Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physical Fitness Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for physical fitness professionals, athletes, trainers, and those providing health-related needs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Christian Thibadeau ( in the book "Black book of training secrets" ) recommends that people who have fast twitch muscle fibers should do more heavier weights with less reps to get the maximum gains. Does this really matter ?

From my own personal experience when I recently moved over to the 'Starting strength' program(Heavy weights, less reps) I made tremendous gains. Earlier I had spent years on the 8-12 rep range which body builders follow without much gains. Since I benefited from the lower rep range Christian says that I am fast twitch dominant and will not benefit from more reps.

However now I feel that even though I have a lot of muscle mass, my muscles lack the hardness that most body builders demonstrate. A friend of mine recommended me to try the 'German Volume training' program to improve muscle shape and hardness.

Does any one have experience with GVT and thinks that I might benefit even if I am fast twitch dominant.

share|improve this question
4  
your muscles appear to lack the hardness because you aren't cutting weight before a competition. bodybuilders look soft most of the time –  Robin Ashe Oct 5 '12 at 8:26
    
You say you had been working in the 8-12 rep range previously, but was that with compound barbell exercises, or isolation exercises on machines? –  Dave Liepmann Oct 5 '12 at 15:04
    
@Dave Liepmann : I did all type of BS. Barbells, free weights, machines. So you can say approx 30% barbell work i used to do. I guess I used to do more isolation exercises which left me energy drained. With SS, I leave the Gym with a lot of energy left in me. –  Geek Oct 6 '12 at 12:00
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It's very possible that your progress with the Starting Strength model has more to do with a focused approach rather than being predisposed to a certain rep range.

Starting Strength does only a few exercises, with very little variation from workout to workout. That sounds like a big change from your prior training. Maybe that's a major chunk of the new-found progress.

It's also the case that nearly everyone who hasn't done a basic compound progression does well on it. That's just how novice linear progressions work: focus on adding weight on a few heavy full-body exercises. The reps are kept moderately low, but that's only part of the difference. It's possible that once you've completed your novice progression (the last workouts of which, I warn you, should leave you brutally drained) you'll find that you do better with a lower rep range, such as doubles and triples. Or maybe the 8-12 range will suit you better.

I would recommend against basing your perception of the types of muscle fibers you have on your progress with Starting Strength. Maybe you're fast-twitch dominant; maybe you aren't. This isn't the time or way to tell.

As to muscle hardness, that's probably because if you're following the Starting Strength program properly, you're eating like a horse and adding some fat as well as muscle. Good. That means you won't look as "hard" or lean as a bodybuilder, because you're prioritizing size and strength at this stage. Later, you can cut weight and your muscles will again look "hard" once the fat is not obscuring them.

I am not familiar with German volume training so cannot advise you on that point.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks Dave, I do agree. May be I should not worry too much about 'fast twitch' etc. Some how moving over to other program doesn't sound like a good idea. My problem is I would want to lose some fat while being on Starting strength. I spent my day searching the SS forums on how to do it and I wasn't convinced with some of the answers. Do you have any suggestions ? –  Geek Oct 6 '12 at 20:37
    
@Geek A novice linear progression is not the time to lose fat unless you're fairly overweight. If you aren't, and still want your program to do so, I'd advise a LeanGains diet & lifting program. This second question would be a good post on its own :) –  Dave Liepmann Oct 7 '12 at 0:27
    
Thanks Dave, it is true that cutting fat on linear progression will halt the progress. Currently all my lifts are close to 200 pounds in the 5 rep range which is enough strength for basic activities of life like moving objects or travelling. Also I don't want to cut a lot of fat, may be a couple of inches on the mid section. I gained 20 pounds on SS in 3 months, if i lose 5-7 pounds, I might be back in shape. I am thinking of adding biceps & abs work on off days to SS program to burn a few calories. Do you think it will work ? –  Geek Oct 7 '12 at 19:02
    
@Geek I've never done anything like that, so I'm not sure. Personally I'd try sprints, 20-rep squats, and other metcon type workouts in order to lean out instead. For biceps I'd just do more chin-ups. –  Dave Liepmann Oct 7 '12 at 19:16
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.