STRENGTH POWER ENDURANCE What are the differences?

by Paula Allia PT, DHSc, MTC, OCS

It is common when someone decides that they should exercise that the goals listed by the client are to gain strength and have stamina.

Do people always know what is truly right for them? What brought that person to exercise in the first place?

These are the common answers to this question:

  • Need to lose a few pounds
  • I do not feel strong
  • I have trouble getting up from a low chair
  • I do not feel confident in my balance
  • I don’t have any stamina

People many times have these initial thoughts but when investigating further, they need a more comprehensive plan that can focus on their needs. The key is putting the person in the right vehicle to reach their goals. Thus, strength, power, and endurance will be explained so that you can be aware of your everyday activities and see where your needs truly are without limiting yourself.

Muscular strength deals with having the ability to be able to create muscular contraction against a given tension (weight) load. One repetition max is used to know what is the actual strength load that can be lifted. Then, depending upon the goals desired, a percentage of this one rep max is used.

Strength training can utilize free weights, elastic bands, machines, or simply body weight, provided that weight applied challenges the muscle enough for strength stimulus. In order to build strength, proper techniques should be used.

The muscles will actually go through physiological changes to make your muscles stronger. Using proper weight and ensuring that enough good protein is ingested each day is beneficial. It is a combination of proper weight, frequency, rest intervals plus the time that the muscle is under tension that will allow for the best results.

Power is the ability to move resistance in the shortest period of time. Essentially it uses strength forcefully in the fastest time. Power moves can be as simple as sit to stand for some while for others performing a higher jump or a football player driving through a group of defenders.

More power is responsible for lifting loads with more speed. There are actually tests performed that address how fast someone can move a certain load. If the speed that you move that load is faster after training, that means power has been increased. Power, too, deals with the time the muscles are under tension.

Endurance is essentially being able to perform a movement or at ask for an extended period of time. To execute tasks all day long is pertinent to maintaining various postures and balance. Having the ability to sustain with the constant use of muscles provides more participation in all that one wants to participate in each day.

Strength, power, and endurance all require muscular adaptation to the stresses and loads that need to be overcome. The other components that need to be considered are:

  • The time under tension that the muscles need to endure
  • The time between sets to achieve desired goals
  • The temperature of the muscles while performing training

What are the needs of each one of you? Moving alone is good exercise no matter what it is BUT if you have certain expectations do not hesitate to find help to get educated today.

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