Do You Have A Fast Twitch Muscle Problem?
Muscle losses due to the aging process begin as young as 30 unless your exercise program has included resistance training exercise. Let’s get specific though. Between the ages 20 and 75 50% of Fast Twitch muscle fiber is lost. What does that mean?
In addition to your overall reduction of muscle mass(3-5% total muscle loss per decade beginning at 30) that reduces metabolism, energy, stamina, and strength, loss of Fast Twitch muscle fibers mean an increased risk of falls.
And you don’t have to be “old” to fall.
Celebrities Blyth Danner (Gwyneth Paltrow’s mom), since diagnosed with osteoporosis, and Halle Berry each broke a foot walking! You don’t have to be “old” and you don’t have to be doing something deemed “risky.” If cat woman can fall so can you.
If you’re on an uneven surface – even in your home where the corner of the rug catches your shoe or stray sock falls out of the laundry basket – without Fast Twitch muscle fibers you can’t react as quickly and “right” yourself.
This is important any time but particularly now while you’re enjoying fall hikes. Those beautifully leaf-carpeted paths could be hiding acorns or tree roots. Winter’s icy walks may be just around the corner. Maybe these are not applicable for you. How about getting in and out of a shower or tub? Shaving your legs in the shower?
Here’s how you know if you have a fast twitch muscle problem.
The more of these you answer “yes” to, the more you’re at risk:
- You don’t do weight training
- You do weight training with light weights (you can do 15+ repetitions easily)
- You exercise slow and controlled
- Your balance exercise consists of yoga in quiet serenity with no distractions
- If you’re practicing yoga and the dog comes in your balance goes south
- You’re doing a lot of micro-exercises with limited range of motion (e.g. barre*) and that’s your strength training
How did you do?
Here’s how to fix it your fast twitch muscle problem:
- Start strength training if you’re not.
- Start adding “power” to your strength training if you’re already lifting.
- Increase your weight on resistance exercises its safe for you to do so, so you’re only able to do closer to 10 repetitions to fatigue.
- Get a partner and do some work that’s unpredictable. Do some fancy footwork with a faster pace 1-2 minutes every day or at least 2-3 minutes during your existing workouts.
- Try balance poses in the middle of a busy room with lots of action and noise.
- Do exercises that encourage dynamic not just static balance.
- Do those dynamic exercises in a room with distractions (loud music, voices talking, people or pets walking in and out of your site of vision)
Don’t add them all at once. Start where you are and change one thing at a time.
It’s never too late to fix a fast twitch muscle problem. That said, the sooner you start the better. The best day to prevent muscle loss was yesterday. The next best day is today!
Are you flipping it already with your exercise? What will you try first? I love to hear from you. Leave a comment below!
*nothing against Barre, however, be sure you connect the dots between your needs and your exercise that delivers the goal-specific benefits. If you have limited time, you want to make every move count.