I went through hundreds of scientific journals and research papers on building muscle and losing fat. I kept digging until we learned something I never knew about… and it completely FLOORED me! I discovered some scientific research on the concept of building a “Type III Super Muscle”. I learned that there was a way to scientifically manipulate muscle fibers to grow bigger.You see… our muscles are made up of different types of muscle fibers: Type I and Type II.The Type I fiber is known as a slow-twitch because it contracts slowly. Slow-twitch fibers also have a high resistance to fatigue.
Type II fibers are fast-twitch fibers and they have a quicker contraction time than type I fibers and a low resistance to fatigue.
1. Is there really such thing as type III muscle fiber?
A Type III muscle fiber is just a cool name for a hybrid type II muscle fiber that takes on traits of a type I fiber.
It’s nothing new. It’s just something a lot of people haven’t heard about. Early adapters of this theory included Dr. Len Schwartz who in 1995 coined the phrase “Long Strength”. Dr. Schwartz describes Long strength as “the ability to exert significant strength for an extended period of time.”
John Parrillo-the second proponent of long strength-began having his bodybuilders doing really high intensity cardio. He claimed that doing this actually altered the muscle composition. He called this form a resistance training the “100 rep extended set,” saying that it helped the body to construct more mitochondria-the muscles’ “cellular blast furnaces.” He also says that this increases muscular growth by developing the circulatory pathways that provide nourishment to the muscles.
Ori Hofmekler is the third early adopter of the long strength concept. Ori developed a weight training system that he called, “Controlled Fatigue Training.” According to Ori, this type of training was specifically designed to develop these super hybrid muscles-ones that were capable of generating and sustaining strength for extended periods.
2. Why do we want a type 3 super muscle?
We know that Type 1 fibers have a higher mitochondrial density than type 2 thus they are more fuel efficient. Simply put, they burn fat for energy better than the type 2 fibers.
Type 2 fibers usually have a thicker diameter… they are bigger fibers. When they begin adopting the behavior of type 1 fibers by gradually increasing their mitochondrial density they ultimately become even BIGGER in size as well a better at burning fat for energy.
So if you want muscles that are BIGGER, STRONGER, have more ENDURANCE, and are better at FAT BURNING than you’ll want to develop these muscles.
3. How do we get them?
By combining cardio and resistance activities it causes the composition of muscles to transform from predominately type II or type IIb into Type III. By doing this, we are able to push “beyond our genetic limits,” much like the ancient Spartans, Gladiators and Vikings did.
Having more mitochondria in the muscle cells means that more nutrients can be processed, giving the muscles the ability to work considerably harder for longer periods. They’re also able to grow larger and are able to resist getting tired for longer periods.
Knowing this, we can see that the goal of cardio combined with resistance-sometimes known as hybrid cardio is to push our muscles to undergo a reconfiguration and increase the number of mitochondria in the cells.
4. Should I eat for size or fat loss during this program?
The answer to that is…it depends. Sometimes you’ll eat more calories and sometimes you’ll eat less. However nutrient timing is just one aspect of gaining muscle and burning fat.
Nutrition would be such an easy topic to practice and discuss if human beings were as simple as a mathematical equation.
You know… 10 – 3 = 7
But when it comes to the dynamic hormonal and nervous system fluctuations present in the human body… often times
10 – 3 = 478!!
With such various reactions to a broad spectrum of stimuli, the simple notion that calories in vs. calories out determines your fat loss or muscle building results, is a completely ineffective means for determining fitness results.
For example, when exposed to the harsh and threatening demands of prison life, many inmates continue to build thick, lean muscles despite the lack of access to high quality foods, proteins and supplements.
This is due to the highly anabolic state that their bodies are able to maintain when in such a testosterone driven environment. Also, have you ever met a fat person that barely eats? They consume very little calories yet they are obese! This is also due to a hormonal response. It also destroys the notion that lower calories equal less body fat.
Fat loss and muscle building are the result of several lifestyle and nutrition modifications, none more important than the other. All of our daily choices have an impact on our fitness results, not simply how much food we eat.
5. Can I continue my current workout and add Resistance Cardio at the end of my workouts for 20-30 minutes?
Yes that’s a great idea. That’s a hybrid workout in itself. Continue to train with weights for strength, muscle growth and toning. Than instead of doing 30-minutes of traditional cardio on a treadmill or stationary bike add some resistance cardio to your workout to start developing the Type III muscle fiber.
To do hybrid cardio all you need to is combine aerobic and anaerobic (resistance) activities. You can do this by adding dumbbells to your cardio workout.
If you want to go jogging, try wearing a weight vest while doing it. If you want to do something low impact, pick up some kettlebells or dumbbells and walk up a flights of stairs. Interval hybrid cardio using your bodyweight is another good option.
Another idea is to set up a circuit of pull-ups, squats, box jumps and push-ups. Alternate exercises every 20-30 seconds and keep moving. Keep going for 20-minutes. I guarantee you a bodyweight circuit like this will be faster, burn more calories and keep you more entertained. You can mix things up even more by holding each position for five to ten seconds-up for pull-ups and push-ups, down for lunges and squats.
Once the bodyweight cardio exercises aren’t challenging enough you can try a few of these sample Metabolic Resistance Cardio workouts to do at the end of your normal workouts. They are all full body workouts, so feel free to rotate through them, it doesn’t matter which one you pick.
Remember your muscles will already be somewhat fatigued from the weight training session you just performed so you’ll want to use a much lighter weight when doing this kind of resistance cardio after a weight training session.
When you buy the Lean Hybrid Muscle program you get hybrid cardio templates that you can add to the end of your workouts. Like we mentioned this is great if you want to spice up your boring cardio sessions but stay with the current lifting program you’re currently doing.
About the Author:
Mike Westerdal is the owner of CriticalBench.com, an online weight lifting resource. He earned his BS from Central CT State University where he played four years of D-IAA football.After college Mike acquired his certification as a personal trainer with the American Council on Exercise. Westerdal is a contributing muscle writer for various iron magazines including REPS!, Powerlifting USA and Monster Muscle. In addition his articles are published throughout the Internet.Westerdal is an amatuer bench presser who has competed in the AAPF, APF, and APA federations. Currently he trains at Tampa Barbell. He resides in sunny Clearwater FL, and is married to his beautiful wife Courtney.www.CriticalBench.com