Continuing with our dissection of the definition of physical fitness we are, in this article, giving you valuable information on muscular fitness.  This aspect of fitness is actually a combination of muscular strength and muscular endurance.

Muscular strength is defined by the ability to exert maximum force in one effort.  For example, the ability to lift an object one time.

Muscular endurance is the muscles ability to make repeated efforts.

Improving your muscular strength and endurance helps you maintain or increase bone mass (reducing the risk of osteoporosis) reduces body fat, reduce blood pressure, improve your lipid profile and control your blood glucose.  So definitely worth knowing a little more about and incorporating into your fitness routine.  In fact surveys show that a large segment of the U.S. population lacks muscular fitness.  In 1990, the American College of Sports Medicine added strength training to its list of exercise guidelines, recommending that people do at least two sessions a week.

How to Improve Muscular Strength & Endurance    

  • When lifting weights or using resistance exercise equipment ensures that the contractions of your muscles are rhythmic.
  • Move slowly and with control; take at least four seconds for each movement.
  • Move the limb through its entire range of motion.
  • Breathe normally while you lift.  Holding your breath can cause your blood pressure to rise.  Breathe out when you are doing the most strenuous part of the exercise. Weight train on days when you are not doing hard aerobic workouts.
  • Allow at least one day between weight training sessions to let your muscles recover.  Proper recovery will help you build strength faster.
  • To train for pure strength you should only be able to lift the weight one time, however, 1 to 4 repetitions would be acceptable.
  • To train for muscular endurance you should be able to lift the weight 8 to 12 times.
  • Work to overload.  Lifting a weight that is so light you could make 20 to 30 repetitions will not deliver the results you desire.