Are You Training the Right Muscles In Your Workout?

Too many athletes these days are training the wrong muscles for what they want to accomplish. You do know what you want to accomplish, right? Because “get fit” is way too broad to ever see results. You will continually fall short of your goals if you keep going for something that vague.

But don’t make it harder either. You don’t have to focus on the exacts either. Make it something simple such as “build more upper body strength” or “get my abs to show” because those are specific enough to narrow down what you need to get done.

But are you training for a marathon or a sprint?

What do I mean? Well there are two types of muscle fibers: fast twitch and slow twitch. Fast twitch muscles are good for explosive movements like jumping and sprinting. Slow twitch muscles are good for movements that require more time and strength, these are good for lifting heavy weights, but not for lifting it quickly.

And if you want to have great all-around fitness, you will need to work on both types of muscles.

Let me show you how.

To build strength, you will need to lift heavy weights. This will get you strong quickly, but if you want to be able to move quickly as well, then you must focus on some fast twitch movement also.

So if you are good at lifting a lot of weight with the squat, then you probably have a lot of good slow twitch muscles, but to focus on the fast twitch muscles, take off the weight and do some squat jumps.

You can perform squat jumps just like you would a normal squat, but first get rid of the weight. Next, when you squat down like you typically would for a squat, explode up into the air, jump as high as you can. Then land softly and move straight into the next squat jump.

I usually do this right after I do a couple normal squats, and before my legs have a chance to recover. This will give you the most out of each one.

So try that out. Find a quick movement that will go with the exercise you are doing. Like if you are working on your bench press, throw in some clapping push ups in between which will force you to push quickly. You will see an improvement because you will be working out the muscles that you could never hit with typical bench press.

Let me know how that works for you.


Colin Reay has been coaching track and basketball for 7 years and has been writing about how to jump higher on his blog at

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