just wondering (about muscles)

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by d33pthought, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. d33pthought

    d33pthought New Member

    I've been reading about different kinds of muscle fibers (all for this huge exam I have on Wednesday--I swear I'm not obsessed!), and it occurred to me to wonder which kind martial artists have more of. The fast glycolytic fibers are the 'fast twitch' ones we're all familiar with, and are really only good for short bursts of intense energy. They tend to be smaller than the others, because of less blood and stuff. Then there's the slow oxidative fibers, which are the 'slow twitch' ones. These, as we know, are best at sustained contraction--ie: endurance. But what about the fast oxidative-glycolytic fibers? These are sort of in between, from what I've read, and have smaller capacities for both systems of ATP production. I'd think martial artists have more oxidative-glycolytic fibers, because they need strength to power their techniques, as well as stamina to keep from collapsing in an exhausted heap.
  2. Maverick

    Maverick New Member

    Don't forget that you are born with a pretty much fixed ratio of fibres, the average martial artist imo doesn't train anywhere near hard enough to convince his body to change many of the fibres.

    Besides, it would differ for body parts anyway. The shoulders would in theory be biased towards slow fibres as they are holding the guard up all the time, triceps fast-twitch for punches, calves slow-twitch because the fighter is moving all the time, but quads fast-twitch for kicks.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2005
  3. d33pthought

    d33pthought New Member

    But what about all that bodyweight the quadriceps have to support? Normally, they're mostly slow oxidative fibers. I see what you're getting at with the shoulders being slow twitch, but I can't imagine holding a tense, rigid guard all the time. If anything, I'd keep it loose so I can strike fast. It's all the striking that leads me to believe they're mostly fast glycolytics.
  4. Maverick

    Maverick New Member

    Exactly, the point I was making is that muscles have differing roles anyway so you'll never see a muscle that has been trained into being unnaturally biased in one direction, by that much a margin.

    Muscles can be nudged in either direction but the fact remains that different muscles have different roles, so it's impossible to have a body that is completely one or the other.
  5. Ad McG

    Ad McG Troll-killer Supporter

    Last edited: Apr 10, 2005
  6. ninjamonkey

    ninjamonkey New Member

    HEY, this is our excuse to geek out :)
  7. MattN

    MattN Valued Member

    Can't motor units cycle which ones are active, since not all fire at the same time; some can rest?

    I think fast glycolytic could last the couple minutes for a round, so I'd assme that's what's best for us.

    edit: I have no idea what I'm talkin about
  8. ninjamonkey

    ninjamonkey New Member

    Oh, and the fast glycolitic fibres mahoyvn are infact larger than the slow oxydative fibres, with the speed, and the power and the such.

    Man, professor Frink impersonations are hard to do with text, and how the hell do you speel nwayvn.
  9. Ad McG

    Ad McG Troll-killer Supporter

    Yeah I meant to say that too, the FT fibres are the biggest usually and have the largest potential by far to grow. Check out sprinters - fast twitch fibres, usually big guys, but you don't see many big long distance runners!
  10. ninjamonkey

    ninjamonkey New Member

    Or just look at an emu's legs................ sorry
  11. d33pthought

    d33pthought New Member

    That's exactly how it works, actually
  12. ClubbellTrainer

    ClubbellTrainer Fitness Coach

    The ratio of different types of muscle fibers is primarily determined by genetics. Training won't change this ratio all that much. However, the training you do will affect which ones dominate your overall performance. If you do a lot of long slow distance running, you won't be developing the FT fibers your need for some combatives. If you run intervals like Tabatas or Taku's HIIT, you will be on the right track for more intense combative training.

    The training you do doesn't train just the muscles, but also your neurological regulation of those muscle groups. By developing a tolerance for different kinds of workloads, you can increase your stamina for different types of applications. Martial artists come in so many different types with such different strategies and training methods that you will certainly find much variation in the composition of their overall musculature.
  13. Ad McG

    Ad McG Troll-killer Supporter

    Good stuff ^^^ :)
  14. Mo Lung

    Mo Lung Hard work!

    Also, don't forget that people never ennervate all the fibres in a muscle at first. Say there's 800 fibres in a chosen muscle, usual everyday activities will use maybe 300 of them. When you start training that muscle, the motor units recruit more muscle fibres first, so you get up to maybe around 600 fibres in use before the muscle reacts further by growing those fibres. That's why training first "hardens" a muscle before it grows it.
  15. ninjamonkey

    ninjamonkey New Member

    Um, I've never heard of a muscle 'hardening' before... hm, sounds kinda rude ;) , but if you mean that the contraction becomes more efficient because the muscle learns to recruit more useful muscle fibres, then yeah, why didn't you just say so. :D
  16. nForce

    nForce Banned Banned

    As people have said you are born with a fixed ratio, although you can train some of your slow twitch to 'behave' as fast twitch afaik

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