I was watching a show on FitTV today called “Insider Training.” The episode focused on the training of a few female volleyball players and one in particular trained on hydraulic resistance machines. The purpose was to train her fast-twitch muscles to improve her performance when playing volleyball. I had never heard of fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers until today. Basically the differences are:
- Fast-twitch muscle fibers – Are used during tasks requiring short bursts of strength (examples: sprinting, weight-lifting.)
- Slow-twitch muscle fibers – These muscle fibers are used for strength and endurance (example: running a marathon.)
If you want to increase your speed, power, and agility, then you can develop your fast-twitch muscles by performing activities such as plyometrics or sprint training.
Most people who exercise already develop their slow-twitch muscles. You develop these by performing activities such as weight training or cardio.
The hydraulic machines the volleyball player used on the show were very interesting. I have never seen those machines and the brand used was labeled “Vert.” From what I’ve read about Vert, their gyms are occupied by some top athletes and many who train there claim that training with Vert is their “secret weapon.” Considering that most of us are not training for competition, I’m sure we’ll be more than fine using the methods above.