COACH ROZY RADIO: 7 Different Types of Strength and Their Benefits

Updated: December 13, 2017

How to Set-Up Your Resistance Train and Their Benefits

Mobile/Agility Strength

This strength is the ability to decelerate, control and generate muscle force in a multi-plane environment.

Examples: Picking up and carrying a young child, laundry basket or duffle bag

Be able to move objects from one location to the next.

Improve how the muscles can work in all directions and helps with tendons to reduce the risk of injuries such as sprains or muscle pulls.

Enhance performance of  specific sports or activities of daily living (ADLs).

Exercise selection: Multi-plane movements using a variety of free weights (dumbbells, medicine balls, sandbags, etc.) or cable machines

Intensity: Low-to-moderate, approximately 50-75% of the estimate 1 repetition maximum (1RM) for a particular exercise

Reps: 12-15+

Tempo: Variable speeds: slow to fast

Sets: 2-5+

Rest interval: 30-90 seconds


Strength Endurance

This strength is the ability to do an activity over and over again or a consistent level of muscle force for extended periods of time – running, biking, racking a lawn, shovel snow.

Examples: An endurance event like a 10K, marathon or triathlon; doing yard work or other vigorous household chores; high volume bodybuilding-type training

Maintain good postural stabilization for an extended period of time.

Improve the aerobic capacity of working muscles.

Enhance ability to perform many functional tasks and ADLs.

Exercise selection: Compound and single-joint movements
using a variety of equipment; body-weight exercises

Intensity: Low-to-moderate, approximately 40-80% of 1RM

Reps: 10+

Tempo: Consistent: slow to moderate

Sets: 2-5+

Rest interval: 30-60 seconds


Explosive Strength

This strength is about producing a lot of force (strength) as quick as possible. Focus is on the speed of movement through a range of motion (ROM).

Explosive strength is based on the ability to contract and “rapidly extend the muscle”.

Examples: Jumping up to touch the basketball net or jump over the volley ball net, quickly moving out of the way of danger

Improve the speed of motor unit recruitment and enhance body coordination.

Reduce reaction time.

Activate fast twitch muscle fibers – which help you run faster, jump higher and be quicker moving side to side.

Exercise selection: Compound and single-joint movements using a variety of free weights

Intensity: 40-75% 1RM

Reps: 1-6

Tempo: Fast as possible – but maintaining good form and control

Sets: 2-5+

Rest interval: 30-90 seconds


Maximum Strength

This Strength is being able to produce the highest level of muscle force that can be produced, maximum strength is the ability of a muscle or specific group of muscles to move as much resistance, weight or load as possible.

Examples: Squat, bench press and strongman competitions – lifting as much as you can one time.


Activate those fast twitch muscles

Increase bone density and strength.

Improve performance in many sports and ADLs.

Exercise Selection: Compound and single-joint movements using free weights

Intensity: 90-100% 1RM

Reps: 1-4

Tempo: Slow-to-fast (even though the lifter is attempting to use maximum speed the weight is moving slowly)

Sets: 3-4+

Rest interval: 2-4 minutes


Relative Strength

We didn’t talk about this on the LIVING WELL WITH COACH ROZY RADIO, but this is strength or the amount of force generated per unit of bodyweight. That’s white coat talk – in everyday terms – it’s how strong you are for your body!

Example: Two women each weigh 154 pounds. The first can do 4 pull-ups and squat 100 pounds, while the second can do 8 pull-ups and squat 120 pounds.

Therefore, the second woman is capable of producing more force per pound of body weight RELATIVE TO THEIR BODY WEIGHT AND SIZE

Improve performance in many sports or ADLs.

Maximize motor unit recruitment.

Improve neuromuscular efficiency.

Training Strategy

Relative strength results from using all different types of strength training methods to be capable of generating greater levels of force at a consistent body weight.

By changing up your workout, you can help to improve RELATIVE STRENGTH


Speed Strength

This is strength used for high-speed movement; trained with either bodyweight or a minimal amount of resistance, allowing the movement to be executed as fast as possible.

Examples: Throwing a baseball, swinging a golf club, running a sprint


Minimize reaction times.

Enhance athletic performance.

Reduce time of the stretch-shorten cycle – which helps you jump higher – run faster – throw harder and have more power

Exercise selection: Compound movements using a variety of free weights; unloaded body-weight movements

Intensity: 30-50% 1RM

Reps: 1-6

Tempo: Fast, explosive

Sets: 2-6+

Rest interval: 30 seconds – 2 minutes


Starting Strength


This strength is how much strength you have from a beginning position without “loading” to do the movement. Think of NOT bending down before you jump. If you were just sitting in a chair – came out of the chair and saw how high you could jump – would be your STATING STRENGTH.

Examples: A track start, a football linemen in his stance before the ball is snapped, getting up from a seated position

Improve the ability of muscle and connective tissue to increase the rate of force production.

Reduce starting time for sports that require an athlete to move from a stationary position.

Enhance the ability to transition from seated to standing.

Exercise selection: Compound and single-joint movements using a variety of types of resistance to focus on force production in the initial ROM from a stationary position.

Intensity: 50-90% 1RM

Reps: 1-6

Tempo: Fast, explosive

Rest interval: 45 seconds – 3 minutes

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