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Train for Muscular Strength, Not for Muscular Size

Nov 27, 2007
Train Muscular Strength, Muscular Power and Muscular Endurance for Functional Strength Performance... Not Muscular Size for "Appearance".

Training for muscular strength, power and endurance will bring about more functional improvements than training for muscular size or appearance.

There is a big difference between training for muscle mass and training for muscular strength, power and endurance.

Each type of muscular strength must be trained for optimum performance under any circumstance.

Fitness is a compromise between the physical abilities of cardiorespiratory endurance, strength, power, speed, flexibility, balance, coordination, agility, accuracy and toughness... and muscular strength is a compromise between maximum strength, power and strength endurance.

Maximum Strength
Maximum strength is how much force can be generated by the muscles and skeletal system for one, all-out effort.

You One-Rep Max is an indicator of this type of muscular strength.

Power
Power is strength per unit of time... I like to call this Explosive Power.

This type of muscular strength is measured by the ability to move a weight from one point to another with speed... therefore it is often called Speed Strength.

Strength Endurance
Strength endurance is the ability to be as strong as possible... for as long as possible.

This type of muscular strength is characterized by the ability to perform a strength movement repeatedly for an extended period of time without giving into fatigue or sacrificing form.

An effective physical training program should address the improvement of each type of muscular strength... Not just one type of strength at the expense of the others.

Bodybuilding type training focuses on building muscle mass... and improvement in performance and muscular strength is secondary.

This leads me to an interesting question... will your muscles get bigger by training all aspects of strength?

The answer is yes... they will get just as big as they need to get to optimize performance!

Optimize muscular strength performance... don't Maximize muscle mass.

After all, it is always better to be stronger than you appear... than to appear stronger than you are!

One final note...

You must always keep in mind that muscular strength training is only one of many components of a well balanced physical fitness training program.

You should strive to optimize your muscular strength in conjunction with the other physical abilities... Not maximize your strength at the expense of them.

After all, meeting the challenges of sport, work and life with excellence is done through the combination and seamless flow from one physical ability to another... Not by relying on one physical skill at the expense of all the others.
About the Author
Coach Lomax is a strength, conditioning and fitness coach dedicated to building better humans for sport, work and life. Learn more at Optimum Physical Training or take his FREE Tabata Calisthenics Workout Mini Course.
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