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Factors Affecting Strength
By Chad Tackett
Type of Muscle Fiber
Most men and women have an equal combination of both slow twitch and fast twitch fibers. However, some people inherit a high percentage of slow twitch fibers that enhance their performance in endurance activities, such as long distance runners. Most world class marathon runners have a very high amount of slow twitch fibers. World class sprinters or football players, for example, have relatively more fast twitch muscle fibers. Although both fiber types respond positively to strength training exercises, the fast twitch types experience greater increases in muscle size and strength, and thus may obtain greater and/or faster results from a strength training program.
Limb and Muscle Length
Point of Tendon Insertion
Other Important Factors
In addition to using good lifting technique, it is absolutely imperative that you not only train with intensity on a well-balanced program, but also give your muscles enough resting time between training sessions. Overtraining is a common mistake people make; it happens not only when you don't allow your muscles enough rest, but also when you train with too many sets and exercises for each muscle group.
Another mistake people make is doing the same program over and over again even after they have reached a plateau. Any time you 1) stop gaining strength or muscle size or 2) get bored, it is crucial that you change the program, so that you can go through a whole new phase achieving new results.
We inherit most of these factors affecting strength from our parents, and they have a big impact on our size, strength, and appearance. It is very important that you not become obsessed with trying to look like a world-class body builder--or any other body type that is not your own. We are not all meant to look the same. It is very important that you learn about and accept your own body's characteristics and type, so you can develop a reasonable program specific to realistic goals and personal interests.
Genetics does clearly play a role in your health and appearance, but they certainly do not determine how often or well you train. Even if you are born with a genetic predisposition to being overweight or weak, the way you live is what will ultimately determine whether you become fit and strong or fat and weak.
Weightlifting provides many important benefits that cannot be achieved by any other exercise or activity. Physiologically, the benefits of consistent strength training include an increase in muscle size and tone, increased muscle strength, and increases in tendon, bone, and ligament strength. Strength-training has also been shown to improve psychological health as well, by increasing self-esteem, confidence and self-worth. If you understand and accept your body, you will be able to work with it, not against it. Everyone can improve their strength, appearance, and performance level by consistently implementing an effective strength training program. Good luck: I hope you enjoy all the many benefits of strength training.
|- Bio: Chad Tackett has degrees in Exercise and Heath Science and Nutrition, is a Certified Personal Trainer, and is a regular guest lecturer to both professional and lay audiences on the principles of effective exercise and good nutrition.|
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this material to diagnose or treat a health condition or disease without consulting with your healthcare provider.
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