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We’ve discussed ways to build muscle before, but never how it technically happens. It’s pretty simple really, but lets use sprinters as an example. Sprinting is a sport that requires powerful and explosive movements. If you’ve ever wondered how sprinters are able to be so ripped without the weights, here’s how; sprinters spend most of their time training their fast twitch muscle fibers. Fast Twitch muscle fibers are thicker and fatigue faster than slow twitch muscle fibers, however they are responsible for getting us through that last rep when we’re exhausted, and helping us explode forward into that first stride of a sprint. Training in this way is also the reason sprinters have nice butts! You build muscle faster this way.

Keep in mind that long distance runners and sprinters are training different muscle fibers, so you won’t get the same results. Long distance runners are training their slow twitch muscles, which are responsible for endurance and aren’t muscle building. When you’re in the gym, any exercise that takes the momentum out of the movement will work your fast twitch muscle fibers. Box jumps, squats with an eccentric hold, and most Olympic lifts like a clean and press are all examples of exercises that will work your fast twitch muscles. So give your routine new life by trying these new movements. Don’t just endure, enjoy!

Kristen Mason

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