Don’t all women want firm fit bodies? Beautiful curves that show you’re tight and tone. And with one, no fitness model has anything over you! Right?! But wait … at what price when you have been blessed genetically delightfully, or perhaps cursed dreadfully, with fast twitch muscle fiber?
I am one if these females; fast on the bottom, slow up top. As a teen, I always noticed my lower half was slightly more muscular than my skinny upper, quickly reacting to exercises that incorporated resistance and weights. But what is cardio girl suppose to do? Not ride her bike? Skip the weight training? Forget exercising all together?
At first, I just let it be. But then I became more conscious of it. I obviously had the natural statuesque of a gymnast, one I didn’t want or desire. To me, I looked dis-proportioned, but I’m certain no one else ever noticed or sensed my dissatisfaction for my muscular legs and rump. I was my own elephant in the room. So I began paying closer attention to what I did do exercise-way that increased my muscle mass, and what I did that didn’t. Soon, I noted what worked and what I needed to stay away from to achieve the results I was seeking.
Fast twitch muscle fibers are fast reacting. There is just no way around it. They are larger than slow twitch, becoming activated and responding quicker when used during the concentric phase of a repetition. These fibers are excellent at generating quick explosiveness powerful bursts of speed, power, and strength and are ideal for leading, sprinting and high-intensity training, such as gymnastics, bodybuilding, or power-lifting.
So what is a female with fast twitch muscle fibers to do when she wants to be tight and tone but just not overly muscular? While you cannot change your muscle fiber type, you can change your exercise workout regime to get a different result. For weight training, go for high repetitions with low weights (versus low reps and high weights) or use your body weight, such as calisthenics or plyometrics. Run long distance over short, aiming for three to five miles a day or longer OUTSIDE, five days a week as long distance running will help to change the size and structure of your leg muscles, developing leaner leg muscles over time. Running inside on a treadmill provides resistance and can cause you to bulk up. Also remember to stretch, stretch and stretch again as stretching will lengthen your muscles and prevent you from exercising on shortened muscles, which can also cause bulk up. Finally, try power yoga or Pilates, both excellent for elongated the muscles plus toning and strengthening.
With regular, committed, and consistent workouts, your fast twitch muscle fibers can develop to size you desire. Achieving the results you want for your own physique and determining how to best achieve is everyone’s own fitness journey. Along your way of trial, error, reward, and success, remember to keep a journal and document your rite of passage and included your diet, hydration, and sleep as all are just as important to your recipe of self wealth of health and fitness.
Be Fit. Be Strong. Be Well.