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Preserving Fast Twitch Muscles?

Is there anything specific you can do to preserve fast-twitch muscles despite doing a lot of running?

[quote]panther2k wrote:
Is there anything specific you can do to preserve fast-twitch muscles despite doing a lot of running?[/quote]

What?

Fast twitch muscle fibers fatigue faster and are responsible for more force generated. These are the ones that are credited with the most growth in bodybuilding. How would “a lot” of running “preserve” them?

OK, I read your post wrong. I get what you mean now. The only way to preserve muscle mass in spite of intense and long duration cardio is to attempt to compensate for it through your food intake. That means your goal should be to GAIN some weight despite how hard that might be. It is also to keep your protein intake elevated along with the higher caloric intake.

Long duration cardio has never helped anyone maintain their muscle mass. That doesn’t mean cardio is bad at all. It just means cross country running doesn’t make people look thick and powerful.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
panther2k wrote:
Is there anything specific you can do to preserve fast-twitch muscles despite doing a lot of running?

How would “a lot” of running “preserve” them?[/quote]
Hence, is it possible to preserve them DESPITE a lot of running? Our coach has us do a crapload and I don’t want to get slower or lose any burst.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
OK, I read your post wrong. I get what you mean now. The only way to preserve muscle mass in spite of intense and long duration cardio is to attempt to compensate for it through your food intake. That means your goal should be to GAIN some weight despite how hard that might be. It is also to keep your protein intake elevated along with the higher caloric intake.

Long duration cardio has never helped anyone maintain their muscle mass. That doesn’t mean cardio is bad at all. It just means cross country running doesn’t make people look thick and powerful. [/quote]
Thanks, so if I maintain or increase my weight I shouldn’t have to worry about anything? Would I be correct to take that as meaning fast-twitch muscles “weigh” more than slow-twich?

BTW, is it normal for there to be so much lag time in between the post showing up and pressing Submit?

How about interval training?

[quote]panther2k wrote:
BTW, is it normal for there to be so much lag time in between the post showing up and pressing Submit?
[/quote]

Hey man, we do the best we can. :wink:

Once you click “Submit”, depending on time of day and general site traffic, it could be a few seconds to a minute or so. But we do our best, of course.

[quote]Mod Jump’n Jack wrote:
panther2k wrote:
BTW, is it normal for there to be so much lag time in between the post showing up and pressing Submit?

Hey man, we do the best we can. :wink:

Once you click “Submit”, depending on time of day and general site traffic, it could be a few seconds to a minute or so. But we do our best, of course.[/quote]
It wasn’t meant as a knock or anything just wanted to make sure it wasn’t just me. Yes, you guys do a very good job, thanks!

I think the question your asking is different than preserving mass despite endurance training. If I understand what you are asking, you are talking about muscle fiber TYPES (IIa IIb). There is a lot of research going on in this area, but a simple explanation follows:

The fast twitch IIa fibers respond "in specific ways to specific types of training. If you do a lot of endurance work, the IIa fiber will become more oxidative and less fatiguable - it behaves more like a Type I fiber. If you train sprints like a track racer, it becomes more glycolytic, but more fatiguable - it behaves more like a Type IIb fiber. Note that you cannot train for optimal oxidative and optimal glycolytic capacity at the same time. You can’t have the best of both. The biochemistry of the IIa fiber shifts one way or the other depending on the type of training.

Therefore, if you want optimal endurance you must sacrifice speed and if you want optimal speed you must sacrifice endurance. The key is to train according to the demands of your event." (Tanner, D. Muscles: Why Ultra Marathoners Can’t Sprint, UltraCycling, Vol. 7, No. 6, p. 29.).

Hope that is somewhat helpful as a starting understanding.

[quote]ctowns wrote:
I think the question your asking is different than preserving mass despite endurance training. If I understand what you are asking, you are talking about muscle fiber TYPES (IIa IIb). There is a lot of research going on in this area, but a simple explanation follows:

The fast twitch IIa fibers respond "in specific ways to specific types of training. If you do a lot of endurance work, the IIa fiber will become more oxidative and less fatiguable - it behaves more like a Type I fiber. If you train sprints like a track racer, it becomes more glycolytic, but more fatiguable - it behaves more like a Type IIb fiber. Note that you cannot train for optimal oxidative and optimal glycolytic capacity at the same time. You can’t have the best of both. The biochemistry of the IIa fiber shifts one way or the other depending on the type of training.

Therefore, if you want optimal endurance you must sacrifice speed and if you want optimal speed you must sacrifice endurance. The key is to train according to the demands of your event." (Tanner, D. Muscles: Why Ultra Marathoners Can’t Sprint, UltraCycling, Vol. 7, No. 6, p. 29.).

Hope that is somewhat helpful as a starting understanding.[/quote]
So, according to this it’s a relative give and take. Thanks.

[quote]panther2k wrote:
Professor X wrote:
OK, I read your post wrong. I get what you mean now. The only way to preserve muscle mass in spite of intense and long duration cardio is to attempt to compensate for it through your food intake. That means your goal should be to GAIN some weight despite how hard that might be. It is also to keep your protein intake elevated along with the higher caloric intake.

Long duration cardio has never helped anyone maintain their muscle mass. That doesn’t mean cardio is bad at all. It just means cross country running doesn’t make people look thick and powerful.
Thanks, so if I maintain or increase my weight I shouldn’t have to worry about anything? Would I be correct to take that as meaning fast-twitch muscles “weigh” more than slow-twich?

BTW, is it normal for there to be so much lag time in between the post showing up and pressing Submit?

[/quote]
careful on this, as it is entirely possible to maintain or gain weight while doing lots of cardio, you have to make sure the weight you gain/maintain is consistent w/ regard to lean body mass.

more to the point, it’s absolutely possible to lose muscle and gain fat while doing lots of cardio. so while your weight may stay the same or increase, you could actually be getting fatter.

bottom line: don’t rely on the scale to determine your progress in this area.

[quote]panther2k wrote:

So, according to this it’s a relative give and take. Thanks.

[/quote]

Yeah, I am afraid so. I am very interested in this area of research and have spoken with some of the researchers who have written on fiber adaptation - and I walked away afraid to do anything resembling aerobic training.

In your situation, I think your only hope may be to do a lot of sprint training and explosive lifting movements to try to force the fibers not to shift away to IIb (slowtwitch). Problem, of course, will be maintaining intensity to accomplish this on top of the endurance training (and avoid overtraining in general).

The only good news is that the shift may not be as dramatic as you might fear (as low as 4% in the studies I have read). Still, lost speed is really hard to get back (my understanding is the IIa to IIb shift is much easier than IIb to IIa).

[quote]panther2k wrote:
Professor X wrote:
panther2k wrote:
Is there anything specific you can do to preserve fast-twitch muscles despite doing a lot of running?

How would “a lot” of running “preserve” them?
Hence, is it possible to preserve them DESPITE a lot of running? Our coach has us do a crapload and I don’t want to get slower or lose any burst.

[/quote]

Oh…I get what your saying now.

Dude your probably fucked. You can eat all you want, but if your jogging an assload of miles on a daily basis, you can bet your ass your gonna get slower and lose that explosiveness, albiet a small amount, but you will

Could this be battled by doing heavy compound lifts on the days he is not running?

Probably. Heavy-eccentrics, explosive lifts, etc. Also look into EMS. \

Cheers,
Pat

[quote]jbodzin wrote:
Could this be battled by doing heavy compound lifts on the days he is not running?[/quote]

Food makes a difference to the extent that fibers are more likely to down convert in times of physical stress and calorie limitation, but you will still need to train at a maintenance type volume level for max strength/power if you want to limit conversion further.

Running will not preserve FTMs unless you are running at a fast pace. I suggest you do 100m-200m sprints to preserve FTMs. Start out with doing 5 100m sprints & 3 200m sprints for about 3x’s a week for a month. Then increase. Sprints are hard to do when you 1st start out…your whole body is in a fast pace motion for a short period of time…and you are pushing it over and over again. Good luck

or sprint up & down a flight of stairs 10x’s

[quote]Amadgenius wrote:
Running will not preserve FTMs unless you are running at a fast pace. I suggest you do 100m-200m sprints to preserve FTMs. Start out with doing 5 100m sprints & 3 200m sprints for about 3x’s a week for a month. Then increase. Sprints are hard to do when you 1st start out…your whole body is in a fast pace motion for a short period of time…and you are pushing it over and over again. Good luck [/quote]

This isn’t a matter of him choosing to run that much for no reason. His coach has him running that much. I doubt his coach will take too well to him deciding to do sprints instead.

You’ll have to do explosive work religiously to maintain what you have. You should be able to make gains too. The running’s not going to kill you, it’s just going to make your efforts slightly less efficient due to residul fatigue and adaptations towards endurance.