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Monday, March 13, 2006

Training For Strength or Endurance: Dr.Adam Shafran aka "Dr. Fitness" Asks What's The Difference!

It always makes me giggle when I am asked about the difference between training for strength vs. endurance. "I usually get the usual response if you want to get stronger and bulk up, do more weight less repetitions, and if you want to get leaner do more repetitions less weight for endurance training. This is total nonsense!!!! Yes, you heard it here from Dr. Fitness but I am not the only one giving you the real skinny. A fellow colleague from Princeton University and Rutgers University grad, Matt Brzycki, explains this myth best in this month's "Fitness Management" magazine.

"Actually, muscular endurance and muscular strength are directly related. If lifters increase their musculara endurance, they'll also increase their muscular strength.

Here's an example: one way to measure muscular strength is have clients perform one repetition with a maximum amount of weight (known as a "one-repetition maximum" or "1-RM"); one way to measure muscular endurance is to have clients complete as many repetitions as possible with a sub-maximum amount of weight. Now, suppose that your client's 1-RM is 100 lbs (muscular strength) and he can perform 10 repetitions with 75 lbs. (muscular endurance). And after several months of training with high repetitions 8 -12 suppose that he's progressed to the point where he can lift 90 lbs. for 10 repetitions. Given the fact that he increased the amount of weight he could lift for 10 repetitions by 20% - from 75 to 90lbs. - it's likely that his 1 -RM will now be greater than his previous effort of 100lbs. So, even though he trained with high repetitions, he increased his muscular strength.

It works the other way, as well. If clients increase their muscular strength, they'll also increase their muscular endurance. Here's why: As they get stronger, clients need fewer muscle fibers to sustain a sub-maximum effort (muscular endurance). This also means that they have a greater reserve of muscle fibers available to extend the sub-maximum effort."

So the next time someone says bulk up with more weight less reps, tell them to close the refrigerator and stop eating more because when strength train you increase endurance and strength together not apart!!!

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