The body consists of both slow twitch and fast twitch muscle fibers. Slow twitch muscle fibers are developed where long-term use is required, such as in a marathon runner. Fast twitch muscle fibers are developed where short-term, rapid response is required, such as in sprinting. By increasing your fast twitch to slow twitch muscle fiber ratio, you can gain the advantage of a competitor who has a higher ratio of slow twitch over fast twitch fibers.
In order to increase fast twitch muscle fibers, you should tailor your training to activities which are power, strength and speed dominant. These types of exercises and techniques will cause your nervous system to adapt to provide more rapid responses, thus increasing your fast twitch fibers and the speed at which you perform certain activities.
Make Weight Lifting Technique Adjustments
Lifting maximum weight loads or performing high repetitions (or a combination of both) work to build slow twitch muscle fibers that can handle great amounts of weight for longer periods of time.
However, if you want to increase fast twitch muscle fibers, you need to adjust your weight training techniques. Lift moderate amounts of weight for around 4 to 8 reps in each set.
Utilize Maximum Speed
Regardless of what exercise you are performing, whether lifting weights, jumping rope, doing burpees, box jumps, etc, do them all at maximum speed. There’s no room for being lazy when developing fast twitch muscle response. You need to workout at the fastest possible pace in order to improve muscle response time.
Therefore, when you’re lifting weights, explode the weight quickly. If you are jumping rope or doing plyometric exercises, work out as quickly as possible. Timed exercises are best kept at around 10 seconds per set in order to achieve maximum fast twitch effectiveness.
Limit Break Times
Keep your intervals of rest short between both reps and sets. You shouldn’t break more than 60 seconds before you hit it again.
Limiting break times keeps your heart rate up, your blood pumping, your muscles warm and ready to go, and your nervous system in a state of readiness to respond. As you quickly move from one rep to another, or from one set to another, your body will have to adapt by creating fast twitch muscle fibers.
Get Plenty of Protein
Protein-rich diets are essential in properly developing fast twitch muscle fibers. Protein is what the body uses to repair damaged muscle and build new muscle fibers. Consuming plenty of protein throughout the day will ensure that your body has the building blocks it needs to properly develop new fast twitch muscle fibers.
To get sufficient protein, include plenty of foods in your healthy diet such as lean meats, dairy products, beans and legumes, nuts, egg whites, etc. Because you will need to consume at least a gram of protein per pound of body weight daily, you should also include protein supplements in your high protein diet.