T Nation

Training Right for your Muscle Fibres

According to Charles Poliquin (see his recent article “Manipulating Reps for Gains in Size and Strength” at http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=620430, principle 9) and Christian Thibaudeau (see his book “The Black Book of Training Secrets”), to induce hypertrophy, the adequate volume of strength work for each muscle will vary greatly depending on the fibre dominance of the muscle. A muscle that is fast-twitch dominant would benefit from lower volumes of training while a slow-twitch dominant muscle would need a higher volume of work to gain size.

On the other hand, Ian King (see his article “Training Right for your Type” at http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459692) and Chad Waterbury (see his “SOB Training” article at http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=561180) recommend training mostly the fast-twitch fibres of a muscle (lower reps), and to a lesser degree the slow-twitch fibres (higher reps), to induce hypertrophy, regardless of whether the muscle is fast-twitch dominant or slow-twitch dominant.

Which training method do you believe is the most efficient to cause hypertrophy? Why?

I belive training mostly fast-twich fibres (high intensity training) when training for mass. This with a high intensity (between 80-95% of 1RM) at least 70-80% of training time/period.

When traning heavy, all muscle fibres are activated (Type I, and II a and b).

Type IIb especially when training very heavy (as low as 1-3 reps) with explosive speed. This muscle fiberes has the greates potensial for growth. But trainig Type IIb fibres must be used sparingly to prevent overtraining.

Generally speakin slow twich muscle groups as abdominal,trapezius, underarms and soleus+gastrocnemius to a sertant degreee respond better to training with not so high intensity - but I am not so sure how much this really is, and if it is worth training mostly low intensity on these musclegroups.

Anyway the TTT and TBT program from Chad Waterbury have all the important principles for maximum musclemass. This is without a doubt the best program I have tried over 11 years of training for mass and strength: You train each muscle group as often as possible without beeing overtrained, and all the important musclefiberes (and different strenght qualities)are beeing activated each on different days. This will ensure activating all musclefibres slow-twich and fast-twich fibres.

I think they are all correct!

I also think that when you begin thinking that the only way to gain muscle is “your way” then your going down the wrong path.

Science has proven that the 20 rep squat system is inferior to something else, (pick whichever leg program you have recently been doing). Yet, 20 rep squats have been putting large amounts of muscle on trainees for about 50 years!

Gee…is it possible that the science of today has not reached perfection?

Chuck science, (on occasion) do what works until it doesn’t work anymore, then do something else!

[quote]mikeynorth wrote:
I belive training mostly fast-twich fibres (high intensity training) when training for mass. This with a high intensity (between 80-95% of 1RM) at least 70-80% of training time/period.
[/quote]

I agree with this. My approach has been to train those muscle fibers that grow the most in size and respond directly to power and intensity. My goal has been muscle growth, not overall endurance. My plan is also to eventually use higher reps, but only after I feel I have gained as much as possible from directing my focus towards fast twitch muscle fibers. It has worked so far.

Thanks for your responses mikeynorth, Professor X and ZEB.

[quote]ZEB wrote:
I think they are all correct!

I also think that when you begin thinking that the only way to gain muscle is “your way” then your going down the wrong path.

Science has proven that the 20 rep squat system is inferior to something else, (pick whichever leg program you have recently been doing). Yet, 20 rep squats have been putting large amounts of muscle on trainees for about 50 years!

Gee…is it possible that the science of today has not reached perfection?

Chuck science, (on occasion) do what works until it doesn’t work anymore, then do something else![/quote]

I do not doubt that many different training programs can increase the size of my muscles. But some training programs will do it at a faster rate than others, and, in principle, there is one training program (two or more training programs if they are equally efficient) that will add muscle to my frame the fastest. Scientific studies are very useful to determine just how efficient a hypertrophy-training program can be for me compared to other training programs.

Cheers.

David