By: Juan Rodriguez
Did you ever wonder why some people can last a long time while exercising? Or why high intensity exercisers have the power they need for their challenging exercises? Our body is composed of a variety muscle fibers that work differently based on the activity that is being performed.
Slow Twitch Muscle Fibers
Lets start with the slow twitch muscle fibers, also known as slow oxidative (SO) muscle fibers or type 1 muscle fibers. These fibers are highly used for endurance exercises and may provide up to hours of energy . Something to keep in mind is that these muscle fibers contact very slowly and cannot generate energy for fast performance. This means exercises that are mainly long in duration or high repetition in low weight-bearing exercises. Now you may wonder how people that run long periods of time are able to maintain that energy needed to keep going? Our bodies are composed of cells called Mitochondria that produce the energy needed by breaking down sugar, fat and other chemicals with the assistance of oxygen. The more an endurance athlete trains, the more Mitochondria they have and therefore, they may exercise for a longer time.
Fast Twitch Muscle Fibers
Fast twitch muscle fibers on the other hand are larger and more powerful muscles that work for less amount of time. These muscle fibers work primarily with creatine and sugar to produce the amount of energy needed for the exercise. Since these muscle fibers generate more power, they are found in individuals who perform high intensity and power exercises that require high amounts of energy and fast muscular contraction. Those activities may include sprinting, power lifting, and soccer for example. How long will the energy last with these muscle fibers? There are a few fast twitch muscle fibers that last different amounts of time, but depending on the amount of mitochondria (as mentioned above) each muscle fiber contains, the time may vary. However overall, the duration is about 30 seconds to 1 minute for a fast twitch muscle fiber. To sum it all up, if you are someone that performs more fast and high intensity power exercises, you will have a greater density of fast twitch muscle fibers. On the other hand, if you perform more endurance exercises, you will have a greater density of slow twitch muscle fibers and higher amounts of Mitochondria!
If you have any questions about this blog, feel free to comment below !
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By: Juan Rodriguez
How does Creatine play a role in our energy system?
Creatine is a supplement taken by many exercisers that allows their bodies to perform better during a power exercise that lasts about 0-6 seconds. Our bodies first energy system is called the Phosphocreatine energy system (ATP-PC). In this system, Creatine allows for our muscles to quickly replenish the energy that is being used during the exercise. If we run out of Creatine at some point during our 6 second intervals, we turn to our next energy system called Glycolysis. The question is, what is the benefit of taking Creatine? Well, if we take about 25-30 second breaks between our interval training, our body will be able to restore the energy we spent during our 0-6 second bouts. This is good news for those power lifters or sprinters that perform quick and powerful activities. What happens if we exercise passed the 0-6 second mark? At that point, our body will stop utilizing Creatine as a form of creating energy and begin using another energy system called Glycolysis.
Why do we need Carbohydrates?
by: Juan Rodriguez
Why is exercise important for decreasing sugar levels?
Exercise plays a big role in decreasing sugar levels, thanks to our GLUT4 receptors. These GLUT4 receptors are activated through the contraction of muscles and allow for insulin to bind with these receptors and allow for the uptake of sugar (glucose) into the muscle. This sugar molecule is then used as energy for the body.
In other words, if we move around and stay active, we will be able to utilize sugar for energy!
Julie is the co-founder of Ageless Fitness and director of operations.