Sprint Training: Fast Twitch Muscles

There are two types of muscles; fast twitch and slow twitch.

Slow twitch muscles have a large blood supply providing oxygenation, tap into fat for fuel and used in endurance activities.

Fast twitch muscles have little blood supply thus less oxygenated making them fast to fatigue. Fast twitch muscles rely on anaerobic metabolism and use glycogen for fuel and produce lactic acid. They have the greatest growth potential for use when power and speed, in short bursts, are needed.

Fast twitch muscles can be trained to metabolize and oxygenate more efficiently as well as improve strength, power and speed:

Sprints
No more than 100m, 3-5 sets at race pace with rest 2-3X longer than sprint time. Add increasing drag or resistance while maintaining times.

Strength Training (strength, not size)
5-8 reps of an exercise at 80% max capacity using slow, fluid motions.

Isometric Exercises
Exercises using little or no movement, but holding body weight for up to 60 seconds; ie core Strength, yoga, pilates

Plyometrics
Exercises that contract and stretch/extend muscles in rapid, explosive sequences and can include med balls and bands for increased resistance.

Anaerobic Interval Training
Repeating any of the above exercises,
at an intense pace (race pace or no slower than race pace +20% interval time or movements done as fast as possible while maintaining good form: chest high, neutral spine, knee/ ankle/hips no more than 90 degrees ), with rests of 2-3X that of the interval pace in between intervals.

To improve, adjust one factor at a time: make intervals faster, rests shorter, or add more repetitions.

Tabata training: 4 minutes total, 20 second intervals at maximum speed, 10 second rests.

Check out http://www.coreperformance.com and http://www.livestrong.com

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One thought on “Sprint Training: Fast Twitch Muscles

  1. Pingback: Balancing Power and Speed in Sprinting « From the Flight Deck

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