Strength, Power and Endurance Training

Strength, power and muscular endurance are fitness components with many things in common. In most sports, having a combination of strength , power & endurance will greatly benefit you and usually complete each other, but when you are training with a specific goal, this can become very confusing and is possibly one of the most misunderstood aspect of fitness. Training for either strength, power or endurance requires very different ways of training to best accomplish your specific goal.

In plain terms, strength refers to how much work your muscles can do at one time, power refers to the explosiveness of your movements and endurance refers to how long you can use your muscles. Strength, power and endurance are attributes that require specific training methods that differ in a variety of ways.

Strength

Muscular strength is the ability of a muscle or a muscle group to amount of work they can do with themselves at one time. Strength can be measured based on the amount of weight lifted for one time. Upper-body and lower-body strength are measured separately. Strength tests include the bench press for upper body, the squat for lower body and the dead-lift for lower back and leg assessments. For example, if you can lift a 200-pound barbell during your first week of training, and lift a 205-pound barbell the next week, you’ve increased your strength. Relative strength is based on a ratio of weight lifted to body weight. For example, if two people lifted the same weight, the person who weighs less has greater relative strength.

Power

Power is defined as the amount of work performed per unit of time. Power is an element of skill-related fitness that is needed to excel in athletic performance. Athletes generate much of their power in their legs, hips, butt and core, transferring the power they generate to their smaller arms, which then transfer that power to the bat, club, stick or fist.
Increased strength does not always translate into increased power. For example, a strong upper body lifts a high amount of weight. However a strong upper body does not always have the ability to throw a ball far if enough speed cannot be generated.

Endurance

The longer you can use your muscles, the more endurance you have. A marathoner has less speed than a sprinter, but can run longer than the sprinter because he has more muscular endurance. Cardio endurance, or stamina, is your ability to maintain a high heart rate longer, such as during a 30-minute aerobic workout.
Muscle endurance often uses the resistance is the body itself. The measurement of muscular endurance is based on the number of repetitions performed. In endurance training, the ability to perform upper-body exercises many times is separate from the ability to perform lower-body or abdominal exercises many times. Muscular endurance tests include push-ups, pull-ups and dips for the upper body, and sit-ups for the abdominals. Lower-body endurance can be assessed with squats.

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