Chiswick-Physio BLOG

 

The difference between strength, endurance and power training
Muscles & Joints, Aging, Exercise

What is the difference between strength, endurance and power training?

Strength, endurance, and power training are all different types of exercise that focus on developing specific aspects of fitness.

At Chiswick-Physio we often see clients that have been doing exercises at the wrong intensity for the desired outcome they are after. Whether you are doing a rehab programme after injury, training for a specific activity or sporting goal or just wanting to get strong it is important that you understand the difference between the different types of exercises. Each type of training focuses on a different set of goals and requires a different approach in terms of reps, sets, and rest periods.

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced athlete, incorporating a combination of strength, power, and endurance training can help you achieve optimal physical performance and overall health.

What is strength training?

Strength training is designed to increase the strength and size of your muscles by working against an external resistance, such as weights or resistance bands. The goal of strength training is to improve your ability to lift heavier weights or perform more reps of an exercise. This type of training typically involves using heavier weights and fewer reps per set.

The breakdown of strength training in terms of reps, sets, and rest can vary depending on your fitness goals, experience level, and the specific exercises you are performing. However, here is a general guideline:

Reps: The number of reps you perform per set will depend on your goals and the specific exercise you are performing. For example, if you are performing a compound exercise such as the squat or deadlift, you might aim for 5-8 reps per set to focus on building strength. If you are performing an isolation exercise such as bicep curls, you might aim for 8-12 reps per set to focus on building muscle size.

Sets: The number of sets you perform per exercise will also depend on your goals and experience level. If you are a beginner, you might start with 2-3 sets per exercise, while more advanced lifters might perform 3-5 sets per exercise. If you are focusing on building strength, you might perform fewer sets with heavier weights. If you are focusing on building muscle size, you might perform more sets with lighter weights.

Rest: The amount of rest you take between sets will depend on the specific exercise, your goals, and your experience level. As a general guideline, if you are focusing on building strength, you might take longer rest periods of 2-3 minutes between sets to allow for full recovery. If you are focusing on building muscle size or endurance, you might take shorter rest periods of 30-60 seconds between sets to keep your heart rate elevated and maximize metabolic stress.

What is endurance training?

Endurance training is focused on improving cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance, typically through longer duration exercises with lighter weights and higher reps. The goal is to be able to perform a given exercise for a longer period of time without getting fatigued. A breakdown of endurance training in regards to reps, sets, and rest is different from that of strength training. Here is a general guideline:

Reps: Endurance training in the gym typically involves performing a higher number of reps per set with lighter weights. For example, you might perform 15-20 reps per set of a resistance exercise such as the leg press or chest press.

Sets: The number of sets you perform per exercise will depend on your fitness level and goals. If you are a beginner, you might start with 2-3 sets per exercise, while more advanced lifters might perform 3-5 sets per exercise. If you are focusing on endurance, you might perform more sets with lighter weights.

Rest: Rest periods in endurance training in the gym are shorter than in strength training but longer than in traditional endurance training. For example, you might take 30-60 seconds of rest between sets to allow for some recovery, but not enough to fully recover. This helps to keep your heart rate elevated and maximize metabolic stress, which can lead to improvements in endurance.

What is power training?

Power training is focused on improving explosive power and speed, typically through exercises that involve lifting heavy weights or resistance with explosive movements. The goal is to generate maximal force in a short amount of time, such as when jumping or sprinting.

The breakdown of power training in regards to reps, sets, and rest is different from that of endurance or strength training. Here is a general guideline:

Reps: Power training typically involves performing a low number of reps per set with moderate weights or resistance. For example, you might perform 1-5 reps per set of a power exercise such as the power clean or box jump.

Sets: The number of sets you perform per exercise will depend on your fitness level and goals. If you are a beginner, you might start with 2-3 sets per exercise, while more advanced lifters might perform 3-5 sets per exercise.

Rest: Rest periods in power training are longer than in endurance or traditional strength training, but shorter than in hypertrophy training. This allows for adequate recovery between sets while still maintaining a high level of intensity. For example, you might take 2-3 minutes of rest between sets to allow for full recovery.

It’s important to note that power training can be very demanding on the body and should be approached with caution and it is important to ensure that you are using proper form and technique when performing power exercises. 

Summary: The difference between strength, endurance and power training

It’s important to note that these guidelines are just a starting point, and you should work with a qualified fitness professional to develop a training program that is tailored to your specific goals and needs.

With a total of 40 years of experience in treating clients, all our clinicians at Chiswick-Physio are well suited to help you achieve your goals. Additionally, as you progress in your training, you may need to adjust the length of time you exercise and the intensity of your intervals to continue seeing progress and avoid plateaus.

In summary, strength training focuses on building muscle strength and size, endurance training improves your body’s ability to sustain physical activity for longer periods of time, and power training improves your ability to generate force quickly. Understanding the differences between these types of training can help you create a well-rounded exercise program that meets your specific fitness goals.

It’s worth noting that these three types of training are not mutually exclusive and can complement each other in a well-rounded fitness program. For example, a sprinter might incorporate strength training to build muscle and power training to improve their explosiveness off the starting line, while also performing endurance training to improve their cardiovascular fitness.

     

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