Know Who You Are!
Now that I have your attention, I just merely want to communicate a very simple, yet still confusing 'solution' to all that you ever wanted to achieve with regards to your health, fitness, physique and wellbeing. And that is...the more we know and understand about ourselves and our bodies, the more rapidly we will realize permanent and perfectly appropriate results. Information is everywhere and in abundance, but the truth is always unfailingly the truth! We must take control of our lives and our destiny and we can do this through the exploration and exposure of resonating, realistic facts. There is no magic bullet, no quick fix...there is only you and truth and the truth is and always has been right under your nose. The more you know, the more you know! Now my friends, if you don't already know, learn and apply!
How Things Really Work!
Dynamics...defined as the branch of mechanics that deals with the motion and equilibrium of systems under the action of force or forces. In exercise, dynamics are specifically all of the applied mechanics to a particular movement and or movements such as, the sets, repetitions, angles, speed, velocity, resistance, position, plane of gravity and so on... And of all the training variables (dynamics) associated with strength development, there isn't a more important or less specifically understood element than the repetition or repetitions. Perhaps the most significant factor in a personalized program of strength exercise is the number of repetitions performed per set. The specific reason is solely related to our muscle fiber type.
Muscle Fiber Types? What Are They?
So, you ask...what is a muscle fiber type? Well without getting too in-depth, here is the short version. All of our muscles are distinctively composed of Type 1 and Type 2 muscle fibers. Type 1 muscle fibers are frequently referred to as slow twitch, while Type 2 muscle fibers are commonly called fast twitch. And Type 1 fibers are characterized by being smaller in size, facilitating less force faculty and having a better endurance capacity. Of the two, they are the dominant muscle fibers in endurance activities such as marathon running, swimming and cycling. Type 2 fibers are characterized by being bigger, having a grater force faculty and less endurance capacity. They are the dominant muscle fibers in power activities such as weight training, throwing, sprinting, jumping and moving.
Explicitly and chiefly due to physiological differences, Type 1 fibers fatigue much more slowly and will complete more repetitions within a given resistance structure. On the other hand, Type 2 fibers fatigue more quickly and will inevitably complete fewer repetitions.
Test One (Research Study Example)
A point to ponder...in a research test study, particularly the results in which 88 men and women performed as many repetitions as possible with about 75 percent of their maximum resistance. Specifically, all of the subjects were tested for the maximum weight/resistance load they could perform one time on the nautilus 10-Degree Chest machine. After a five-minute rest, they completed as many repetitions as possible with 75 percent of their maximum weight load.
The greater portion of the participants (group one) performed between 9 and 15 repetitions. This group represented normal individuals with a relatively even mix of Type 1 and Type 2 muscle fibers. A second group completed slightly more reps, about 11+ and these were excellent power athletes (sprinters, jumpers) who typically have a higher percentage of Type 1 (low endurance) muscle fibers. And only a few of the subjects (group three) completed more than 15 reps, these are outstanding endurance athletes (marathoners, triathletes) who typically possess a higher percentage of Type 1 (high endurance) muscle fibers.
Consequently, it appears that individuals who have an equal mix of Type 1 and Type 2 muscle fibers more than likely would obtain optimal results by training at about 10 reps per set. It would also appear that individuals who have predominately Type 2 muscle fibers would likely obtain optimal results by training with fewer reps per set. Equally, individuals with preponderantly Type 1 muscle fibers should optimally train with more reps per set to achieve maximum results.
Test Two (Research Study Example)
Observationally, this study was supported by a follow-up test study in which the median-endurance athletes trained with nine to 11 reps per set, the low-endurance athletes trained with six to eight reps per set, and the high-endurance athletes trained with 12-14 reps per set. All of the athletes made similar improvements in muscular strength after eight weeks of training with a personalized repetition protocol. These results indicate that predominantly Type 2 muscles respond well to low-repetition training. Type 1 muscles respond well to high-repetition training and evenly mixed muscles respond best to mid-repetition training.
This is not to say that muscles specifically in and of themselves are conscious of the number of reps that are completed, or of any of the applied dynamics for that matter. The crucible to muscular performance and fatigue is the direct, correlative liaison between time and force. All in all, you can produce a high level of muscular force for a relatively short period of time and a low level of muscular force for a relatively long duration of time. Nevertheless, to stimulate strength development, you should emphatically only train your muscles contained by the anaerobic energy system. This system supplies great amounts of energy for up to 90 seconds of high output movement.
To achieve optimal strength results, the recommended is that you use enough resistance to fatigue your muscles within a30-90 second duration. Principally as a rule, individuals with primarily Type 2 muscle fibers should train in the region of 30-50 seconds per set. Utilizing the six second per rep rule (two seconds lifting and four seconds lowering), with the prime focus being the negative. This would consist of between five to eight reps.
Persons with predominantly Type 1 muscles should train about 70-90 seconds per set. At six seconds per repetition, this represents about 12-15 repetitions. Persons with an even mix of muscle fibers should train about 50-70 seconds per set. At six seconds per repetition, this represents about 8-12 repetitions.
Because more people possess a relatively even mix of muscle fibers, a 50 to 70- seconds bout of strength exercise is an excellent training recommendation.
If you choose to train in a slowed manner, completing 14-second repetitions (10 seconds lifting and four seconds lowering), you should use enough resistance to complete four to five repetitions. In this manner, the muscles again reach fatigue within the 50 to 70-second anaerobic range.
Training for Specificity
Depending upon the type of activity you are undertaking, you may want to adjust your training accordingly. To determine the optimum number of reps for a particular muscle group, such as the quadriceps, follow this procedure:
i. Perform 10 squats with relatively light weight.
ii. After a two-minute rest, perform five squats with a moderate weight.
iii. After a two-minute rest, perform one squat with a reasonably heavy weight.
Proceed in this mode until you determine the heaviest load you can perform once with the execution of proper technique. This is your maximum weight load.
Subsequent to about a five minute break, perform as many leg extensions that you can possibly can endure with 75 percent of your maximum weight load. This represents the approximate number of repetitions you should perform in this movement. For example, If you finish a total six repetitions, you in all probability have a notably higher percentage of Type 2 muscle fibers and should probably train with about six to eight repetitions per set. Antithetically, if you complete 12 or more repetitions, you more than likely have a higher percentage of Type 1 muscle fibers and should for greater results train at about 11-16 reps per set.
Through the course of applicational trial and error, it has been determined that the best strength outcomes are more consistently achieved when you correlate your training reps to your muscle fiber type. Although muscle fiber type may vary somewhat among muscle groups, we have found this factor to be relatively consistent in most people. And in doing so, I have been able to provide consistent results to my clients over the years.
But with that said, I have also discovered that too many fitness trainers do not recognize or understand this unconditional and vital aspect of designing an appropriate program for their diverse client profiles, and so subsequently these trainers usually lose a good deal of their clients prematurely.
Despite whatever muscle fiber type or types you possess, the key to maximum strength development is accomplished by way of high-output, peak-intensive, anaerobic exercise. The resistance should be sufficient to fatigue the target muscle group within 30-90 seconds of movement. This is best accomplished with a double progressive training system using a protocol of 8 to 12 reps. Begin by selecting a resistance that fatigues the target muscle roughly within 8-10 reps, then train with this resistance habitually until you can complete 12 repetitions with relative ease. After you have adapted to that stimulus, add 2.5 to five pounds and progress in the same manner until you can perform 12 reps with the new resistance. Through identically training in the optimum repetition range with your particular muscle type and by systematically escalating the repetition count and the resistance; safe, sound, solid and progressive movement toward your ultimate strength potential will be realized, not to mention if weight loss, fat loss or a leaner, sleeker, more healthier you is your objective, than this knowledge is crucial.
Now obviously this is not the absolute 'solution' to the entire global state of obesity, depression, degenerative disorders or any of slew of religious indifferences, political positions or posturing, economical states or climatic conditions, but where the acquisition of fitness results is concerned, understanding your muscle fiber type/s and training specifically for personal benefit is truly a giant leap for mankind!