31-01-17 | Move | abs |

Identify your muscle fiber type and burn fat faster

Did you know your genetics determine a big part of not only your looks, but also how your muscles are set together? This explains why some sports work better for you than others. Since it is quite complicated how this exactly works, I want to try keeping it short and practical for you to determine what works best for your body and how to optimize your performances.

Our bodies do not all work in the same way, which causes us to react different to physical activities. Besides somatotypes (read more about that subject here) we can also be categorized based upon muscle fiber types. There are three different ones: type I (slow twitch ), type IIa (fast twitch) and type IIb (fast twitch). Fast or slow twitch relates to the speed of contraction in the fibers. Type I fibers have lots of energy in them. The type II fibers have a little less energy, but are very powerful. Everyone’s body is unique in its composition of muscle fibers.

TYPE I
Type I makes you to have very good endurance. The muscles are less qualified for strength, but you won’t get tired fast. This means sports like running or swimming work great for you!

TYPE IIb 
Type IIb has the most power, but are tired out fast. This makes it good for short moments with lots of power. Weight lifting and sprinting are your cup of tea, and you don’t have to do much for gaining muscle.

TYPE IIA
Type IIa lies between I and IIb. They have lots of power for shorter time periods like IIb, but are also able to last a little longer. You do best in exercises that combine strength with energy, like ball sports.

These muscle fibers can be linked to the somatotypes. An ectomorph with a slim body has more type I fibers, as they burn fat easily due to their endurance, but find it harder to build muscle as much. This makes it necessary to gradually build up the intensity of the strength training to gain more power. Mesomorphs usually have most fast twitch fibers, making it more easy to lift weights and grow muscle. This explains why they don’t have to do much trouble for creating a fit and shaped body. When you are an endomorph your muscles mostly consist of type IIb. It can be hard to burn fat, but getting strong comes more easily. With an overhand of IIa or IIb you might need to take more rest in your workouts to gain enough energy. Upgrade the amount of repetitions in your workout and try to add a little more time to each cardio training when you want to get more endurance.

The moral of this is that your genetics determine what you’re good at. It’s hard to change this, but you can change to a certain extent if you know your body. Find your strengths and weaknesses and adjust to that to get most out of your trainings. Please note (!) that it’s not good or bad to be build a certain way. We just all have our own personal qualities and we need to rock those to the fullest!

With love,
Carolina.

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  • Evan

    Great information, thanks! I’ve only heard a very little about this here and there, the difference between slow twitch and fast twitch fibers. I had no idea everyone’s makeup was a little different. But it sure explains why everyone responds a little bit differently to a lot of the same exercises.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Jake

    I have only heard a bit about different muscle fibers before this post. Thanks! This article was very informative and useful. I never really thought of people’s genetics playing a role in what kind of muscle fibers that we mostly have.

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