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Sprinting About the Fast Twitch?

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  • Sprinting About the Fast Twitch?

    So is it or not? My position is that sprinting may not be ALL about have a preponderance of FTs, but it sure counts more than whatever is second most important. Unless you gots lots of them, you ain't gonna get anywhere near 10.00.

    My additional theory (discussed here before also) is that everyone's proportion of FT vs. ST determines the exact distance that one will run best. It may be 77m or 322m or 999m and you just have to hope your best is near one of the standard distances. Some distance guys are so amazing at 2400m (for example) that they can run anywhere from 800 to 10000 really well. The more FTs, the smaller the range you'll have.

    Houston McT was born with 50m FTs and could extend that to almost 200m, but that was about it. Mary Decker and Alan Webb were born with a great FT/ST combo.

  • #2
    I know someone with such a huge amount of slow twitch fibers that his fastest mile is the first mile in a 4 mile race- i am not kidding!

    Has maybe 64 400 speed and has run 52 mins. for 10 miles as age 40.
    phsstt!

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    • #3
      Fast twitch, yes. However, it takes a pretty sharp nervous system that's firing on all cylinders to move those fibers.
      If you're ever walking down the beach and you see a girl dressed in a bikini made out of seashells, and you pick her up and hold her to your ear, you can hear her scream.

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      • #4
        Also you have to consider the types of fast twitch, Ia and IIb or x. Now you get into the recruitment of the muscle fibers.
        on the road

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Speedfirst
          Also you have to consider the types of fast twitch, Ia and IIb or x.
          Splain!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Marlow
            Originally posted by Speedfirst
            Also you have to consider the types of fast twitch, Ia and IIb or x.
            Splain!
            Well let me disgress, slow, fast A and B or X, all have characteristics. There are things you can (positively) do to recruit muscle fibers, to fire more. Just as there are things you can do(negatively) that can be a detriment.
            on the road

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            • #7
              Ratio of fast/slow fibers is a very small part of the big picture. If it was only about the fibers we'd all be elite at some event.

              Even if you're only talking about elite athletes and the event they choose, there will be a huge variation of performance due to training. Not having the "perfect ratio" should be less of a factor compared to the training, IMO.

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              • #8
                Muscle fibers, may IMO, be the most vital component/element, related to an athlete performance, great, good, bad, or otherwise.

                Considering the lost or decaying of muscle fibers over the years, ( hence the abuse of HGH).

                If you consider the number of muscle fibers babies have, compared to a middle aged individual, it's staggering.
                on the road

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Speedfirst
                  If you consider the number of muscle fibers babies have, compared to a middle aged individual, it's staggering.
                  But that is a quality of muscle that is independent of the fiber ratio, right? Certainly that quality could well make the difference between elite or not.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Daisy
                    Originally posted by Speedfirst
                    If you consider the number of muscle fibers babies have, compared to a middle aged individual, it's staggering.
                    But that is a quality of muscle that is independent of the fiber ratio, right? Certainly that quality could well make the difference between elite or not.
                    Absolutely quality has to be considered, but the amount of muscle fiber is tantamount as well.

                    Certainly when you consider an elite athlete, compared to a non elite athlete, even in the case where the non elite athlete has more muscle fibers, the elite athlete because of the quality, should and will prevail.

                    But there is another issue here, elite versus elite, this is where quality and quantity now is more glaring, again hence the use/abuse of HGH. The window for improvement on the elite level, is by no means the same as the non elite athlete. So you have elite athletes, scaling the edge of the ledge.
                    on the road

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Daisy
                      Not having the "perfect ratio" should be less of a factor compared to the training, IMO.
                      I admit I'm woefully ignorant on all this stuff, but my poster boy in all this is Houston McT, who was not only born hyper-fast, but didn't improve much with training. He ran his '9.0' (whatever the real time was, it was QUICK) on virtually untrained talent. On the opposite end of the spectrum is K Bekele, who was born to be a distance prodigy. Of course he had to put in the miles to let that talent bear fruit, but my other point is that his body was built to withstand the kind of quality and quantity training that is necessary to break WRs.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Marlow
                        Originally posted by Daisy
                        Not having the "perfect ratio" should be less of a factor compared to the training, IMO.
                        I admit I'm woefully ignorant on all this stuff, but my poster boy in all this is Houston McT, who was not only born hyper-fast, but didn't improve much with training. He ran his '9.0' (whatever the real time was, it was QUICK) on virtually untrained talent. On the opposite end of the spectrum is K Bekele, who was born to be a distance prodigy. Of course he had to put in the miles to let that talent bear fruit, but my other point is that his body was built to withstand the kind of quality and quantity training that is necessary to break WRs.
                        This is a little complicated as you are talking about a few things at once. With regard to Bekele, sure, he will never be a world class sprinter. I was referring more the following point you made.

                        Originally posted by Marlow
                        My additional theory (discussed here before also) is that everyone's proportion of FT vs. ST determines the exact distance that one will run best. It may be 77m or 322m or 999m and you just have to hope your best is near one of the standard distances.
                        Here you're trying to align the ratio with an optimal distance. I think the optimal distance window might be bigger than you think. The noise would be due to the various types of training available to these elite sprinters and that different athletes will respond differently to various training methods depending on other environmental and genetic factors.

                        Take home is that you could be a champion sprinter without the "perfect" ratio of fast/slow twitch fibers. It goes without saying they would have to be elite for many other genetic factors.

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                        • #13
                          Another naive question. How do you determine the percentage of FT/ST fibers? Is it a medical/scientific procedure or a calculation based on PBs at various distances? :?

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                          • #14
                            Lonewolf, here is a page describing a non-invasive method.

                            http://tensiomyography-uk.com/3.html

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Daisy
                              Lonewolf, here is a page describing a non-invasive method.

                              http://tensiomyography-uk.com/3.html
                              Daisy and you also have the invasive procedure, a muscle biopsy test.
                              on the road

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