slow-twitch muscles

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Kenyans versus cheetahs, who wins?

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From the BBC, Kenyans chase down and catch goat-killing cheetahs:

“The men waited until the hottest part of the day before launching the chase over a distance of four miles (6.4km).

The cheetahs got so tired they could not run any more. The villagers captured them alive and handed them over to the Kenya Wildlife Service.”

Cheetahs are fast but cannot run long distances. A cheetah’s muscles produce speed, a goose’s muscles are more for endurance, and human muscles are made for both. We have slow-twitch muscle fiber for endurance and fast-twitch muscle fiber for power and speed. Most of us will have an average mix, but there will be outliers.

One marathon runner’s biopsies of his legs indicated that his legs were 90 percent slow-twitch muscle fiber. That runner will never excel in sprints no matter how hard he tries, and cheetahs will never be long distance runners.

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