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Difference Between Fast and Slow-Twitch Muscles

Fast vs Slow-Twitch Muscles

In sports science, we are not certain that a few body structures are better than the others. They may get the fullest potential and advantage if a person has these body structures. They will get to enjoy the winning part rather than the losing portion. Of course, they must also train hard in order to achieve this feat.

Thanks to sports scientists, they are able to study which muscles are which and which is superior or inferior. Our muscles, particularly our skeletal muscles, are composed of muscle fibers. These muscle fibers are called myocytes. These myocytes contain myofibrils which cause muscle contraction. Muscle fibers are broken down into two main types, namely: slow-twitch (Type 1) muscle fibers and fast-twitch (Type 2) muscle fibers. Let us try to differentiate both of them.
Slow-twitch muscle fibers are great for events such as marathons and cycling. Why? Because slow-twitch muscle fibers consume oxygen slowly thus it produces more fuel which the body needs. It fires more slowly than a fast-twitch muscle. The result is fatigue is less likely to occur in an instant because the slow-twitch muscle consumes energy slower.
Fast-twitch muscle fibers, on the other hand, are the opposite of slow-twitch muscle fibers. They fire more quickly than the slow twitch. They also consume and burn energy faster. Thus, fatigue is quickly evident. Fatigue is more likely to occur in an instant compared to a slow-twitch muscle fiber. This type of muscle also has a very high rate of muscle contraction.

These distinctions seem to influence how muscles respond to training and physical activity, and each fiber type is unique in its ability to contract in a certain way. Human muscles contain a genetically determined mixture of both slow and fast-fiber types. On average, we have about 50 percent slow twitch and 50 percent fast-twitch fibers in most of the muscles used for movement. However, it differs among athletes. Sprinters are said to have 80% fast-twitch fibers. On the other hand, marathon runners have 80% slow-twitch muscle fibers.


1.Slow-twitch muscle fibers consume oxygen in a very efficient way, but fast-twitch muscle fibers consume oxygen instantly.
2.In slow-twitch muscle fibers, fatigue will occur slowly. In fast-twitch muscle fibers, fatigue will occur faster.
3.In sprinters, there are 80% fast-twitch muscle fibers while in marathon runners there are 80% slow-twitch muscle fibers.
4.Fast-twitch muscle fibers are great for sprinters while slow-twitch muscle fibers are great for marathon runners and cyclists.

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