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Acta Physiol Scand. 1990 Nov;140(3):359-63.

Increase in the proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibres by sprint training in males.

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Department of Clinical Physiology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


Fifteen male physical education students were studied. The subjects trained for 4-6 weeks, 2-3 days per week, on a mechanically braked bicycle ergometer. A training session consisted of repeated 30-s 'all-out' sprints on a Wingate bicycle ergometer, on which the brake band of the flywheel was loaded with 75 g kg-1 body wt, with rest periods of 15-20 min between consecutive sprints. Thigh muscle biopsies were taken before and after the training period and were analysed for fibre types using a myofibrillar ATPase stain. The proportion of type I fibres decreased from 57 to 48% (P less than 0.05) and type IIA fibres increased from 32 to 38% (P less than 0.05). This study indicates that it is possible to achieve a fibre type transformation with high-intensity training. The effect of two-legged 'sprint' training on muscle fibre type composition may be related to a changed pattern of muscle fibre activation (e.g. an increased stimulation frequency). A change in fibre activation frequency may induce an increased synthesis of type II fibre myosin (fast myosin). Hormonal influences such as enhanced adrenergic stimulation of the muscle fibres cannot be excluded as a contributing factor, however.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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