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Strength or Endurance? Find Out Which One Best Fits Your Goals!

Endurance training and strength training both have their vast benefits! You may choose to do one or the other depending on your fitness and health goals. If you want to increase your cardiovascular health or lose weight, you’re probably going to look at endurance training. While if your goals involve increasing muscle mass and gaining overall strength, you’ll probably gravitate towards strength training 

Endurance training mainly focuses on improving cardiovascular health and muscular endurance. This type of training mainly relies on aerobic systems, meaning systems that require oxygen. The main goal of cardio training is to improve the body’s ability to deliver oxygen to your muscles, and your muscles to utilize that oxygen. This measure is more commonly known as VO2. At MetaTherapy we can do VO2max testing, which analyzes the maximal amount of oxygen that is being utilized. Muscular endurance training, on the other hand, works to improve the amount of time your muscles can last under stress. This is also related to VO2, as the more oxygen your muscles can consume and use, the longer they can work.

Strength training mainly focuses on muscle hypertrophy. Essentially, strength training is about applying a load to your muscle. This load should be heavy enough that the muscle has to work hard to overcome it. In order to overcome this load, your muscles will adapt and increase in size. You do not need to lift heavy weights to reap the benefits of strength training. You can adequately increase muscle mass by doing bodyweight exercises or using resistance bands/tubes. Strength training not only increases muscle hypertrophy, but it also has benefits such as strengthening bones and managing chronic conditions. 

For the average person who wants to improve overall fitness, it is probably best to engage in both strength and endurance training. Both types of training have their vast benefits, and can work hand-in-hand to improve health and fitness. If your goals are more specific, you might want to focus on one more than the other. If you want to lose weight, it’s best to focus on endurance training. Strength training will help you lose fat mass, but it will also increase muscle mass, therefore your weight will likely not decrease by much. However, it is still a good idea to engage in light resistance training at least once or twice a week. If your goal is to bulk up and increase muscle mass, you might want to focus on strength training. Endurance training will improve strength in certain muscles, but it will likely cause you to slim down. You should still engage in light endurance training at least once a week.

Overall, it’s all about balance. Even if one type of training caters more towards your goals, you don’t want to completely ignore the other. 

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