T Nation

fast-twich or explosive slow twich

This morning I visited Mauro Dipasquale´s website and there was a thing called a metabolic index calculator or something. I put my parameters in it and the outcome was 23.6 or something like that. Mauro states that a bodybuilder should be between 22 and 32. With 32 being the best. So as you can see as a bodybuilder I apparently suck! What I don´t understand is that in every muscle fiber composition test I´ve done I´ve been ranked as a fast twich individual. I´ve done medicin ball throws, vertical leaps (26 inch) and even some machine that measures your explosiveness.
Now I am about 6´1" 180 lbs. with 10% bf. (I know on paper that doesn´t seem like much but I actually do look like a bodybuilder.) I´m also not that strong (best lift 350lbs. deadlift) even though I primarily train for strength, because of my fiber type. Make no mistake I know a thing or two about training and diet and about the factor of rest. And taking into account that most slow twich bodybuilders are bigger and stronger than I am I was wondering whether I am an explosive slow twich person as opposed to a fast twich one. Do you think that it´s possible that there are explosive muscle fibers that are not proned toward hypertrophy.

You answered your own question … “I primarily train for strength…” How about some trainiing geared toward hypertrophy?

My advice is to stop worrying so much about the fast twitch/slow twitch factor and just concentrate on improving your performance whether that’s muscle size or explosiveness or whatever. Afterall, your body can adapt to any training that you do to a much larger degree than you probably think. Total muscle fiber # is more important for bodybuilding and powerlifting where speed of execution is less of a factor. The faster the movement the more total fast twitch fibers become more important but even this can become somewhat bypassed by a very efficient nervous system. The avg person can only use 50% of their available muscle fibers but what if you train yourself to utilize 95%…well even though you might not have a high % of FTIIB fibers the fact that you’re using a greater % of the ones you do have will translate into impressive results for practically anyone.

read up on the definition of fast twitch and slow twitch fibers. fast twitch fibers are called such because they have contractile speeds of up to around 10 times that of slow twitch fibers. Also 26 inch verticle jump really isn’t that impressive and doesn’t indicate that you are a fast twitch person. If you say your current program isn’t working wonders for your hypertrophy, try upper your rep ranges a bit (1-3 reps) and dropping your rest intervals to 1-2 minutes, shorter rest intervals influence more of a metabolic adaptation than a neural one.

you seem like an intermediate fiber guy. a true fast twitch athlete has really impressive vertical and 40. for example, im a sprinter, i have a 36 in. vert and a 4.39 40, the tests indicate that not only do i possess 93.7 percent fast twitch muscles but a high majority of those are white fibers, you most likely possess red fibers. but i think you need to stop training like an athlete, and start training like a bodybuilder.

Not to bust your chops but a 26 inch vertical jump is not an indication of a fast twitch person. Ian King once said that he get starts to get excited about explosiveness when they reach 34in.

ahh yes the vertical jump. Highest ever standing vertical was like 36 inches. Now take a step beforehand and you got guys with ~50 inchers…

there is a threat going on (or was recently) in the supertraining group on verticle leap and some people reported verticles above 36" without a step if i recall. also it usually takes a run to get to 50"

Are you saying that your best ever was 36 or that the highest ever recorded by anyone was 36?

Ok this is the quote from the web site of Di Pasquale “Once the index gets above 18 for women and 32 for men you’ve looking at muscle mass and body fat levels that are too extreme for most of us but not to those who aspire to bodybuilding and competitive fitness standards.” i had to go and find that info because i could not believe that you even remotely considered your self in any form of shape with a MIDx of 23.6. My Metobolic index is 39 and i still don’t consider myself a bodybuilder by any standard. Once i get to 54 then we’re talking. Now if your goal is to look like you got muscles then you need to put on atleast another 40 lbs of lean mass. If your goal is to have a vertical jump then set up a routine so you can work on that strength of yours. Ideally you can do both, you just need to work harder. :slight_smile: laters pk

That 36 inch number is off. I can hit a 36 inch vertical on any day without a step and I know i’m definitely not the greatest leaper in the world.

honestly, where did you pull that 36 inch figure from. i can float a 36 right now, numerous athletes have attained jumps over 40 inches.

Just a quick note - if you drop 1% BF (178 lbs) you will end up with a metabolic index of 27. 8% BF (176 lbs) will give you an index of about 30. Not so bad after all (you see, you are a BB after all :-)).

So I should train more like a bodybuilder? But isn’t a natural bodybuilder supposed to focus on strength. Because there is a definate relationship between size and strength in a natural athlete. (at least according to Don Alessi in one of his recent iron dog-columns).

Well, there is a definite relationship between size and strength, but that does not mean that training for strength is the best way to improve size. In fact higher reps & lower weight can be better for ‘size’ since over an entire set that may recruit and ‘break down’ more muscle fibers. But all theory aside - in the end what is important is what works for you in your current situation. Give it a try for 4 weeks or so and see what happens.