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Muscle Fibre Test

Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made. In the analysis, we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.

Objective

The muscle fibre test's objective is to determine the fibre composition of the muscles used for a particular exercise. Two test protocols are described: The Dr F. Hatfield muscle fibre test and the Charles Poliquin muscle fibre test (Hale 2006)[1].

Required Resources

To conduct this test, you will require:

  • Weight training facilities
  • An assistant/spotter
  • Selection of exercises

How to conduct the Dr F. Hatfield muscle fibre test

Analysis

  • Less than 7 repetitions - fast-twitch (FT) dominant
  • 7 or 8 repetitions - mixed fibre type
  • more than 8 repetitions - slow-twitch (ST) dominant

If you are FT dominant, you should use heavier loads and lower repetitions in your training. On the other hand, ST dominant individuals will respond better to lighter loads and higher repetitions.

How to conduct the Charles Poliquin muscle fibre test

Analysis

  • Less than 5 repetitions - fast-twitch (FT) dominant
  • 5 repetitions - mixed fibre type
  • more than 5 repetitions - slow-twitch (ST) dominant

If you are FT dominant, you should use heavier loads and lower repetitions in your training. On the other hand, ST dominant individuals will respond better to lighter loads and higher repetitions.

Target Group

This test is suitable for all athletes but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.

Reliability

Test reliability refers to how a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides various factors that may influence the results and therefore, the test reliability.

Validity

Test validity refers to the degree to which the test measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made based on test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to determine the muscles' fibre composition used for a particular exercise.

Advantages

  • Minimal equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct

Disadvantages

  • Specialist equipment required
  • Assistant required to administer the test

References

  1. HALE J. (2006) Adapting your workout to suit your muscle fibre type. Brian Mackenzie's Successful Coaching, 37, p. 6-7

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2006) Muscle Fibre Test [WWW] Available from: https://www.brianmac.co.uk/musclefibre.htm [Accessed