Torque Production at Different Velocities as a Predictor of the Proportion of Fast-twitch Muscle Fibers in Skeletal Muscles of Athletes

Abstract

The aim of the study was to evaluate the possibility to predict the muscle fiber-type proportion in men of different sports specialization by testing the maximal torque production by knee extensors at different velocities. For this reason the proportion of fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers (MFs) in m. vastus lateralis of 23 athletes (11 endurance and 12 power athletes), as well the maximal torque production of knee extensors at various angular velocities in isokinetic mode were determined. The group of strength trained athletes significantly exceeded the group of endurance trained athletes in body mass, body mass index, volume of the m. quadriceps femoris, maximum torque production, and specific force at angular velocities 30, 180 and 300 degrees per second. In contrast to cross-sectional area (CSA) of slow-twitch MFs, the average CSA of fast-twitch MFs and the proportion of fast-twitch MFs in the group of power athletes significantly exceeded those in the group of endurance athletes. In the combined group of volunteers (n = 23), the proportion of fast-twitch MFs significantly correlated with the torque production at high angular velocities (r = 0.51 and p = 0.01 at 180 deg/s; r = 0.47 and p = 0.02 at 300 deg/s). We did not find any correlation between these parameters in the separate groups of power and endurance athletes. The results indicate a low accuracy in predicting the proportion of fast-twitch MF in m. vastus lateralis in athletes using the maximal torque production of knee extensors at different angular velocities. Significant correlation between the proportion of fast-twitch MF and maximal torque at high angular velocities in the general group (n = 23) was due to the presence of two significantly different subgroups.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.

REFERENCES

  1. 1

    Schiaffino, S. and Reggiani, C., Fiber types in mammalian skeletal muscles, Physiol. Rev., 2011, vol. 91, no. 4, p. 1447.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Henneman, E., Somjen, G., and Carpenter, D., Functional significance of cell size in spinal motoneurons, J. Neurophysiol., 1965, vol. 28, p. 560.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Del Vecchio, A., Negro, F., Holobar, A., et al., You are as fast as your motor neurons: speed of recruitment and maximal discharge of motor neurons determine the maximal rate of force development in humans, J. Physiol., 2019, vol. 597, no. 9, p. 2445.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Burke, R., Motor unit types of cat triceps surae muscle, J. Physiol., 1967, vol. 193, p. 141.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Stalberg, E., Propagation velocity in human muscle fibers in situ, Acta Physiol., Scand. Suppl., 1966, vol. 287, p. 1.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Coyle, E.F. and Costill, D.L., Leg extension power and muscle fiber, Med. Sci. Sport, 1979, vol. 11, no. 1, p. 12.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Ivy, J.L., Withers, R.T., Brose, G., et al., lsokinetic contractile properties of the quadriceps with relation to fiber type, Eur. J. Appl. Physiol., 1981, vol. 47, p. 247.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Thorstensson, A.L.F., Grimby, G., and Karlsson, J., Force-velocity relations and fiber composition in human knee extensor muscles, J. Appl. Physiol., 1976, vol. 40, no. 1, p. 12.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Methenitis, S., Spengos, K., Zaras, N., et al., Fiber type composition and rate of force development in endurance and resistance trained individuals, J. Strength Cond. Res., 2019, vol. 33, no. 9, p. 2388.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Mathenitis, S., Karandreas, N., Spengos, K., et al., Muscle fiber conduction velocity, muscle fiber composition, and power performance, Med. Sci. Sports Exercise, 2016, vol. 48, no. 9, p. 1761.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Tannerstedt, J., Apro, W., and Blomstrand, E., Regulation of protein metabolism in exercise and recovery maximal lengthening contractions induce different signaling responses in the type I and type II fibers of human skeletal muscle, J. Appl. Physiol., 2009, vol. 106, no. 4, p. 1412.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Koopman, R., Zorenc, A., Gransier, R., et al., Increase in S6K1 phosphorylation in human skeletal muscle following resistance exercise occurs mainly in type II muscle fibers, Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab., 2005, vol. 290, no. 6, p. 1245.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Voronov, A.V., Anatomical cross-sectional areas and volumes of the muscles of the lower extremities, Hum. Physiol., 2003, vol. 29, no. 2, p. 201.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Bergström, J., Muscle electrolytes in man, Scand. J. Clin. Lab. Invest., 1962, vol. 14, no. 68, p. 511.

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Popov, D.V., Missina, S.S., Lemesheva, Yu.S., et al., Final blood lactate concentration after incremental test and aerobic performance, Hum. Physiol., 2010, vol. 36, no. 3, p. 335.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    Coyle, E., Bell, S., Costill, D., and Fink, W., Skeletal muscle fiber characteristics of world class shot-putters, Res. Q., 1978, vol. 49, no. 3, p. 278.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    Costill, D., Fink, W., and Pollock, M., Muscle fiber composition and enzyme activities of elite distance runners, Med. Sci. Sport, 1976, vol. 8, no. 2, p. 96.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    Sale, D.G., Macdougall, J.D., Alway, S.E., and Sutton, J.R., Voluntary untrained strength and muscle characteristics in men and women and male bodybuilders, J. Appl. Physiol., 1987, vol. 62, no. 5, p. 1786.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    van Roie, E., van Driessche, S., Inglis, A.J., et al., Rate of power development of the knee extensors across the adult life span: a cross-sectional study in 1387 Flemish Caucasians, Exp. Gerontol., 2018, vol. 110, p. 260.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    Edgerton, V.R., Smith, J.L., and Simpson, D., Muscle fibre type populations of human leg muscles, Histochem. J., 1975, vol. 7, p. 259.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Funding

Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project no. 20-315-70034 “The role of the central factor (recruitment of muscle fibers of different types and the effectiveness of nervous control) in the regulation of the anabolic signal response to strength exercise” in the analysis of the ratio of fast and slow MF and the speed–strength capabilities of athletes’ muscles. Russian Science Foundation, project no. 17-15-01436 “Comprehensive analysis of the contribution of genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors to the individual variability of the composition of human muscle fibers” in terms of the formation of groups of volunteers, taking samples of muscle biopsy.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to E. A. Lysenko.

Ethics declarations

COMPLIANCE WITH ETHICAL STANDARDS

All studies were conducted in accordance with the principles of biomedical ethics formulated in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its subsequent updates, and approved by the Commission on Biomedical Ethics of the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russia).

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The authors declare no obvious and potential conflicts of interest related to the publication of this article.

INFORMED CONSENT

Each study participant provided a voluntary written informed consent, signed by him/her after explanation of the potential risks and benefits, as well as the nature of the upcoming study.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lysenko, E.A., Vepkhvadze, T.F., Lednev, E.M. et al. Torque Production at Different Velocities as a Predictor of the Proportion of Fast-twitch Muscle Fibers in Skeletal Muscles of Athletes. Hum Physiol 46, 689–695 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1134/S0362119720060055

Download citation

Keywords:

  • skeletal muscle
  • fast-twitch muscle fibers
  • torque production at different velocities
  • muscle biopsy