Strength v/s Endurance

Do you have a personal favourite? Between Batman or Superman? It is not impossible to prefer one over the other. However, if they did exist, surely our world would be a better place if both lived to fight evil? In much the same fashion, the human body needs strength and endurance. You might prefer one, but both are necessary. If you wish to be fit long term, that is. Understand the relative benefits and usefulness of both our personal superheroes might help.

Endurance is the ability to perform a task over a prolonged period. The capacity to run a marathon or do a hundred squats for example. Strength is the ability to generate force to overcome resistance. Getting up from bed would qualify. You are overcoming gravity you see. Of course, we would hope that you do much more than just get out of bed, though.

To create strength and endurance, your body has developed muscles. Your muscles are made of two types of fibres. Slow twitch and fast twitch. Your slow twitch muscles are responsible for endurance. It is your slow twitch muscles when developed, that get you across the finishing line of a forty two-kilometer run.

Generating strength requires fast twitch muscles. They come in two sub-forms, Type A and B. Type A helps you carry heavy objects. No, not your laptop; lifting a fifty-pound object. Type B is required for short but explosive bursts of energy. To lift a two hundred pound object for ten seconds.

You may have a preference. You might like lifting heavy objects but dislike running. However, you are best served to work on both. Long term peak performance needs strength and endurance. By performance, I don’t refer here to you winning an Olympic, though it would be swell if you did. I refer merely to living life. Life is hard, isn’t it?