While power and strength seem pretty similar, there are a few marked differences between them. We have outlined below just what each one is and what the benefits of each are.
What is strength
Strength training is commonly referred to as resistance training and it involves using either your body weight or a dumbbell, kettlebell, or resistance band to help build muscle mass, strength and endurance.
Strength training is great because it helps with your everyday life, improves your balance and coordination and helps with functional fitness. If that’s not enough, it helps with your posture so that you can sit, stand and move around without pain for a longer period of time.
What is power
Power training, unlike strength training, involves using the maximum amount of force as quickly as possible. It uses a combination of strength and speed to equal power and is beneficial if you are looking to bulk up and develop stronger connective tissue, such as tendons and ligaments. By focusing on power training, you can’t lift as heavy as you can with Strength training, but you can lift quicker this is useful for exercises such as the clean and jerk and the snatch.
Differences between strength and power
Below are some of the different benefits you get from strength training and power training. Remember, neither one is better than the other; they are just different types of workouts and thus have different benefits attached to them.
Let’s begin with strength training. Here are three benefits you gain from focusing on strength training.
Physical & mental health
Strength training is great for improving your physical and mental health. Strength training is perfect for someone who is looking to focus, which helps with anxiety and depression. It also decreases health risks such as obesity, back pain, and heart disease.
Retain muscle mass
People often equate strength and muscle building which can turn some off it. While it’s true strength training will help you build muscle mass, it’s a lot better for retaining than building. This will help in the future. As you age you naturally lose some of your muscle mass so getting a head start on retaining as much as possible is important.
Burning calories is important for some, and strength training is great for that. As it works on repetitions, you will burn through calories quickly when strength training. Strength training also means that you will continue to burn calories even when you have stopped working out, which is great for your metabolism.
Now that we know what the benefits of strength training are let’s look at some benefits of power training.
As one of the combinations in power is speed, when you are power training, you automatically improve your cardio endurance. This has the added benefit of helping you cool down faster, which means you have a healthy heart. This increase will mean that you can do more with less effort in the long term.
Better Functional Fitness
When you are power training, you always need to be aware of your surroundings (known as spacial awareness), and you need to have a good balance. This does not come naturally to many, so power training helps with this, which in turn helps with your overall functional fitness.
This is another benefit that will help in your everyday life. Not only does it help with injuries, but you will also have the ability to react to things quicker than you once did. This will stand to you the older you get.
Which should you do?
This is a difficult question to answer as there is no one better workout. As seen above, each has its own merits and advantages. The final answer comes down to what do you want to focus on? The answer might not even be one or the other. Why not combine the two and choose dedicated days to work on your power and strength? This will give you the best of both worlds.
If you want to start but don’t know where, why not pop into your local Gym Plus, and we can help you figure out a plan that suits your needs?