Meat comes from the skeletal muscles of farm animals, such as pigs, chickens, and cows. Skeletal muscles are composed of many muscle fibers. Muscle fibers are categorized into three types, fiber type I, IIA, and IIB, based on their contractile speed and metabolic properties. Different muscle fiber types have different biochemical, physiological, and biophysical characteristics. Especially, the characteristics of muscle fiber type I and IIB are opposite to each other. Muscle fiber type I has a relatively strong oxidative metabolic trait and a higher content of lipids. In contrast to fiber type I, muscle fiber type IIB has a strong glycolytic metabolic trait and a relatively lower content of lipids and a higher content of glycogen. Muscle fiber type IIA has intermediate properties between fiber type I and IIB. Thus, muscles with different fiber type compositions exhibit different ante- and post-mortem muscle characteristics. In particular, the different metabolic traits of muscles due to the different compositions of the fiber types strongly affect the biochemical and physiological processes during the conversion of muscle to meat and subsequently influence the quality of the meat. Therefore, understating muscle metabolism and muscle fiber characteristics is very important when discussing the traits of meat quality. This review is an overview on basic muscle metabolism, muscle fiber characteristics, and their influence on meat quality and finally provides a comprehensive understanding about the fundamental traits of muscles and meat quality.