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Witness the Fitness: Fast and Slow Twitch Muscles Featuring Jerry Diaz

JERRY Diaz of Gold’s Gym joins us once again for another edition of Witness the Fitness to talk about the two primary types of muscles fibers used in athletics.

Gold’s Gym personal trainer Jerry Diaz.  Photo by Vicente “Ben” Salas IIGold’s Gym personal trainer Jerry Diaz. Photo by Vicente “Ben” Salas II
Expanding on concepts previously explored in “The Principle of Specificity,” today’s article discusses the distinguishing differences between fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers and why they are relevant.

Fast-twitch muscles, also known as Type II a and Type II b fibers,are fast to fire and don’t require oxygen to burn energy. However, they are also faster to tire and are mainly ideal for short bursts of explosive activity.

Fast-twitch muscle training caters more to sports such as basketball, football, tennis, sprinting and bodybuilding. They are sports that generally require more explosive twitch movements. While endurance is also necessary, these sports havemore frequent rest intervals across a span of play.

Slow twitch muscles, or Type I fibers, use oxygen efficiently as a source of energy and fatigue less quickly than fast-twitch muscles; although slow-twitch muscles are less explosive and slower to fire up.

Slow-twitch training is best associated with endurance sports likelong distance cycling, marathon running and triathlons.

And then you have the “between” sports like swimming, boxing and mixed martial arts that lean heavily on a combination and balance of both fast-twitch muscle and slow-twitch muscle developing.

According to Diaz, the best training regimens combine the best of both worlds to create the perfect warrior or athlete—an individual who can perform and excel in any sport without worry of injury or performance deficit.

“Remember, if you train a certain way, you will perform and look a certain way, based on that type of training. And that includes nutrition and the way you eat and fuel that specific training” Diaz reminds.

Many athletes of today have smartened up in their regimens and balance the training and conditioning of their fast and slow twitch muscles into four primary stages.

Those stages are stability, strength endurance, muscular building with hypertrophy and maximum strength and then power.

Stability pertains to balance and core conditioning, strength endurance refers to an athlete’s ability to maintain the same performance level of strength output over an extended duration, muscular building and hypertrophy is the growing and developing of muscleas seen in bodybuilding and max strength and power refers to the maximum attainable through progressive overload.

To delve deeper into topics discussed within Witness the Fitness, through professional consultation, readers are welcome to schedule appointments with Jerry Diaz by contacting Gold’s Gym Saipan at (670)233-4000 or visiting their official Facebook page. Diaz himself can also be reached via Facebook.