Archive for July, 2014

What are different types of muscle and how can we develop them?

There are different types of muscle in the body.

We all have strength, endurance, strength endurance and speed in our muscles to one degree or another.

The predominant traits from above will determine how the muscle functions and what it looks like.

First of all, a muscle that has not been used is usually small and underdeveloped (except in unusual genetic cases), because it has not been called upon to adapt to any functional necessity.

A muscle with a lot of strength only, is a dense muscle of small to medium size. These are rock hard muscles with a lot of definition. This is developed with very heavy weight and low reps (3-5 reps).

A muscle with endurance only is a small muscle, but the endurance fibres within it are at a high volume. This type of muscle is developed with very low weight and huge reps (jogging, cycling etc.)

A muscle with strength endurance only is a larger muscle, because it is filled with sarcoplasmic fluid to fuel strength muscle fibre work/volume. If this type of training is overdone, muscles can get very large, puffy and balloon like. It should also be noted that using low weight and a very high volume of reps will not really build size, because it is more to the endurance side of things than strength. The sweet spot for size and ‘intense work capacity’ development is far closer to strength than it is to endurance. This is developed with a heavy weight at a medium repetition range (8-12 reps).

A muscle with speed only is a small to medium sized muscle. These are usually well defined as well. These muscles have some similarities to strength only muscles, but have been trained to fire much faster. The weight or resistance used here is the one that can give the most ballistic movement. Repetitions vary from low to high, but these exercises tend to be done in short bursts of very high speed, with a lot of recovery in between sets.

In reality, a muscle can have many traits built into one. I used the ‘only’ reference just for understanding of how each trait manifests itself. Ideally, we would like to have a mixture of many things in a muscle, depending on our wants and needs.

I go into great depth in my book Precision Physique (available on amazon) on how to train to get the type of muscle you want.