Building muscle strength takes an entirely different approach than building muscle endurance. Yes, there is a difference between these two types of training. Still, everyone needs muscle strength and muscle endurance training for a well-balanced muscular system and a high-functioning metabolism.
Muscular strength is the amount of force you can put out or the amount of weight you can lift.
And, muscular endurance is how many times you can move that weight without getting exhausted.
Muscular strength is how hard your muscle can perform. A very popular way to test muscular strength is the one-rep max. To do this test, you will lift as much weight as you can during a given exercise (squats, chest press, and deadlift are common choices) for one rep only.
Muscle-strengthening resistance training has many benefits; one of them is fighting osteoporosis. Resistance training counters bone loss prevents injury, and can even reduce cancer risks. Plus, the more muscle in your body, the better. Muscle helps the body to burn more calories throughout the day and boost metabolism.
Muscle strength workouts include heavy weight lifting, fewer repetitions, with long breaks:
- Squatting 80% of body weight
- 5 sets of 5 repetitions
- 3-5-minute break
Types of Strengths:
When weight training to build strength, it is important to know the different types of strengths in order to better understand your training methods.
What is Absolute Strength?
Absolute strength is the maximal strength of a muscle or a group of muscles in a given movement. This equals the highest external resistance a person can hold with their own mobilization. In layman’s terms, it is the absolute most weight you can lift for one repetition. In more simple terms, it is a one-repetition max.
What is Relative Strength?
Relative strength is the amount of weight an individual can move in comparison to their body weight; it is the amount of body size, or how strong someone is compared to their body size. This is a reflection of a person’s ability to control or move their body through space. This is a principal feature in athletes.
Smaller individuals tend to have higher relative strength. Such people will apply greater relative forces into the ground making for great sprinters. An example of relative strength is gymnastics. Movements from this sport require the athlete’s bodyweight. Those with higher levels of relative strength are less fatigued and capable of moving bodyweight through space.
What is the Power of Explosive Strength?
Explosive strength is the speed at which you can use your strength—the ability to exert maximal force in minimal time. Heavy loading, along with high-speed movements for a few repetitions, allows for longer rest periods between each set. To develop this skill, you must raise your absolute strength. The majority of the training combines maximum effort exercises that increase the strength potential of the muscles. Training with light-weight will improve speed.
Muscle endurance is the ability of the body to work for an extended amount of time. The Muscle endurance depends on the longest time that you can lift weights, i.e., continuous biceps curls or run, the more muscular endurance you have. Muscular endurance necessitates muscles to perform repetitive contractions against a force for a prolonged period of time: the greater your muscular endurance, the higher number of repetitions you can complete.
Although the same muscles are used for both muscular strength and muscular endurance, different muscle fibers are executed. For a short burst of energy-requiring much power and strength, fast-twitch muscle fibers are recruited. For long-duration activities such as long-distance running, slow-twitch muscle fibers are executed. Slow-twitch muscle fibers improve the ability of your muscles to use oxygen, which helps you to work before feeling weary.
Muscle endurance workouts include lighter weight lifting, more repetitions, and short breaks:
- Squatting 30-50% of body weight
- 5 sets of 20 repetitions
- 1-1.5-minute break
Do you need muscular endurance?
By building muscular endurance, you will be able to perform physical tasks for a longer period. While strength allows you to lift a force, endurance allows you to continue doing this over time. Muscular endurance will allow you to have improved posture, fewer injuries, reduced fatigue during exercise, increased metabolism, trunk muscles strengthened, enhanced sports performance, and refined training techniques.
Long-distance running is a sport that requires muscular endurance. A runner performs the same movement and stride for miles over a long course of time. You do not need to be a long-distance runner to improve your muscular endurance. Completing a set of push-ups until failure, with good form, will help muscular endurance. Other helpful exercises to develop muscle endurance include:
- Bodyweight squats
- Walking lunges
Simple every day habits can contribute to muscular endurance and overall fitness. These include:
- Skip the elevator. Take the stairs. If you are healthy enough, do it!
- Invest in a standing desk. Standing burns more calories than sitting. Also, as stated previously, posture improves, and a standing desk encourages a more active work environment.
- Walk to work. If this is not possible, walk to get lunch instead of driving. Those extra steps will add up over time. This habit is especially important if your line of work requires you to sit for a protracted time.
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