Muscle Endurance vs. Muscle Strength

Written by: Kayte Corrigan

Muscles. Bottom line, we all them to be strong, hard and look toned. Muscular fitness is the desired result, but endurance and strength are two different physiological terms all together. Endurance is achieved by repetitive contractions of muscle fibers. Strength comes from lifting heavy loads.

Endurance can really come in handy when running from zombies, or if you are perfecting a skill or sport. To practice repetitions correctly your muscles need endurance. For endurance training you should practice low resistance in high repetitions. Muscular endurance will give your muscles more efficient aerobic pathways to provide energy from fat for longer periods of endurance and more efficient movements.

Strength is important for the next time you have to move furniture or get all the groceries up in one trip, but it’s also imperative for strong bones. Strength training puts stresses on the bones to make them stronger, lowering the risk of osteoporosis. Strength training also gives that lovely toned look we all love so much by creating tougher connective tissue and increase muscle protein. To increase strength, use heavier weight or resistance.

It’s important for your muscles to have both strength and endurance, but you have to challenge them to see results. Add weight, add resistance, add reps, see the difference. If you are plateauing you are maintaining. Challenge your muscles to take on more, they are built to handle it.