• Steven Shuster, MS, CISSN

So You Want to be Fit: Strength


In the context of fitness, strength is most simply defined as the ability to exert force. Powerlifting is a good example of a sport that relies heavily on strength. Each lift is performed for one repetition at a time with maximal weight.

In some models of fitness, strength is given the most important position. And it is easy to see why - strength makes everything easier. Besides being able to move more weight a single time, being stronger makes it easier to move more weight multiple times. Think about it like this: you are moving to a new house. When you are stronger, it will be a lot easier to be able to lift two boxes instead of only being to lift one. In addition, if you can lift two boxes, think of how easy it will be to lift one. Whether you are moving yourself through space or moving something (or someone) else, you can never be too strong.

Of course, strength is not useful when it exists alone. Even in powerlifting, strength is not the only trait that is needed. A powerlifter must also have the suppleness (mobility) to set up properly, the skill and suppleness to guide the bar along the right path through the full range of motion, and the endurance to perform in multiple rounds of competition.

In the next post, we will look at the next component of fitness on our list, suppleness (mobility).

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