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What exercise is best for O positive blood type?

Blood type plays an important role in determining the most effective exercise regimen for an individual. Specifically, people with O positive blood often thrive on high-intensity interval training and exercises that activate fast-twitch muscle fibers.

The Basics of O Positive Blood Type

O positive is the most common blood type, making up about 37% of the US population. It is characterized by the presence of an O antigen and a Rh positive (+) antigen on the surface of red blood cells.

Some key traits of O positive blood include:

  • High levels of von Willebrand factor, a blood clotting protein
  • Lower risk of heart disease and stroke compared to other blood types
  • Prone to developing ulcers and thyroid problems
  • No risk of hemolytic disease of the newborn

From an exercise perspective, people with O positive blood tend to have more fast-twitch muscle fibers. These muscle fibers contract faster and with greater force than slow-twitch fibers, enabling short bursts of speed and power.

The Importance of Muscle Fiber Composition

All skeletal muscles contain a mix of fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers. The proportion of each fiber type varies between muscles and individuals. Genetics plays a major role in determining muscle fiber composition.

Fast-twitch fibers contract faster and generate more force than slow-twitch fibers. However, they fatigue more quickly. Slow-twitch fibers are slower to fatigue and ideal for endurance activities. Here is an overview of the main characteristics of each fiber type:

Fiber Type Contraction Speed Force Production Fatigue Resistance
Fast-twitch Very fast High Low
Slow-twitch Slow Low High

People with a higher percentage of fast-twitch fibers tend to excel at sprint distances and power sports. In contrast, those with more slow-twitch fibers often perform better in endurance events.

O Positive and Fast-Twitch Fibers

Studies show that individuals with O positive blood have a greater proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers compared to other blood groups. This translates into enhanced power and anaerobic capacity.

For example, a 2010 study tested the association between blood type and muscle fiber composition in sprinters and long-distance runners. Sprinters with O blood had 88% fast-twitch fibers compared to 74% for sprinters with non-O blood types. This directly correlated with their power and short-distance running abilities.

Likewise, a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that non-O blood groups had significantly more slow-twitch fibers than O groups. The O group also exhibited greater vertical jump power.

The abundance of fast-twitch muscle fibers sets O positive individuals up for success in high-intensity, anaerobic activities. This has important implications for designing an exercise program tailored to this blood type.

Best Types of Exercise for O Positive

When choosing activities, people with O positive blood should leverage their anaerobic strengths. Exercises that recruit fast-twitch muscle fibers and increase power are ideal. Here are some of the best types of exercise for this blood group:

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise alternated with rest or low-intensity intervals. This type of training taps into fast-twitch muscle fibers and increases the body’s ability to produce energy anaerobically.

Some great HIIT options include:

  • Sprints
  • Bike sprints
  • Jump ropes
  • Battle ropes
  • Rowing intervals
  • Burpees

Most HIIT workouts combine short intervals of 15 seconds to 1 minute performed at maximum effort. This is followed by 1-3 minutes of recovery. Aim for 20-30 minutes 2-3 times per week.


Plyometric exercises involve explosive jumping, hopping and bounding movements. Examples include box jumps, jumping lunges, and squat jumps. This improves muscle power by increasing the speed of force generation.

For O positive individuals, plyometrics trigger fast power gains by activating fast-twitch motor units. Sets of 6-10 reps are recommended.


Powerlifting focuses on maximal strength development in compound lifts like squats, deadlifts and bench press. Lifting heavier weight recruits fast-twitch muscle fibers.

Those with O positive blood often excel in powerlifting due to their innate explosive strength. Focus on low reps (1-5) and optimal technique when powerlifting.


Sprinting is a power-packed cardio option perfectly suited to O positive blood. As a high-intensity anaerobic activity, it relies almost exclusively on fast-twitch muscle fibers.

Aim for 2-4 sets of 40-400 meter sprints 1-2 times per week. Walk back to the starting line for recovery.


The high-intensity functional movements in CrossFit provide an excellent muscle-building stimulus for O positive individuals. Workouts constantly vary but frequently include elements of powerlifting, sprinting, rowing and gymnastics.

If new to CrossFit, ramp up slowly under guidance from a certified trainer. This ensures proper form on technical lifts.

Customizing Exercise Programs for Maximum Benefit

While the aforementioned exercises are great starting points, it’s also helpful to customize programs to target individual needs and goals.

Here are some key ways to tailor exercise for someone with O positive blood:

  • Include anaerobic training: Prioritize HIIT, sprints, plyometrics and powerlifting.
  • Train for explosive power: Focus on increasing vertical leap, sprint speed, and max lifts.
  • Periodize training: Vary high-intensity days with lower intensity for optimal recovery.
  • Add muscle-building exercises: Squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, rows, and presses.
  • Supplement with cardio: Add short sprint sessions instead of long jogs.

It also helps to consider individual sport goals, fitness level, and schedule when designing a customized program.

Sample Weekly Exercise Schedule

Here is an example workout schedule that incorporates the best exercises for O positive blood type:

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
HIIT sprints Lower body plyometrics Upper body powerlifting Rest Sprints Total body CrossFit Rest

This plan includes anaerobic days focused on HIIT, plyometrics and powerlifting balanced with recovery. Modifications can be made as needed to continue building power.

Additional Lifestyle Strategies

Aside from exercise, those with O positive blood may benefit from additional lifestyle strategies like:

  • Eating plenty of lean protein to build muscle.
  • Staying hydrated – aim for 2-3 liters of fluid daily.
  • Getting at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep nightly for recovery.
  • Reducing overall stress levels through yoga, meditation, etc.
  • Avoiding refined sugars and processed foods.

Implementing some of these simple tips can help maximize the benefits of the workout plan.


O positive is the most common blood type, characterized by a large proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers. This predisposes O positive individuals to excel in power sports and activities requiring short bursts of speed.

The best exercise options for O positive blood type include HIIT, plyometrics, powerlifting, sprinting and CrossFit. Focusing on high-intensity, explosive movements caters to their physiological strengths.

Customizing workout schedules, eating to fuel performance, and supporting overall wellness can further enhance the benefits of strategic exercise selection for this blood type.