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A Little Physiology

Should We Train Fast Or Slow?

A few days ago a study was published looking at high and low-velocity resistance training and its effect on the contractile properties of skeletal muscle fibers in young and older adults.

The subjects were examined by dividing them into four groups: young (20 to 30 yrs) males and females, and older (65 to 80 yrs) males and females.  In each group half of the subjects underwent a traditional progressive resistance training at low velocities against high loads, while the other half performed progressive resistance training at high velocity.  After 14 weeks their muscles were sampled by needle biopsy.

Pendulum WorkoutThick Handle Pulldowns On The Pendulum Lat Combo

Testing the fibers, contrary to what the researchers felt would occur, they found both types of progressive resistance training methods increased the cross sectional area, force and power of the explosive type 2 fibers, resulting in the same adaptive response.

The velocity at which the exercises are performed does not change the individual fiber-level histology, only the fiber size.  This is true regardless of the speed performed as long as you are progressively overloading.  Something to think about when you train athletes to Get Strong.


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