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What is Strength Endurance?

By Jacob Queen
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

Strength endurance is a measurement of the body's ability to continually perform repetitive acts that require significant expenditure of strength. Many people work hard on aerobic exercises to build endurance, but these are designed to help in performing relatively light activities for a long time. When individuals are trying to build strength endurance, they are more interested in maintaining their maximum strength level for the longest time possible. Training strength endurance involves combining different elements of traditional endurance training and strength training.

In the area of sports, strength endurance can be a useful attribute. In many cases, athletes have to use maximum physical exertion for a long period of time or repeatedly with very little rest. An example would be a fighter in a boxing match. Every time he throws a punch, he may use a great deal of strength. Over time, the punches may get weaker as his endurance may begin to falter. If he can maintain that strength for a longer period of time, he can still be punching hard enough to threaten his opponent in the later rounds.

This can be contrasted to other sports that generally require a greater focus on pure endurance or pure strength. For example, running a marathon is generally a pure endurance sport because it’s much more focused on a person’s ability to maintain a consistent low-level performance over a long period of time. There are also pure strength events, such as certain weight-lifting sports that allow long rest periods between each outburst of exertion. Overall, these kinds of sports are generally less common than sports that require a mix of both attributes.

A common problem with improving strength endurance is finding a balanced exercise regimen. When people try to develop strength, the traditional approach involves exerting force against the greatest resistance possible for a very short amount of time and then resting. Generally, intense levels of resistance require at least some kind of rest period, and for greater levels of resistance, more rest is often required.

People who are working on strength endurance often balance this out by shortening the rest period so that the heart rate never gets all the way down to a normal level. For example, in a normal workout, a person may do five bench presses followed by a rest time of five minutes or more. Someone working on strength endurance may do the same exercise and then only rest for about 50 seconds or so before doing it again. Another approach to strength-endurance training is to lift less weight, but perform a lot of repetitions. According to experts, this can work to some extent, but it often fails to achieve the ultimate goal of sustaining maximum resistance ability.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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