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Muscle fibres and DC-training!

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  • Muscle fibres and DC-training!

    I have problems with the compound movements for chest becasuse of my fiber type! My chest muscles have fast twitch fibres and triceps slow twitch fibres! So when doing heavy presses my arms fail because my triceps can't generate the force, and when doing a lighter weight my chest gives up because of fatigue!

    So a "high" rep RP is impossible!

    I usually do incline presse and pec flyes for chest, and seated dips and triceps extension for triceps! In an ideal situation I would want to do just compound movements!

    Any advice?

  • #2
    Actually Tricep fibers are mostly fast twitch fibers. I recall years ago when I studied anatomy that is what I was taught....I would be interested in learning what is taught today.

    Fast twitch fibers usually respond to heavy, low rep work.(Up to 12 reps or so)

    IMO you should change your tricep program. Try some weighted dips, skull crushers, over head dumbell extentions (two handed, one heavy as hell dumbell). These are heavy compound movements-especially the body dips. The seated dips you are doing is going to be too light to really stimulate muscle growth IMO.
    If memory serves me correct muscles of the calves and forearms are slow twitch. Quads, lats, chest, bi and tri are primarily fast twitch.
    You mentioned that when doing presses your arms fail. I suppose you are talking about bench presses and DB presses,flat and incline.
    IMO to effectively hit the pecs and reduce tricep involvement it is imperitive to go with a fairly wide grip (nothing too ridiculous though) and to arch your spine. This will situate your pecs for more involvement in presses.
    Try this. Next time when you bench-flat bench-arch your back while making sure your butt stays on the bench. Do Not Bridge!! That is when your ass comes off the bench. Ass must stay on the bench. Okay...using a fairly wide grip lower the weight to the bottom of your sternum-make sure the bar does not come up to the nipple area....gotta get the bar down to the bottom of the sternum. If you have arched your back correctly your sternum will be the highest point of your body.
    Bring the bar down for a pause that lasts about a quarter to a half second. Make damn sure the bar does not bounce!!!! This is critical to stressing the pecs. You must not generate any momentum with a bounce. Pause the bar on your sternum. I pause for about one second actually, on each rep. No candyass benching here bro.....gotta do it right to work the pecs and not the tri's.
    When you press upwards do it in an arcing fashion. Do not press the bar straight up in a linear fashion. The bar begins at the bottom of the sternum and finishes over the eyes. This arc is critical to working the pecs-pecs are not a classic 2 joint muscle -it is a "fan" type muscle and benching in this fashion will work the hell out of them.
    Try to buddy up with a cometitive powerlifter in your area....these guys bench in this fashion-that is who I learned from-Marine Corps Heavyweight bench champ taught me how to bench, and my chest grew like a weed!
    Do the same thing on your DB movements. Arch your spine-not so much that it is uncomfortable....enough to stress the pecs. And make damn sure you bring the DB's down to your chest!! If you put on some serious size it may be a little difficult to get them all the way to your chest....but I see guys doing "partial presses" just so they can move some big weight. This will only work the tri's. Gotta get those DB's down low to work the pecs.
    Last edited by SuperSport; 04-11-2004, 08:49 AM.
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    • #3
      Slow twitch recover fast
      Fast twitch recover slow

      When I do the pec flye (nautilus) in rest pause fashion typically it looks like this:
      7 reps, 2 reps and then 1 rep

      and the triceps extension (nautilus):
      8 reps, 4 reps, 3-4 reps

      So you can see that my triceps recover strength faster than my chest!

      When I tested my fiber type in my muscles I used the Medx testing procedure. I have a mixed fiber type on all muscles besides chest (FT), triceps(ST) and quads (ST)!


      • #4
        Bump for some great stuff from Supersport
        International Elite Raw Powerlifter
        Blood - Sweat - Chalk


        • #5
          How did you determine fibre type without a biopsy, as this is the only reliable method for doing so?


          • #6
            Originally posted by TheElder
            How did you determine fibre type without a biopsy, as this is the only reliable method for doing so?
            Thank you...
            "That damn log book"

   Highest quality protein at the lowest price...


            • #7

              I haven't forgotten your earlier questions on atherosclerossi, just got busy the last week or so.
              I'll look at some more of this if you'd like - I need to do a bit of research to answer your excellent questions!
              You're going to keep me on my toes LOL!

              Best always,


              • #8
                I am dragging up an old thread, but I couldn't find the answer to my question by searching. I know you can't test your definite fiber type from a test like Dr. Hatfield's fiber type test, but I've run that several times and on all lifts I test (bench, press, weighted chin-ups, deadlifts and squats) I can only get 4-6 reps at 80% of my 1RM on all of them. This even happened when I used to run a high volume, higher rep hypertrophy program. I have always only seen results with low reps. Does this mean I should favor the lower rep range on my RP sets, or does the "pre-exhaust" nature of rest pause training simulate higher weight on the second and third parts of the set?


                • #9
                  Thanks for the reply. I definitely agree on the fast twitch focus. Since finding out low rep ranges work for me, I have done heavy weights (<6 rep range) with an explosive concentric. My eccentric has always been rather slow. My TUT has definitely gone down, but that is mostly from my drastically decreased volume.


                  • #10
                    Early 90's I tested my TUL (Time Under Load) under strict conditions with 2 years apart. Here is the outcome, which was identical each test despite growing stronger between each one:

                    Pushing exercises - 5
                    Pulling exercises - 6
                    Legs - 8

                    This confirmed what I already felt, as I knew I was more suited to being a sprinter than a long distance runner... still, it is good to have tangible evidence to back up my beliefs.

                    If anyone is interested in testing your TUL here is how to go about it...

                    No-one trains HARDER!!


                    • #11
                      Just hit that shit hard!!! Try to prove that your muscle fibers are wrong and push through it


                      • #12
                        That link that Lifter posted has some good info in it, but I would not discover your 1RM and perform a fatigue test on the same muscle group on the same day. If you do, it could alter the results, especially on fast twitched dominant muscles. The general outcome would probably be the same, but the ratio would be harder to judge. You can also test by rest pausing. Simply pick a weight you go to failure on at as close to 60 seconds as you can and do so. Then, wait approximately one minute and perform a second set. The judging criteria is the same as in the link. If the second set is under 60 seconds, that muscle group is predominantly fast twitched (the lower the time the more fast twitched dominance) 60-90 sec is near even mix and 90+ is predominantly slow twitched (the higher the time the more slow twitched). Also, these tests are to be performed on isolation exercises only. Most people are going to fall in the mixed group, for those who don't, training in the appropriate TUT can be a big help.