The Four Categories of Muscular Fitness

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The Four Categories of Muscular Fitness

Maximize your muscular abilities in strength, power, endurance and hypertrophy!

Strength Training Defined

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) defines strength training as a form of physical activity that is designed to improve muscular fitness by exercising a muscle or a muscle group against external resistance.

Types of Strength Training

The four strength training types include:

  • Muscular Strength
  • Muscular Power
  • Muscular Hypertrophy and muscular endurance.
  • Muscular Endurance

Training for Muscular Strength

Muscular strength is the ability of a muscle or muscle group to exert maximal force.

Optimal Loads for Muscular Strength

Novice-Intermediate Lifters: 60% to 70% of your one rep max (the weight you can lift only lift one time)

Advanced Lifters: 80% to 100% of one rep max

Optimal Volume for Increasing Muscular Strength

Novice-Intermediate Lifters: 8-12 reps for 1 to 3 sets

Advanced Lifters: 1-8 reps  for 2-6 sets

Optimal Rest Periods for Increasing Muscular Strength

High intense exercises with heavy loads: 2-3 minutes

Lower intense exercises with light loads: 1-2 minutes

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Training for Muscular Power

Power is measured by the greatest output attainable during a particular movement in a given period of time. Power is required in activities of daily living, sport and work.

Optimal Loads for Muscular Power

Upper body lifts: 30%-60% of 1 rep max

Lower body lifts: 0 to 60 of 1 rep max

Optimal Volume for Muscular Power

3-6 reps for 1-3 sets per exercise

Optimal Rest for Muscular Power

2-3 minutes for higher intense exercises that use heavier loads. 1-2 minutes between lower intense exercises that use lighter loads.

Training For Muscular Hypertrophy

Hypertrophy is the enhancement of muscle size.

Optimal Loads for Hypertrophy training

Novice-Intermediate Lifters: 70%-85% of 1 rep max

Advance Lifters: 70% to 100% of one rep max

Optimal Volume for Hypertrophy training

Novice-Intermediate Lifters: 8 to 12 reps for 1 to 3 sets

Advanced Lifters: 1 to 12 reps for 3 to 6 sets

Optimal Rest Periods for Hypertrophy Training

Highly intense lifts with heavy loads = 2 to 3 minutes

Lower intense lifts with lighter loads = 1 to 2 minutes

Training for Muscular Endurance

Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or muscle group to repeatedly exert a sub-maximal resistance.

Optimal Loads for Muscular Endurance Training

Lower than 70% of 1 Rep Max

Optimal Volume for Muscular Endurance Training

10-25 repetitions for 2-4 sets

Optimal Rest Periods for Muscular Endurance Training

30 seconds to one minute between each set