The scientific background behind Muscle Talent Scan.

Muscle types

Human muscles are composed of two different types of muscle fibers: fast and slow. The fast (white) fibers can generate bursts of speed and high power. The slow (red) fibers on the other hand have excellent endurance capacity.

On average, humans have an even distribution of both. Yet, some have a lot more fast fibers: they are born to excel in explosive sports. Others have mainly slow fibers, making them destined to become endurance athletes.

This muscle typology is largely genetically determined and is only to a small extent trainable. For developing athletes, muscle typology is therefore a telltale for sporting talent. For established athletes it’s valuable for individualizing training-recovery cycles, and thereby minimizing risk of muscle injuries and overreaching.

How does it work

Scientists and sport practitioners recognized the importance of muscle typology since more than 50 years. Yet, it did not become a success because it involved an invasive and painful muscle needle biopsy.

Finally, we provided a fast, reliable and non-invasive technique, replacing the muscle biopsy. While lying down in the MRI scanner, it measures the chemical composition and recognizes the presence of a typical fast-twitch metabolite in your calf muscles. With this knowledge, the Victoris team at Ghent University developed a new method to measure the muscle fiber type composition, named the Muscle Talent Scan.

Recent discoveries:

Your myotype

After the scan, you will receive a personalized report with your Z-score, which indicates your myotype.

The Z-score will tell you whether you have a slow, intermediate or fast myotype. The reference population for calculation of the Z-scores is the current control population that consists of about 400 (fe)males.

The report compares your Z-score to that of elite athletes in various sports. It also suggests the ideal sports discipline based on the Z-score and indicates how to interpret the score and use it to individualize training and minimize injury risk. The Z-score is a crucial factor to consider in planning total training volume per week and the optimal recovery duration.