Average Slow Twitch and Fast Twitch Composition?

  1. Question Average Slow Twitch and Fast Twitch Composition?

    Has there been any studied done on average fiber composition of all the different muscle groups? Or is there such a variation in fiber composition between person to person that such a study would prove useless?


  2. A study would be useless as it varies a HUGE degree from person to person, muscle to muscle. MOST people simply don't have much fast twitch and thus are not very naturally strong. Those little guys you see in the gym that just started training that are already benching and squatting twice what you do after a months training--they be fast twitch--lol.

    Iron Addict

  3. Would it be very different from 2 person of the same family? Just wondering.

  4. Sometimes, sometimes not. Again, like anything genetically predispositioned it can be all over the board. We have all seen two brothers that are very much alike, or even almost twins when no born together, or two brothers you would NEVER guess came from the same mother and father.

    Iron Addict

  5. Thanks IA

  6. Going along with what IA said, here is what I have read in a few books of mine:

    Paraphrasing from the Physiological Basis of Physical Education and Athletics by Mathews and Fox:

    The distribution of fast and slow twitch fibers varies greatly from person to person, and from type of athlete to athlete. For instance, a long distance runner has a greater amount of red (slow or type I) twitch fibers than does the sprinter who has a breater number of white (fast or type II) twitch fibers. As a matter of fact certain muscle groups are predominantly red or white. For example the gastrocnemius, lats, biceps, and delts and mostly white fibers. While on the other hand the rectus femoris, soleus, semitendinosus (one of the hamstring muscles) and the rectus abdominis (the six-pack) are mostly red fibers.

    Here is a common (and approximate) distribution of red and white fibers and max VO2 (maximal oxygen comsumption) for different groups of people:

    Untrained: 64% white, 36% red, max VO2: 43 mL/kg-min
    weight lifters: 50% white, 50% red, max VO2: 40 mL/kg-min
    runners: 40% white, 60% red, max VO2: 72 mL/kg-min
    Canoeists: 39% white, 61% red, 56 mL/kg-min
    Bicyclists: 38% white, 62% red, 68 ml/kg-min
    swimmers: 33% white, 67% red, 80 mL/kg-min

    Notice how the higher amount of red fibers, the higher the max VO2 is. This is because the red fibers are aerobic and use oxygen for power.

    (adapted from the Physiological Basis of Physical Education and Athletics by Mathews and Fox, Copyright 1976 by the W. B. Saunders Company)

    Ain't science fun???
    Read This Book!!: Anabolic Steroids and the Athlete by William N. Taylor M.D.

  7. Interesting stuff. Thanks Lifeguard.

  8. How can you tell what type of muscle fibers you have?


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