Regular strength training (or weight training) definitely makes you stronger, and we're not just talking about bulging biceps. Weight training strengthens bones, ligaments, and tendons—as well as muscles—all of which translate into improved balance, greater power, quicker recovery, and a reduced risk for injury.
A targeted weight training program will help you attain both muscular strength and muscular endurance. But what's the difference? Read on for the details.
How to achieve muscular strength.
Muscular strength is the ability of your muscles to exert forces against objects for short periods of time. In other words, it's your ability to lift or move objects, or even your own body weight. For example, to pick up a bag of groceries, your muscles have to generate forces and then contract to complete the movement. Muscular strength allows you to perform these types of simple tasks, and the stronger you are, the easier these tasks become. Weight training exercises, like squats, bicep curls, and chest presses, are most commonly associated with strength improvements.
How to achieve muscular endurance.
Muscular endurance deals with repeated muscular contractions or the ability to exert force continuously against an object. It's actually the crucial link between muscular strength and aerobic fitness. You have to demonstrate muscular strength to move your body, and since your muscles do the actual work during aerobic exercise, they must be trained to handle repeated contractions and longer exercise durations. Therefore, you need muscular endurance to be aerobically fit. Push-ups and sit-ups are often used to test for muscular endurance, but any weight training exercise with lighter weight and more repetition will improve this aspect of fitness.