Muscle mass has two athletic categories known as muscular strength and muscular power. Both have different performance advantages and require varied program designs to excel in either. They are also very beneficial to our health, daily activities, and performance.
Strength: Muscle strength can have a positive impact on our health, weight, and wellness. Strength is the amount of force you can exert on another object. We evaluate muscle strength by the amount of weight you can lift in one movement such as a squat or a bench press.
As your strength improves through training, your day-to-day life becomes easier. It also increases the number of cells responsible for transmitting signals to muscle movements, known as myonuclei. These cells are a critical part of increasing and maintaining strength. Studies show that a break from strength training for about 2-3 weeks will have an impact on your strength, but your body will retain the same number of myonuclei within your muscles. When you maximize and increase the number of myonuclei in your muscle before taking time away, you can reduce both the effects of detraining as well as the effects of aging on muscle strength.
The key to long-term success is consistency. Setting a routine of strength training of 2-3 days per week can help maximize the number of myonuclei available in muscles and reduce the time it takes to regain strength following a break.
Power: Muscular power refers to the force produced in a short burst by fast twitch (Type II) muscle fibers. This type of contraction is associated with increased performance in tasks such as chair rising, stair climbing, fast walking, and fall prevention in an aging individual. Following 3 to 4 months of inactivity, muscular power begins to decline (earlier and quicker in athletic populations). Simply performing one day per week of strenuous exercise is enough to maintain power improvements and prevent detraining. Power detraining is a perfect example of the “use it or lose it” principle!
Written by Kelsie Holtzlider & Kristen Szogas, 20/20 LifeStyles Assessment Team
Kelsie is a 20/20 Assessment Team Technician and has been with PRO Club as a Personal Trainer since 2018. She works with clients to complete their initial metabolic and fitness testing as well as routine check-ins throughout their lifestyle program. Kelsie has a Bachelors in Kinesiology and is a Certified Personal Trainer. She believes that a holistic approach to lifestyle changes is the key to success. She strives to build confidence and empower clients to go outside and take on new adventures. Leading by example, Kelsie utilizes fitness to enrich her life with hiking, mountain biking, snowboarding, and exploring national parks.
Kristen is an experienced Certified Personal Trainer who uses her degree in Athletic Training and Nutrition to educate clients on adopting a healthy lifestyle so they may thrive. Specializing in injury prevention and rehabilitation, she emphasizes form correction, muscle awareness and activation, as well as general strength and stability. After working two years at PRO Club, she is now an Assessment Team Technician, helping and tracking the progress of our amazing 20/20 clients. In her free time, Kristen enjoys developing her handstand skills, playing fetch with her puppy, and taste-testing Washington’s best beer and wine selections.