Slow vs Fast Twitch Fibers
Slow twitch fiber and fast twitch fiber are the two types of fiber that constitute our body muscles. There are many different types of body muscles. Some of these work involuntarily. You do not ask them to work; it works on its own. Skeletal muscles are the muscles that move bones, limbs and the body in general. These skeletal muscles are made up of different types of fibers. These fibers are either slow twitch fibers or fast twitch fibers. People do not know the difference between slow twitch and fast twitch fibers. Those who are desirous of body building must know their differences and working of both these types of fibers to be able to develop their muscles.
Slow twitch fibers are slower contracting fibers as they are weaker but they are very efficient in utilizing oxygen. As such they produce energy easily without causing a build up of lactic acid. These fibers have great endurance despite being weak. Athletes running marathons make good use of these fibers as they can go on and on for very long. These fibers are red in color.
On the other hand, pure fast twitch fibers are white in color that contract very quickly. This gives them extra power and they become strong and explosive. Their weakness lies in the fact is that they tire very quickly.
In between these slow twitch and fast twitch fiber, there is a hybrid quality which contract fast, making them strong and explosive. In addition, they are also fatigue resistant and also very energy efficient. But these fibers are found infrequently in humans. They are however, very helpful in all types of performances.
We all have different percentage makeup of slow and fast twitch fibers in our bodies and this make up is decided on the basis of our genetics. Generally speaking half of the fibers are slow twitch and half are fast twitch. However, it is not surprising to note that sprint runners in Olympics have almost 80% of fast twitch fibers and marathon runners have almost 80% slow twitch fibers that aid them in their events. If you want to be a runner, which even will suit you better can be decided after analyzing your fiber make up on the basis of your genetics.
Fast twitch fibers fuel aerobically while slow twitch fibers fuel athletically. Though one cannot change the makeup of fibers, it is possible to change some of the fibers into the hybrid variety help him in his chosen event.