Muscle Fibers, Strength Training, and the Impact of Wearables with Dr. Andy Galpin- EP036

 In Podcast

“[Wearables] are only successful when you use them to learn more about your own body. That’s the missing link … They cannot be used as the actual answer themselves. If you outsource your own intelligence, if you outsource your thinking, your own physiology to these devices, you are going to lose.”




Dr. Andy Galpin is a tenured professor at the Center for Sport Performance at CSU Fullerton and the author of Unplugged: Evolve from Technology to Upgrade Your Fitness, Performance and Consciousness. Dr. Galpin spent four years studying the structure and function of human skeletal muscle to earn a PhD in Human Bioenergetics from Ball State University. At the CSU Fullerton Biochemistry and Molecular Exercise Physiology Lab, Dr. Galpin and his team study the acute responses and chronic adaptations of human skeletal muscle in response to high velocity and fatiguing exercise.

Dr. Galpin also serves as a performance coach for high-profile professional athletes, helping elite competitors achieve their performance potential. Today he explains the full spectrum of muscle fibers and types as well as the effect of strength training on endurance athletes’ muscle quality. He shares his ‘baker versus cook’ approach to instructing athletes about nutrition and advice around achieving long-term health and fitness. Listen to understand Dr. Galpin’s teamwork approach to healthcare, his take on where sports technology is headed, and the pros and cons of wearables.

Topics Covered

[1:15] Why Dr. Galpin chooses to share his knowledge in the ‘real world’

  • Considers himself below average in academic intelligence
  • Strengths in work ethic, communication and storytelling
  • Seeks to inspire and educate, improving quality of life
[4:00] The muscle fibers/types

  • Fast twitch—explosive
  • Slow twitch—endurance
  • Hybrid fibers indicative of disease, physical health
  • Fiber types can, do change with age, activity
[8:20] Dr. Galpin’s twin study

  • One discontinued physical activity after high school
  • Second twin continued endurance athletics
  • Athlete superior in traditional health measures
  • Inactive twin had better muscle quality, strength
  • Trained twin had lower level of muscular inflammation
[11:57] How strength training might have changed the results for the athletic twin

  • One session per week would make muscles healthier, stronger
  • No negative influence on cardiovascular markers
[13:14] Dr. Galpin’s baker vs. cook analogy

  • Bakers follow specific steps, order matters
  • Cooks use general concepts
  • Use personality type to instruct athletes around nutrition
[19:07] An example of how Dr. Galpin helps athletes achieve full performance

  • UFC Fighter Scott Holtzman (baker personality)
  • Specific, detailed plan
  • Adjust for each fight with tremendous success
[20:40] The intersection of sports and psychology

  • Athletes are people too
  • Physical responses to negative experiences
  • Hormones altered throughout day
[25:03] How wearables impact health and fitness

  • 67% growth of wearables (2015 to 2016)
  • $30B in sales by 2020
  • Comorbidity patients least likely to use
  • Patients without tracker twice as likely to lose weight
  • Can be demotivating
  • Only successful when used to learn more about body
  • Not answers themselves
[31:24] Dr. Galpin’s advice around long-term health and fitness

  • ‘The more variation, the better’
  • Challenge body, but change mode
  • Invest in coach/trainer for detailed plan
  • ‘Variation is not randomization’
  • Plot by outcome goals
[41:16] Where technology is headed

  • Galpin works with special forces, NASA
  • Already have AI suits (measure sweat rate, anxiety)
  • Exoskeletons that physically move you
  • Make decisions now around ground rules
  • Understand benefits, consequences
  • Live in age of abundance
  • Little physical stress, yet sickest we’ve ever been
  • Must ‘engineer suffering’
[48:13] Dr. Galpin’s teamwork approach to healthcare

  • 97% of healthcare is about treatment
  • Only 3% addresses prevention
  • Asking too much of MDs to do both
  • Insurance companies covering prevention
  • Legislation around exercise plans in conjunction with prescription meds
  • App puts healthcare team on single platform (97% adherence)

Learn More About Andy Galpin

The Body of Knowledge Podcast


Unplugged: Evolve from Technology to Upgrade Your Fitness, Performance and Consciousness  by Dr. Andy Galpin

Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly




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