070518 Muscular strength
By Danny M. O’Dell, M.A.CSCS
Here is the bottom line for those of you who don’t have the time to read it all. This is akin to eating your dessert before your meal and before you get too full to actually enjoy it.
Aerobic activities have very little carry over into muscular strength or muscular endurance.
Aerobic fitness can alter the muscle fibers from a fast twitch characteristic to a modified slow twitch fiber.
A complete fitness program will entail the three main components of cardiovascular, flexibility and strength development. Focusing on one part, to the exclusion of the other two, will adversely affect them. But that is exactly what we are going to do here; we are going to discuss strength, not cardiovascular or flexibility, but just plain strength.
Strength comes in many forms from absolute to endurance, from speed to special strength. Moderate intensity training which is high enough to develop and then maintain muscular fitness while also increasing lean muscle mass is an effective means of exercise. It is not an effective means of raising levels of strength and power for those who want to become competitive or want to be a LOT stronger than the average lifter. In order to do that, heavy weights have to be used on a regular basis.
The overload principle applies to this type of training. And it means just what it says. You WILL NOT get stronger lifting ‘soup cans,’ no matter what the infomercial’s say! Lifting a soup can is about as effective as lifting a bag of air. Unless you are extremely out of shape, move on to a weight that will challenge your body in a positive way.