Endurance Track vs CrossFit? What is the differance and which should I participate in?
When you're training with weights, your goal is to work as many muscle fibers as possible. Affecting more muscle fibers means greater gains in strength and muscle mass.
If your fibers in a particular muscle consist primarily of slow twitch fibers, in order to affect the greatest number of those muscle fibers, you'll need to train that muscle with higher reps, shorter rest periods and higher volume. This is because they take longer to fatigue, they recover quickly and they require more work to maximize growth.
Unfortunately, slow twitch muscle fibers are limited in their potential for growth so even if a muscle group is primarily slow twitch, you should definitely include some lower rep training to maximize the fast twitch fibers you've got in that muscle.
If you find you have a hard time gaining size in a particular muscle, it could be because it has a predominance of slow twitch muscle fibers. Higher reps (e.g. 12 to 15 reps), higher volume (more sets) and shorter rest periods (30 seconds to a minute between sets) can help you to maximize those muscles.
This doesn't mean you should use light weight, though. You should still strive to use weights that are as heavy as possible that will cause you to reach failure in those higher rep ranges. If you don't use heavy weights, you won't give your muscles a reason to grow.
If your fibers in a particular muscle group consist primarily of fast twitch muscle fibers, you're one of the lucky ones. You'll have a much easier time building mass in that muscle - fast twitch muscle fibers have greater potential for size than slow twitch. The more fast twitch fibers you've got, the greater your ultimate muscle size can be. These muscles are most likely your strongest and quickest to develop.
To maximize your muscles with fast twitch fibers, you'll need to train with low to moderate reps (e.g. 4 to 8 reps), rest periods of around 1 to 2 minutes and a moderate training volume (too much volume will compromise recovery).
If your muscles have a fairly even mix of fibers, you can evenly divide your training between focusing on the lower-rep, fast twitch fiber training and the higher-rep, slow twitch fiber training. This will help you to develop all the fibers in your muscles, maximizing your ultimate development.
To conclude, Training your muscles according to their fiber type makes sense. It will help you to get better results from your training by allowing you to more specifically target your training according to the exact specifications of your muscles.
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