It’s all about timing!

Last weekend I had, as already mentioned, my Initial Training to become an instructor for the Les Mills Bodypump program.

Since this was my third Initial Training after Bodyattack and CXWorx and certain general knowledge is part of every Les Mills training, it was not as challenging and demanding for me as the previous ones. Nevertheless, the program-specific part in particular was again extremely interesting and informative.

It is certainly nothing new for you that each skeletal muscle consists of many muscle fibers. These are grouped into fibre bundles whose ends are in turn connected to bones or tendons, so that when the muscle fibres contract – i.e. shorten, hold or stretch the muscle against resistance – our bones are moved accordingly.

But did you also know that there are so-called slow and fast twitching muscle fibers? They are also called dark (or red) and light (or white) fibers or fibers of Type 1 and 2. (Besides there are other types of muscle fibers, which I do not want to consider here.)

In short, dark muscle fibers tend to contract slowly and are designed to perform moderately and continuously, with slow fatigue. On the other hand, the light fibers are responsible for high performance, but also consume significantly more energy and tire faster. However, this is not a final specification, since the fibres can convert to the other type under continuous one-sided stress.

Now what does this mean for our strength training?

Very simple – the different fibres react to different training stimuli or training speeds. Thus, it is important that our strength training includes both slow and faster movements – so we reach all fibers and train integrally.

That’s why we keep changing the speed at Pump – from evenly fast or slow to mixed fast-slow and slow-fast and sometimes we also keep the load for a short time. It strikes me that the participants often find the slow movements (or the longer holding) very difficult and return too early to the relief. Logical – they then have to hold their weight longer, while in the faster movements they are only briefly in the maximum load. But it is also important to perform slow movements with the whole range of motion so that in the end all muscles and all fibre types – and thus our whole body – become stronger and fitter.

So this is all about gritting your teeth and FIBERING on!

Picture: (translation by Attackmania)

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