Exercise! - muscular strength vs. musclar endurance?

08-28-2006, 06:36 PM
I checked the "Fitness Fundamentals" sticky again, and I am still confused about the difference between exercises for muscular strength vs. muscular endurance. I just had a strength training program designed that includes machine weights like the leg press, free weights ex. for biceps, lunges, sit-ups, etc. It targets all the major and smaller muscle groups... so it seems to me I'm not missing anything. But maybe I'm not doing the muscular endurance part?

From Fitness Fundamentals Sticky
Muscular Strength - the ability of a muscle to exert force for a brief period of time. Upper-body strength, for example, can be measured by various weight-lifting exercises.

Muscular Endurance - the ability of a muscle, or a group of muscles, to sustain repeated contractions or to continue applying force against a fixed object. Pushups are often used to test endurance of arm and shoulder muscles.

Your exercise program should include something from each of the four basic fitness components described previously (cardio, musc. strength, musc. endurance, flexibility). Each workout should begin with a warmup and end with a cooldown. As a general rule, space your workouts throughout the week and avoid consecutive days of hard exercise.

MUSCULAR STRENGTH - a minimum of two 20-minute sessions per week that include exercises for all the major muscle groups. Lifting weights is the most effective way to increase strength.

MUSCULAR ENDURANCE - at least three 30-minute sessions each week that include exercises such as calisthenics, pushups, situps, pullups, and weight training for all the major muscle groups.

Doesn't lifting weights = weight training? I'm confused.

08-28-2006, 06:53 PM
That IS confusing - I hadn't ever read it. ;)

Yep, lifting weights = weight training = weight lifting = strength training = toning ... they're all the same thing. :strong:

If you're training for strength, you do higher weights and lower reps. A rep range of 8 - 12 is good for gaining strength (you want to pick a weight so you're pretty close to failure before you reach 12). If you're training for endurance, you do high reps with lower weights. I'd call anything in the 15+ rep range endurance training.

I like to mix up both endurance and strength training in the same workout. Let's say I'm doing BB squats ... I'd start out with the 45# bar to warm up, go to 15/95, 12/115, 8/135, 6/155, and finish off with 25/95. The first two sets are warm-up, the next three are for strength, and the last set is for endurance. Or you can do strength and endurance workouts on different days, like the article is talking about. There isn't any 'right' and 'wrong' way to do it.

I hope that makes it a little clearer and not more confusing! :dizzy:

Get n healthy
08-28-2006, 09:44 PM
Thanks for the question, i had never even thought about it that way.

Once again, Meg knew the answer and could explain it beautifully. :-)