The Basics of Strength and Endurance Training

Written by: Sebastian Mann (Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science)

When you fail to get the results you want from your training; its easy to think “I need to push myself harder” or “I need to be training longer and more frequently”.  Sure these things aren’t a bad approach, however training harder, longer and more frequently will only get you so far.

The real questions you need to ask yourself is:

Am I training smartly?

What other strategies can I employ to challenge my body and get a different result? 

To get the most out of your weight training, combining components of both strength and endurance training should be considered. Prior to starting however, it’s important for  you understand what these actually are in order to improve them.

Strength is defined as the ability of a muscle group to develop maximal contractile force against a resistance in a single contraction and focuses on the efficiency of the central nervous system (CNS). To improve strength, we need to improve the muscles ability to actually contract maximally.

Endurance is defined as the ability of a muscle group to contract consistently over an extended period of time and involves focusing on adaptations that occur within a muscle. Therefore, rather than falling into the trap of thinking we need to “do more” to get results, your type of training being undertaken needs to be re-evaluated.

The benefits of strength training

Neural adaptations in strength training occur when motor units become more efficient during a muscle contraction. Each Motor Unit in a muscle consists of a motor neuron and a muscle fibre attached together. The heavier the weight is that we are training with the greater the signal is through the motor unit and therefore the greater the contraction from the muscle fibre. Over time through enough consistent training the fibres within the muscle begin to  activate much more efficiently and with better synchronization (at the same time)because of this the muscle can start taking that same resistance that has been performed without having to use as many motor units as it used to allowing some of those motor units to be free for heavier resistances to be used and this is why we start noticing that the resistance we have been doing starts to feel easier after a period of time.

The benefits of endurance weight training (hypertrophy training)

Endurance weight training also known as hypertrophy training involves focusing on creating adaptations within the muscles fibres to promote muscular growth. In order to create growth the muscle must be worked enough so that micro-tears are produced. To do this the training volume becomes the most important factor rather than the amount of resistance being used. Adding more training volume to a session means that the muscle group working contracts more over the session and it’s each contraction that creates these micro-tears. The body then repairs these fibres and thickens them overtime with consistent training which in turn causes muscle growth.

To get the most out of your training, both strength and weight training need to be considered when exercise programming. There are many variables that can be used to improve strength and endurance and this is just the basics so if you’re looking to improve your daily function then it is recommended that you seek out a personal trainer/Exercise physiologist to make a program that best suits you.

The benefits of Strength Training

If you are seeking assistance for your training; or you are wanting to get started with strength training and want expert guidance – call our Personal Trainers at Inspire Fitness on 9857 300 to get started today.