Develop Your Muscle
Phil Campbell -
Ready, Set, Go! Synergy Fitness for Time
You have three types of muscle
fiber that make up your "muscles," and this is sometimes called muscle
Muscle composition is important
because it's the fitness training that targets the super fast-twitch
muscle that makes your body produce the most powerful body fat-reducing,
muscle-toning, fitness hormone in your body, growth hormone.
The average person has
approximately 60 percent fast muscle fiber and 40 percent slow-twitch fiber
(type I). There can be swings in fiber composition, but essentially, we all
have three types of muscle fiber that need to be trained, (Muscle, Genes,
and Athletic Performance, September 2000, Scientific American,
The fast-twitch muscle actually
has two types of fiber -- fast and super-fast. The fast muscle (what the
researchers call IIa) moves 5 times faster than the slow muscle, and the
super-fast (called IIx or llb) moves 10 times faster than the slow muscle
The following chart shows
that while there are differences in muscle fiber composition, muscle types can
be developed based on the way they are trained.
Sprinters have higher percentages
of the super-fast (IIx). Endurance trained individuals have more slow muscle
fiber (type I).
While we are born with slightly
different muscle composition, the point is; super-fast muscle can be developed
if exercised properly. And fast-muscle fiber should be developed because this
type of muscle opens a new world of benefits from anaerobic sprinting types of
Why is this
show that anaerobic exercise (short, quick-burst, get you winded fast) is the
type of fitness training that increases exercise-induced growth hormone.
And growth hormone is, without question, the most powerful body fat-reducing,
muscle-toning, anti-aging, and anti-middle-aging agent known in science.
Yet, when we
finish high school (perhaps with the exception of a few that compete in college
and the small number that make it to the pros), we become slow-twitch
exercisers at age 20. And this is a huge mistake!
developing slow-twitch muscle (less than half of their muscle fiber) with
weight training, jogging, and cardio at the gym, but drop the training that
develops their fast muscle fiber. Actually, if you think about it, we start the
muscle atrophy process (the wasting away of muscle) on half of our muscle fiber
... AT AGE 20!
No wonder we have an obesity epidemic and this year, 650,000 Americans will hear their physician say,
"you have diabetes."
The cure for
the national obesity crisis, the cure for the middle-age somatopause, the cure
for insulin resistance and (in many cases) diabetes, and the cure for the high
cost of healthcare--is so simple, that we keep missing it.
The cure is
natural. It's free. But it can't be done overnight because the muscle fiber
needed to perform high-intensity anaerobic exercise has atrophied (wasted
There's great news?
You can build back your fast-twitch muscle fiber by performing
plyometrics to build the fast muscle (IIa) and performing sprinting types
of training to build the super-fast (IIx) to the point where you can release
exercise-induced growth hormone. You can do it, but you must start slowly and
progressively to build your fast muscle fiber. Warning, if you go too fast, too
soon, you'll risk injury. Think in terms of a progressive 6 to 8 week build-up
The Take Home
Consider doing more than
developing your slow muscle fiber with weights, cardio, and jogging. Don't
neglect slow-muscle because this is 40% of your muscle fiber, and to a degree,
it serves as a base for the development of the fast and super-fast muscle
fiber. Simply tailor your fitness plan to include exercises that develop your
slow, fast, and super-fast muscle fiber.
Have a great day!
Phil Campbell, M.S., M.A.,
Author Ready, Set, GO! Synergy Fitness
National Institutes of Health
research cited in newsletter,
Research Summary 1
NOTE: The purpose of this article is to
expand thinking about fitness as an informational source for readers, and is
not medical advice. Before attempting the Synergy Fitness program, the Sprint 8
Workout, or any high-intensity exercise program, consult your physician. This
is not just a liability warning; it's wise to have a baseline medical exam
before beginning a fitness program. Make your physician a partner in your
fitness improvement plan.