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Muscular Strength •Definition •Factors •Benefits •Slow and Fast Twitch •The muscle contraction •How to improve your strength •Types of strength training •Training Goal •Training Systems •The basic rules •Vocabulary •Supplements and Drugs

Muscular Strength •

The ability of a person or animal to exert force on physical objects using muscles. Increasing physical strength is the goal of strength training.


The capacity of a muscle or group of muscles to exert or resist a force. Lift a heavy box; open a tight jar lid, and lifting heavy weights. The amount of weight you can lift is a measure of your muscular strength.

Factors of Muscular Strenght •Type of Muscle Fibre -The cross-sectional area of muscle fibres recruited to generate force. -The intensity of the recruitment. •Gender •Age •Limb and Muscle Length •Point of Tendon Insertion •Other Important Factors : Genetic predisposition, health of the person, and adequate nutrients in the diet.

Benefits of Muscular Strength • • • • • • • • • •

Keep muscles toned. Improves performance for sports and daily activities. Keep the skeleton in proper alignment and provide the support for good posture. Uplifts your mental health and assist in managing stress. Keep your bones healthy. Reduces the risk of muscle and skeletal injury. Help control your weight Increase strength and stamina. Boost your energy. Enhances appearance.

The benefits of strength training include increased muscle, tendon and ligament strength, bone density, flexibility, tone, metabolic rate and postural support.

Slow and Fast Twitch •

Slow twitch muscle fibres - are best used for cardiovascular (aerobic) activities. - produce small levels of force for long periods of time and thus - are better suited for endurance activities. • Fast twitch muscle fibres - are best used for anaerobic activities. - produce high levels of force for short periods of time. - are best suited for power activities such as weightlifting.

The muscle contraction • Isotonic contraction: muscle contracts and shortens, giving movement. - Concentric(shortening)LIFTING - Eccentric(lengthening)LOWERING

• Isometric contraction: muscle contracts but does not shorten, so no movement. • Isokinetic contraction: muscle contracts and hortens at constant speed.

How to improve your strenght •

Body-weight exercises use the weight of your body as resistance. Exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, chin-ups, and leg lifts are well suited for this type of program. The advantage is that you can perform these exercises just about anywhere without the need for equipment. The disadvantages are that it is difficult to increase the resistance easily and target specific muscle groups. Machine-weight exercises allow you to control resistance as well as isolate specific muscles. The disadvantage is that you need special equipment. Free-weight exercises allow you to control resistance, isolate specific muscles, and improve your muscle balance using (at a minimum) a bench and some weights. The disadvantage is that the risk of injury is higher than with machine-weights since the resistance is not mechanically supported.

Types of strength training •

Strength Endurance :The aim is to develop muscles that are able to to produce repeated contractions under conditions of fatigue. This requires high repetitions (15+) with light loading (30-50% of 1RM). Appropriate for field sports, rowing and martial arts.

Power:The aim is to develop fast powerful movements. This requires medium number of repetitions (6-10) with medium to heavy loading (70-80% of 1RM). Appropriate for power based events e.g. sprinting, jumping (long jump), throwing (Javelin).

Maximum strength :The aim is to enable maximum loads to be lifted. This requires low number of repetitions (1-5) with heavy loads (80100% of 1RM). Appropriate for Power Lifting, Olympic Lifting, Shot Putt.

Size with strength:The aim is to increase muscle size. This requires medium to high number of repetitions (8-12) with medium to heavy loading (70-80%+ of 1RM). Appropriate for Bodybuilding or sports like USA football.

Training Goal Strength








Reps per Set





Sets per exercise





Rest between sets (mins)





Duration (seconds per set)





Speed per rep (% of max)





Training sessions per week






Load (%of 1 RM)

Table reproduced from Still, 2003

Training Systems • Simple Sets e.g. 3 x 8 with 70% - meaning three sets of eight repetitions with a weight of 70% of maximum for one repetition. All novice lifters should work on, because the high number of repetitions enables the lifter to learn correct technique, and thereby reduce the risk of injury this system. •

Pyramid System Here the load is increased and the repetitions are reduced (e.g. 100kg x 10, 120kg x 5, 130kg x 4, 140kg x 3, 150kg x 2, 160kg x 1). Pyramid lifting is only for experienced lifters who have an established good technique.

Super Setting This consists of performing two or three exercises continuously, without rest in between sets, until all exercises have been performed. The normal 'between sets' rest is taken before the next circuit of exercises is commenced.

Basic Principles • The basic principles of strength training involve a manipulation of the number of repetitions (reps), sets, tempo, exercises and force to cause desired changes in strength, endurance, size or shape by overloading of a group of muscles. • The specific combinations of reps, sets, exercises, resistance and force depend on the purpose of the individual performing the exercise: sets with fewer reps can be performed using more force, but have a reduced impact on endurance.

Training Basic Rules • Learn correct form - Study up on the exercises before hitting the gym. • Use correct weight - Too easy is just that -- too easy. Use weights that allow you to perform 8 to 12 strict reps. • More is not better - You make progress while resting between workouts, so only train each muscle group twice a week (once when you get more advanced). • Listen to your body - Pay attention to odd pains and weird sensations. It's better to back off and take a few days off than push ahead with an aching elbow only to end up with a hard-to-heal joint injury.

Weight Training Vocabulary: • • •

• •

Exercise: A particular movement or move that works a body part, such as the Arm Curl. Weight: The force or resistance you are trying to resist or lift. Repetition (rep): It refers to a single rendition of an exercise. Always use a weight that’s heavy enough to make that last repetition a real challenge. Set: It’s a group of consecutive repetitions that you perform without resting. Routine (workout): Includes every aspect of what you do in one weight lifting session: equipment you use; number of exercises, sets, and repetitions you perform; the order in which you do your exercises; and how much rest you take between sets.

References • •

Training Strength



2-3 days/week

every other day

2-3 days/week


60-80% 1RM

40-60% 1 RM

60-70% 1 RM


1-3 sets, 1-5 reps


weight training


e 3-5 minutes s t

2-5 sets, 15-20 reps weight training 1-3 minutes


1 set, 8-12 reps weight training 1-3 minutes

Muscular fitness training

Supplements and Drugs •

Increase muscle growth • Anabolic steroids • Growth hormone (HGH) • Androstenedione • IGF-1 • Protein & amino acid supplements Speed recovery from training • Creatine monohydrate • Chromium picolinate • Carbohydrate beverages

Increase intensity and overcome fatigue • Amphetamines • Caffeine

Increase endurance • Erythropoietin • Darbepoetien

Aid weight control • Diethylpropion, phentermine • Caffeine, PPA, ephedra • Dinitrophenol • Diuretics

Note: This material was prepared by Victor E. Rodríguez Rodríguez for the Bilingual Section of Physical Education (English) of the IES. A Guía, Vigo. I used images from of and imghp?hl=es&tab=wi sites, and in all the images I have added their reference. In this work, I have also included portions of the text of the different sites, which are reflected in the bibliography at the end of the text . This material was elaborated for exclusively educational purposes and noncommercial uses.

• •

Nota: Este material foi elaborado por Víctor E. Rodríguez Rodríguez para a Sección Bilingüe de Educación Física (inglés) do IES. A Guía de Vigo. Utiliceí imáxenes de lugares web ( e http:// ) e en todas ellas engadín a súa referencia. Neste traballo, tamén incluín porcións de texto de diferentes páxinas web, reflectidas na bibliografía ao final do texto. Este material foi elaborado con fins exclusivamente didácticos e sen uso comercial.

Muscular Strength  

Presentación de los apuntes de 1º Bach Bilingüe

Muscular Strength  

Presentación de los apuntes de 1º Bach Bilingüe