The Difference Between Strength, Endurance, and Power.

Train with Intention (2)

You likely have heard the terms endurance, strength, and power used before whether it is in the world of sports or the fitness industry. These terms are all similar because they all describe the function of a muscle. However, they all describe different functions of muscle. 


Strength is defined as the maximum force a muscle can produce to overcome a resistance in a single repetition. When describing sports that require great strength, think about weight-lifters squatting for a one repetition maximum, regardless of the time it takes them to perform this one repetition. Strength is important because it is expressed in both endurance and power, but in different ways.


Power is defined as the maximum force a muscle can produce in the smallest amount of time. Powerful is a term that is used analogous to explosive. When describing movements that require power you can think about sprinting, jumping, cutting (quick change of direction). Power requires a certain level of strength as well.


Endurance is defined as a sub-maximal force produced for a sustained period of time. When describing sports that require great endurance you can think about long distance running, long distance cycling, or long distance swimming. A certain level of strength is also required for endurance, but endurance is about how long one can continue to produce a particular level of force.

In order to train for any of the three components of muscle, you need to train it in a manner that specifically addresses endurance, strength, or power. In other words, you will not magically have muscular endurance if you only train your muscles for power. However, a minimum level of strength is required for both endurance and power. Whatever sport or particular movement in which you want to do should determine how you train. Always train with intention!