Today I wanted to share with you a neat revelation of sorts I had last night in a conversation with one of my soon to be bootcamp instructors. We were talking about fat loss and also how bad he was about running for distance (he trains with me for his conditioning for Mixed Martial Arts fighting), the best methods and our conversation turned to Thanksgiving of all things and we got on the topic of fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibers.
If you don’t know what those are, without going into a ton of detail, fast twitch muscles are those muscles that are dominant in sprinting events like running or short burst weight lifting; anything that involves explosive work in a short amount of time. Slow twitch muscle fibers are those which involve low intensity work over a long period of time like distance running, triathalon, or cross country skiing. Some people are really good at one of these groups of sports than others, while others are very good at the other group. That typically means that person has a dominance of either fast twitch or slow twitch muscle fibers in their body. Very rarely does a person have an equal amount of both or are very good at both types of exercise.
Ok, back to our conversation and the proverbial light bulb that went off over my head; we were talking about the difference in leanness between light meat and dark meat and how light meat is so much leaner than the dark. Now you have heard me talk about how interval training or alternating high intensity and low intensity work periods burns much more body fat than slow steady state exercise. And if we remember this concept when trying to figure out why light meat is leaner than dark meat we can start to put things all together to prove my point.
Slow twitch muscle fibers are the dark meat on poultry. Dark meat has more fat content. Fast twitch muscle fibers are the light meat. Light meat has much less fat. If we apply this concept and now know that fast twitch muscle fibers are for short explosive bursts, and slow twitch muscle fibers are for long steady state exertion, everything starts to make more sense.
Just another way to prove that interval training will burn more fat off your body than the slow steady state exercise. I’m sure next thanksgiving you will be thinking about this when you dig into your turkey dinner.