Fiber Type Training

Q: I have just read your excellent Wingspan Workouts article on

How many times per week would you recommend using any one of these four back workouts?



My Answer: You have 2 options. You can either rotate through all 4 workouts within a 2 week period.

Or you can alternate Wingspan Workouts with a back thickening workout:

Workout #1: Wingspan Workout
Workout #2: Back Thickening
Workout #3: Wingspan Workout
Workout #4: Back Thickening
Workout #5: Wingspan Workout
Workout #6: Back Thickening
Workout #7: Wingspan Workout
Workout #8: Back Thickening

Whereas any of the Wingspan Workouts will widen your back, back thickening workouts will do just that: thicken your back. Back widening workouts consist of pull-ups, chin-ups and pulldowns. Back thickening workouts consists of rowing movements. Tactics and Strategies has a chapter on back thickening.


Q: I have been doing the Ectomorph Pyramid training for 4 weeks now. Your advice is to switch to the 5×5 workout. Will switching to different rep ranges hinder my muscle with respect to muscle fibers? What I mean is, do these two workouts work different types of muscle fiber? On a side note, to hit your Type 2B fibers, do you have to do explosive movements? I am assuming that the pyramid and 5×5 training work the same fibers, 2A.

Thanks for your work,


My Answer: The programs will work two different sets of muscle fiber. The Hypertrophy Training for the Ectomorph program will work the 2A fibers, while the 5×5 program will work the 2B fibers.

I wouldn’t worry about working 2 different fiber types. It will not hinder your muscle gains. Regardless of the fiber type and rep range, always perform the reps explosively (unless a program specifically states otherwise). Fast repetitions recruit more muscle fiber than slow repetitions.


Q: Need a second opinion on this: currently on my cardio days I do 20 minutes of barbell/dumbbell complex training and then 20 minutes of moderate intensity cardio (walking, elliptical, etc). Aim is conditioning and of course fat loss =)

I’ve been advised that on my cardio days I only need to take BCAA’s and glutamine during my session as there is no need for it pre and post [supplementation], because I’m not really going through complete muscle breakdown during these sessions.

Taking into account what my cardio session consists of, is this correct or should I be taking at least BCAA’s pre and post also?

Thanks mate,


My Answer: I think you can go either way. The issue is cost. Taking all those pills can be quite expensive. So if you want to take a single dose of BCAA’s and glutamine for cardio, then that’s perfectly fine. I don’t think it’s going to make that much of a difference if you added the pre and post workout dosages for your cardio and conditioning workouts.

But if you have the money, then knock yourself out.


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