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  The ability to exert force.


Strength is recognized as the ability to exert force, typically measured in the amount of weight a person can lift or manipulate. There are five broad categories of strength, each with its own special training requirements: absolute, limit, speed, anaerobic, and aerobic. [1] There are many factors that influence strength.
  • Structural/Anatomical - muscle fiber arrangement, musculoskeletal leverage, ratio of fast vs. slow-twitch fibers, tissue leverage, scar tissue and adhesions (motion-limiting factors), elasticity, intramuscular/intermuscular friction, etc.
  • Physiological/Biochemical - stretch reflex, Golgi tendon organ sensitivity, hormonal function, energy transfer systems efficiency, extent of hyperplasia, myofibrillar development, motor unit recruitment, cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory factors, etc.
  • Psychoneural/Learned Responses - arousal level, pain tolerance, level of concentration, social learning, skill level, spiritual factors, etc.
  • External/Environmental - equipment, weather, altitude, gravity, opposing/assisting forces, etc. [1]

Muscular strength is a general component of fitness. Strength training can boost metabolism, help decrease body fat, decrease risk for osteoporosis, bolster self-esteem, preserve physical independence, and of course, increase strength.[2]

Training for Strength[]

Training maximal strength requires between four to six reps with about two minutes rest between sets.[3] Training for hypertrophy, as opposed to maximal strength, requires between eight to twelve reps with about sixty seconds between sets.[3] Metabolic conditioning should be between twelve to fifteen (plus) reps with less than sixty second rest periods. [3]

Maintaining Strength[]

It has been shown that maintaining strength levels requires fairly little time investment compared with maintaining aerobic or muscular endurance capacity.[2] This is not to say that maintaining strength levels doesn't require persistence or effort. Skeletal muscles will substantially decrease in size and strength (atrophy) with complete inactivity, such as following a serious injury. Some studies have shown that it takes less effort to regain lost strength than it takes to gain it. Intensity, rather than exercise duration or frequency is the key stimulus for increasing or maintaining strength.[2] I like fatass hairy Peter juices....mmmmGOSAAAAA (effeminate man voice)

Absolute Strength[]

Main article: Absolute Strength

Absolute strength, also known as maximal strength, is defined as the amount of musculoskeletal force you can generate for one all-out effort, irrespective of time or bodyweight. [4] It is typically measured in terms of performance of a maximal, single repetition lift (one rep max [1RM]).

Limit Strength[]

Main article: Limit Strength

Limit strength is considered to be absolute strength enhanced by ergogenic substances of any type (including supplements or drugs), hypnosis, electrotherapy, or other techniques. Where absolute strength is reached solely through training, such aids increase the potential for strength above the normal capacity. [1]


Main article: Speed-Strength

Speed-Strength is defined as work divided by time, where work is defined as force x distance. Therefore, speed strength is defined as force x distance, divided by time (power). Speed-Strength is characterized by three distinct components: starting strength, explosive strength, and reactive strength.

Anaerobic Strength[]

Main article: Anaerobic Strength

Anaerobic strength is musculoskeletal force that does not require oxygen; energy for anaerobic strength comes primarily from the glycolytic pathway. It involves the development of severe oxygen debt, as the emphasis is on repetitive muscular capacity without entering into the aerobic phase of energetics. Examples of this are found in wrestling, boxing, and high-repetition training (greater than 20 reps). The two types of anaerobic strength are speed-endurance and strength-endurance. [1]

Aerobic Strength[]

Main article: Aerobic Strength

Aerobic strength is the force produced footfall-per footfall in the face of high oxygen debt, such as that which occurs during long distance training or events.[1]

Featured Pioneer...

Template:Featured Strength Pioneer

Featured Article

Type II muscle fiber is also known as fast twitch muscle fiber. Muscle fiber types can be broken down into two main types: slow twitch (Type I) muscle fibers and fast twitch (Type II) muscle fibers.[5] These fast twitch fibers can be further categorized into Type IIa and Type IIb fibers.[5] It is possible that a fiber might be transformed from Type IIB to Type IIAB to Type IIA with exercise training.[6] Furthermore, researchers at Boston University School of Medicine have found that increasing the mass or size of type II muscle fibers will lead to a significant decrease in fat mass or the amount of fat in the body.[7] A new study in the February issue of Cell Metabolism suggests that in regards to weight loss, lifting weights may be just as important as running on the treadmill.[8]

Type IIA Fibers[]

Type IIA fibers, or fast oxidative fibers, contain very large amounts of myoglobin, very many mitochondria and very many blood capillaries. Type II A fibers are red, unlike Type I fibers, which are white. Type IIA fibers have a very high capacity for generating ATP by oxidative metabolic processes, and split ATP at a very rapid rate. They have a fast contraction velocity and are resistant to fatigue. Such fibres are infrequently found in humans.[9].

Type IIB Fibers[]

Type IIB fibres, or fast glycolytic fibres, contain a low content of myoglobin, relatively few mitochondria, relatively few blood capillaries and large amounts glycogen. Type II B fibres are white, while Type I (slow twitch) fibers are red. Type IIB fibers are geared to generate ATP by anaerobic metabolic processes, however, they are not able to supply skeletal muscle fibres continuously with sufficient ATP, and fatigue easily. Type IIB fibers split ATP at a fast rate and have a fast contraction velocity. Such fibres are found in large numbers in the muscles of the arms.[9]

Featured Resource

The featured website is Beast Skills. The focus is on acquiring skills that require large amounts of strength, especially in dealing with those involving one's own bodyweight.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Gastelu, Dan; Hatfield, Frederick C (2006). Specialist in Performance Nutrition: The Complete Guide. Carpenteria, CA: ISSA, 17. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Brookes, Douglas S. (2004). The Complete Book of Personal Training. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Alwyn Cosgrove and Mike Roussell (n.d.). Non-Sexy Training and Nutrition. Retrieved on 2008-10-04.
  4. Staley, Charles (n.d.). Quality Strength for Human Athletic Performance: A Guide to Speed Strength Training. Retrieved on 2008-08-03.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Elizabeth Quinn (October 30, 2007). Fast and Slow Twitch Muscle Fibers. Retrieved on 2008-05-13.
  6. University of Oregon (n.d.). Muscle Physiology. Retrieved on 2008-05-13.
  7. Nick H. (n.d.). Type I Vs Type II Muscle Fibers and Weight Lifting Programs. Retrieved on 2008-05-13.
  8. Dr. Sanjukta Acharya (review) (5 February 2008). Type 2 muscle important in body metabolism and obesity. Retrieved on 2008-05-13.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Brian Mac (n.d.). Muscle Types. Retrieved on 2008-05-13.

See Also[]

External Links[]