View Full Version : Muscles composed of Slow Twictch Fibers and Fast Twitch Fibers Appearance

S0lid Snake
03-02-2005, 01:44 PM
Ok here goes. I know building muscle composed of slow twich fibers gained by doing high reps with lighter weight is harder to gain muscle but i was just wondering is there a difference in appearance of a muscle if they were the same size but one was composed of Slow twich fibers (obviously take a longer time to get than the fast twich fiber muscle) and the other composed of fast twitch fibers. My goal some day is to have a body like Bruce Lee and i know this will probably take me 10+ years of dedication and shear determination but im so inspired by him and have followed everything about him since i was about 12 and ive been a fan since about 5 (when my dad watched his movies and i joined) I am now 16 so i have a long time to develope and sculpt my body and have started a proper pretty hard routine which i have followed for the past 6 months and plan to do so for probably the rest of my life (obviously not the same plan lol) I'm 5ft 7" (same height as bruce was) and 135lbs at the moment (about the same weight bruce was although he was 1% bf and i am around 19%) Basically i know bruce lee did higher reps lower weight eg 12-15 reps per set for most of his muscles and i have not yet seen anyone with a body even that near to what bruce had and i wanted to know if it would hav anything to do with the way the muscles were made up on his body. Sorry to ramble on but i look up to Bruce Lee and have followed him for ages. Obsession i know. Some might say its sad but im happy :D :P any help would be much appreciated thanks alot guys.

P.S i know this is the over 35 forum but i thought you people would be more the kind of people i can relate too seeing as i am pretty mature and really cant be bothered with teen reply's immaturity etc. plus the older the wiser and i know that is definately a FACT! cheers. ;)

03-02-2005, 02:10 PM
Well first of all Bruce did not have 1% body fat it was probably at or a little below 10%.

As far as training I wouldn't worry to much about slow twitch and fast twitch fibers just yet. As far as his body there was nothig special about it muscle wise which is not to say he was not special. He was just smart and ahead of his time.

Just train heavy, eat right, and lift the weights for a while without gaining to much fat then get on a good diet and see what happens. You can't ever tell you might be one of those people that is genetically gifted and it might be possible for you to gain lots of muscle so why limit yourself at such a young age..

By the way I reread my post out loud before I posted it to make sure it was right. Oddly enough my lips started moving long before the words started to come out..Wonder what that is all about..
Oh Yeah, I almost forgot, " Your Kung fu is no match for mine. My monkey style is unbeatable".

Jhawk Fitness
03-02-2005, 02:17 PM
a person would die at 1% bodyfat. Former Missouri runningback Brock Olivo once reported to spring practice at 2% bodyfat and was held out by the medical staff until he gained another 3% because being that low could've killed him.

S0lid Snake
03-02-2005, 03:44 PM
For the advice thanks alot but as far as telling me i dont know my Bruce Lee give up lol. I know 1% bf is tremendously low and i dont plan on being that low myself perhaps 5% at the very lowest but it is possible to survive with that and that is wat he did, not for that long, but none the less he did for a while. Im sure you have heard of the "Strongest Boy" in the world u no the one with the eight pack and can bench like 210lbs+ at like 6 stone. He was 1% bodyfat for quite a long time and he survived but did gain weight im sure after he got his new agent and trainer because they knew it was life threatening. thanks anyway and if anyone can answer my question any better feel free. not knockin the answer guys just my question wasnt really answered more just pointed off thinking about it. :)

Jhawk Fitness
03-02-2005, 04:30 PM

"Essential body fat is 2-3%, body fat percentages lower than the EBF range can lead to organ failure and suppression of the immune system."

03-02-2005, 04:46 PM
I would have thought that if you want to develop a body like Bruce Lee, that the most sensible thing to do is to train like Bruce Lee did and study martial arts.

If you are looking to cross train, I recommend The Science of Martial Arts training by Charles Staley. This is an excellent source of information on improving strength, speed, endurance, and flexibility.

03-03-2005, 01:04 AM
Yeah, if you want to be lyke bruce, you're going to have to get lean... so that would involve a lot of cardio in addition to weight training... At your age, you probably have another growth spurt or two... I remember Bruce Lee having an outstanding back... One movie, he flexed and his lats extended to his armpits to his waist... My dad said, "Boy, do pullups.." ... Unfortunately I didn't watch the movie enuff to stay motivated...

But, it's cool to have an idol... but remember to be the best you that you can be... whyle u're tryin' to be Bruce... Cause there's will never be another Bruce Lee.. IMO..

Striking a martial arts pose...

S0lid Snake
03-03-2005, 05:43 AM
I agree there will NEVER be another Bruce Lee. I also totally agree that anything below 3% or even 5% BF isnt very healthy but im not saying it is healthy nor am i saying i want to be below 5% i was simply stating that Bruce Lees doctor said he had a bf% of 1%. What i dont agree on is that Bruce Lee's body wasnt anything special muscluraity wise. No he wasnt big by any means but damn his body looked and performed great and thats wat was good about him. Quick as lightening and almost as strong as youll see pound for pound. Power is the key word when thinking about Bruce Lee. Just to clear it up i dont want to BE Bruce Lee because that is impossible. I want to be me but LIKE Bruce Lee. With determination like mine i can achieve whatever i want and i will. With help along the way the obsticles on my journey are cleared which helps alot. Thanks guys keep any help coming. As far as cardio goes i do 1hour 15 mins on tues and thurs and 1:45 on sat and thats not including PE at school or anything else so i think ive got that pretty good. Im pretty fit and not fat but not really thin just a sort of medium build. I plan to loose 12 pounds in 12 weeks which will bring me down to about 9-10% bf and i plan to do this starting in 1 1/2 weeks. Theres a little background. Im out cyaz ;):)

melo/vc _15_
03-05-2005, 08:01 AM
Don't you need like at least 3% bf or you will die!!! or should die.

S0lid Snake
03-05-2005, 09:58 AM
NEED is a strong word and in this case it dosent really apply. you dont NEED to have 3% body fat but anything below that is dangerous to your health. Bruce Lee died from water on the brain which could have been sparked by his hard training and very low body fat percentage. He died but he had a low body fat percentage for years before he died. I would recomend not much lower than 5% myself. Can anyone actually answer my main question? Is there a difference in appearance of a muscle if they were the same size but one was composed of mostly Slow twich fibers (obviously take a longer time to get than the fast twich fiber muscle) and the other composed of mostly fast twitch fibers? :)

03-05-2005, 12:51 PM
Can anyone actually answer my main question? Is there a difference in appearance of a muscle if they were the same size but one was composed of mostly Slow twich fibers (obviously take a longer time to get than the fast twich fiber muscle) and the other composed of mostly fast twitch fibers? :)

I think the reason folks are dealing with the bodyfat issue, is because they don't know the answer to your question. It is an excellent question. I wish I knew the answer to it.

aA.FreeRadical a
Visit my 8 week plan for 8% bf http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=382697

Jhawk Fitness
03-05-2005, 12:55 PM
To answer your question, no. If I cut a chunk out of your bicep and a chunk out of your quad you would not be able to tell the difference.

....and if you try to workout at 1% or 2% bodyfat you're putting your life in jeopardy.

S0lid Snake
03-05-2005, 02:42 PM
Last time im gonna say this. I aint gonna run my body at 2-3% bf at the very lowest 5% and thanks A.FreeRadical for complimenting my question and i agree i didnt think no one had the answer either. As for the answer given by Jhawk Fitness do you know this for a FACT or is this just ur hypothesis? thanks for the input guys keep it cumin and if anyone has any suggestions to help me loose weight when i start to on 14/3/05. I will be doing a programme lasting 12 weeks as i do every time with 1 week rest every 12 weeks. Roughly i burn 2300 Cals on monday, wednesday, and friday and about 2700 on tuesday, and thursday and 3000 on saturday, 1900 on sunday. I plan to loose about 1lb a week and consume enough protein 1-1.5g per lb of lean body mass (i am 135lbs with 19%bf LBM=110lb) cheers :)

Jhawk Fitness
03-05-2005, 02:52 PM
It's a fact. the muscles in humans are not all one type or the other. they're a mixture of both fiber types (though there are really 3)

http://www.muscular-dystrophy.org/information_resources/factsheets/medical_issues_factsheets/muscle_biopsies.html#Normalappearance <----- click on fiber types

03-05-2005, 03:13 PM
While it doesn't address the question directly, I think it means the difference in training the two types of fibers and how each responds determines your ability to efficiently get hypertrophy. I don't think there is much difference in appearance (shape) between a muscle that is predominantly one type or the other. (My opinion.)


This explains why I don't get results on my calves and biceps (I have a preponderance of slow twitch in these muscle groups) with max weight and low reps. It is a good article.

aA.FreeRadical a
Visit my 8 week plan for 8% bf http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=382697

S0lid Snake
03-05-2005, 03:52 PM
Ok thanks alot for the replies thats helped alot but its arisen another question now my question is does it make a difference to strength depending on how the muscle is composed e.g if two muscles are exactly the same size but one has been built of slow twitch fibers from high reps low weight and the other built of fast twitch fibers from low reps high weight. My aim is to be as strong as possible without gaining much size atall similar to Bruce Lee. i wanna be as strong as i possibly can be pound for pound. thanks for any input guys uz r very intelectual. :) cheers

Jhawk Fitness
03-05-2005, 04:30 PM
strength can basically be the same but power is going to be different.

Let me give you an example:

Adam Archuleta can bench press 535 lbs in something like 1.7 seconds

someone of the same strength with more slow-twich fibers could put up the same weight only it may take 3 or 4 seconds.

S0lid Snake
03-05-2005, 04:40 PM
Ok so how would i go about producing as much strength or power as possible with gaining as little mass as possible but still a bit. in the next years id like to put on 1 and a half stone of muscle but no more and id like to be able to bench squat deadlift and possibly power clean double my weight some day. how do i go about achieving these goals without getting big. cheers robbie :)

Jhawk Fitness
03-05-2005, 04:58 PM
limit your caloric intake. you can't gain mass when you are in a calorie deficit state.

man you should be paying me for this advice.

S0lid Snake
03-05-2005, 05:08 PM
you can stil gain muscle mass when on a calorie defict cant you? I thought if u eat enough/most calories from protein a medium amount from carbs and a little less from fat you could still gain muscle mass but loose fat. eg 150g - 600cals protein. 150g - 600cals carbohydrates. 75g - 675cals fat (1900ish calories) as a diet and weight training 3 days a week and long cardio 3 days a week (1hour 15mins twice a week and 1hour 45mins once a week) I thought you could still gain mass(obviously not as quickly) but at not a huge difference of speed. i guess im wrong? :)

S0lid Snake
03-05-2005, 05:14 PM
Also i am looking to gradually increase my vert say 1inch ever 3 maybe 2 weeks or so and i was wondering if this is possible from just doing weights eg squats, hamstring curls, deadlift, core exercises (sit-ups legraises) and things of that nature. thanks again. Robbie

S0lid Snake
03-06-2005, 08:06 AM
Anyone? Sorry to post again but i see the thread is slowly declining down the list and out of view where it will probably end up goin un-answered. cheers :) peace

03-06-2005, 08:41 AM
Okay let's try this again. Is this your question..

i was just wondering is there a difference in appearance of a muscle if they were the same size but one was composed of Slow twich fibers

If it is then we need to know if you are talking about muscle taken from biopsy /cadaver or if you are talking about the appearance on a live person.

If you can make a distinction there then maybe we can help you..

If that is not your question then you need to pare it down to a more precise less wordy question..

S0lid Snake
03-06-2005, 08:58 AM
The question has already been answered, but i meant on a living person, would the muscle appear any different if it was composed of mostly fast twitch fibers than if it was composed of mostly slow twitch fibers. I was mostly meaning on the outside of a persons body would the appearance differ but an explination of the inside/more scientific look of the muscle was fine.

03-06-2005, 10:02 AM
Also i am looking to gradually increase my vert say 1inch ever 3 maybe 2 weeks or so and i was wondering if this is possible from just doing weights eg squats, hamstring curls, deadlift, core exercises (sit-ups legraises) and things of that nature. thanks again. RobbieIf you're trying to jump higher (increasing your vertycal)... then yes, building muscles in your calves, quads and glutes are extremely important... that being the case, I suggest squats, leg extensions and all forms of calf exercyses... Unfortunately, you may want to develop your hamstryngs too... most athletes spend more tyme developing the other leg muscles and that's why they get hamstring injuries... Also, you may want to train for strength than for mass.. which means working a certain rep range... probably 3 - 5 ... lyke a powerlifter... but be aware you may styll gain some mass whyle doing thys...



03-06-2005, 03:12 PM

I can't advise you on this type of training, but I found something that you might be interesed in.

One of my heroes is bodybuilder Mike Mentzer. He has passed on too, but his widow and some of his students maintain the Mike Mentzer website and republish many of Mike's articles. Long story short, you will like this.

"WARM MARBLE" The Lethal Physique of Bruce Lee

By John Little
Introduction by Mike Mentzer

It even includes some of the weight training routines used by Bruce Lee.

This is from the conclusion of the article.

"For the past seven years I've been hard at work compiling all (and I mean ALL) of Bruce Lee's training programs, notes and annotations on physical training for a book series that, like Lee's training methods, has proved to be constantly evolving (the training material has been presented in the book entitled The Art of Expressing The Human Body, Tuttle Publishing, Boston). And what amazes me after having looked through all of his materials is just how thorough his knowledge of training actually was. Lee collected over 140 books on bodybuilding, weight training, physiology and kinesiology during his lifetime, in addition to well over 2,000 books on philosophy and the martial arts. Lee believed that you could never know "too much" about a subject that could benefit your health and he lived his entire life trying to acquire as much knowledge about health and fitness as he could."


Enjoy, SolidSnake! (Maybe you have already read it, in that case to all the others reading this post, click that link. It is a fun read!)

aA.FreeRadical a
Visit my 8 week plan for 8% bf http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=382697

S0lid Snake
03-07-2005, 09:47 AM
Nope not read that particular one b4. Thanks guys. reps to uz. :)

Red Rooster
03-07-2005, 11:24 AM
The body has 2 types of muscle and of those types they can be broken down even further.
But in the big picture they are white and red fiber types. White are anaerobic fibers and red are aerobic fibers. Basically white does not need oxygen and red do. Do they look any different other than color? NO, they are both skeletal muscle and are both striated.

You dont need to concern yourself with fiber types. Just train. Also, slow twitch (red) fibers are not necessarily trained through light weight and high reps.

If you want to look like Bruce, and you have studied Bruce, then train like him. I know there are books out there that have his wrkouts. I know this he was constantly training. He was passionate about all things.

Also he was not 1% BF...Trust me. His doctor had it wrong. How did he measure the BF? I bet he Bruce was around 6-8%...If we go below 4% we start eating away at the fat the is between our intestines and fat that sits in our joints (like our knee's).

If you want to get better at jumping..go jump! It is hard to explain these things to you. It seems as if your mind is already set on how things should be done and you are not really looking for much advice.

Anywho..be safe

S0lid Snake
03-07-2005, 11:24 AM
Jhawk fitness i see your vert is pretty good if i do say so myself so i was kinda hoping that u could reply and give me sum tips on how to increase my vert. i would prefer to increase it solely from weights at the moment as i find them easier to do than say plyometrics. unless ur naturally blessed with a high vert which few lucky people are but after reading your posts i think ur one of many of us who has to work hard and be determined and strive to accomplish wat u want and i respect those people more than those who are blessed with lets say a good six-pack without even doin more than 20 sit ups once in there life lol. anyway if u no anything about increasing vert via weights please enlighten me. if u know then wat can be expected as gains from it? can i expect 1 inch every 3-4 watever weeks? thanks. peace :)

S0lid Snake
03-07-2005, 11:29 AM
What gives you the impression that ive already made my mind up and am not looking for advice? If i didnt want advice and thought i knew everything do you think i would be asking for advice and help for the older "wiser" people of our world? as far as Bruce Lees body fat goes i really couldnt care anymore because that has nothing to do with my body or my questions really and it just makes the topic stray from wat i wanna know. cheers. peace

Red Rooster
03-07-2005, 01:59 PM
I did not mean to offend please forgive. Perhaps another time I will try to explain my philosphy. I have a tough time putting things into words.

I read some of your stuff and you seem to have a grasp on what you want to do.

S0lid Snake
03-07-2005, 02:08 PM
Ok thanks alot. Yeah id like to hear that some time. Thanks. Peace.

03-07-2005, 02:21 PM
As a martial artist and a bruce lee fan fan too,I have a little imput on this.

First off train like bruce did.This will help,but remember results will vary depending on your genetics.Run,run,run,bruce was a big fan of running,I believe he did 6 miles 4 or 5 times a week.Train for speed,strengh and explosivness.Speed was one the most impostant things to bruce and he trained for it always.Also remember bruce trained constantly,6-8 hours a day.Do one hand pulls ups and one fingure pushups,bruce was known for this.Train one the speed bag,use weights in your puching,boxing work outs.Speed,speed,speed,explosivness.Sparr alot as well.Do jumping exercises and ploymetrics.Weight train all your muscles.Also stretch alot as well.

If you work a 40 hour job this might not be posible.I used to train like this until i got married and started working 40 hours a week.Training 8 hours a day usualy requires you dont work full time or teach martial arts.

melo/vc _15_
03-30-2005, 05:13 AM
yeh i agree .if you want to do plyo's i would recommend you go to www.jump101.spotnitz.com this is a really good site .cya around .melo;)