ALL of your fibers properly.
I wouldn’t be recommending any MAGIC NUMBER for SOMATPYES here. I just want you to be AWARE of what rep ranges attack what muscle fibers – you can adjust your training depending on the results you see and the “get started” program I’ve provided below.
I just want you to all be aware of these facts so you can asses your training and results in a different light.
Whether you’re doing HIGH REPS or LOW REPS – you’ll always call upon your TYPE 1 fibers first. It is only after they FATIGUE, that your TYPE 2 fibers will need to come into play.
This is why I ALWAYS tell you to train to failure.
If you don’t – you’ll be working your TYPE 1 fibers ONLY – without brining into play your big bad TYPE 2 fibers that will ultimately deliver better strength and mass.
For example – if you pick up a pair of dumbbells that are WAY LIGHTER than you’re used to and curl them for 10 reps WITHOUT going to failure – you’ll merely just work your TYPE 1 fibers without engaging your TYPE 2 fibers AT ALL.
But go to failure – and even if you do 30 reps, you’ll call upon your TYPE 2 fibers as you fail on your 30th rep.
That’s why the guy who you watch every week in the gym who NEVER trains to failure and NEVER breaks a sweat – NEVER changes his body shape.
Except for when he comes back from his Christmas break.
SMASH those TYPE 1 fibers – bring them out to play, but remember your TYPE 1 friends too. Start by cycling your given program below.
Remember to record your STRENGTH progress by writing down your weight used during the LOW reps cycle. Draw up your own little graph each time you complete the below FIVE week cycle. If it’s not climbing with each cycle – go back to the drawing board.
3 weeks LOW REPS (6-10)
1 week HIGH REPS (12-15)
1 week SUPER SETS – DROP SETS.
1 week – LOW REPS (6-10)
1 week SUPER SETS – DROP SETS
God gave you those TYPE 2 fibers for a reason. Hit them HARD but hit your TYPE 1 FIBERS too:
1 week – LOW REPS
1 week – HIGH REPS
1 week – SUPER SETS – DROP SETS
GET INTO IT!
Keep all this in mind as you hit the weights room next time.
But always remember – we’re all DIFFERENT.
Keep track of your progress and adjust accordingly.
Like BULKING and GETTING lean for your SOMATYPE – we really are all different, But I’m confident of the start this will provide you.
For more information on muscle reps, check out my LATEST interview with McMASTER PHD student CAMERON MITCHELL on my YOUTUBE channel FIT’N’FLEXED, about the latest research he has uncovered that’s come to light on this topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YjBriP1RRg&feature=plcp
This article was researched and written by Follow @Dayne_Hudson
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