Muscular Strength and Endurance Exercise

Muscular Strength and Endurance Exercise

August 31, 2015

  • The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that a comprehensive “total” fitness program include a muscular strength and endurance component. It should involve a minimum of one set of 8-12 repetitions of 8-10 exercises that condition all major muscle groups at least twice a week.


  • Dr. Kenneth Cooper advises that muscular strength and endurance exercises be done following an aerobic conditioning session. This is recommended because aerobic activities help “warm-up” the muscles. This helps ensure safety when performing weight-training activities.


  • For those individuals at risk for cardiovascular disease, maximal muscular tensions are discouraged because they increase systemic blood pressure and also increase the work of the heart.


  • Individuals should always exhale on effort, warm-up and cool-down properly with each session, and use correct body mechanics and weight lifting techniques.


  • The best weight lifting system for increasing both muscular strength and endurance is the 3-set, 6-8 repetitions maximum system. In this system, a weight is chosen that can only be lifted 6-8 times, and then the sequence is repeated two more times with 3 minutes rest in between. Weight lifting systems that use more repetitions do not tend to improve muscular strength as much, but do tend to improve muscular endurance a bit more.


  • Weight training is recommended to be performed on an every other day basis. Chronic fatigue can develop from daily training.


  • Start your program easy! A 1-set, 10-repetition program with 8-10 different exercise, 2-3 times a week is good for beginners. This can help avoid muscle soreness that will lead to non-compliance.


  • Use information from the Common Weight Lifting Exercises and Description as a guideline for resistance training. You can also develop muscular strength by doing calisthenics like push-ups, modified push-ups, abdominal crunches, and pull-ups. Rubber tubing or bands work specific muscle groups as well. These should also be entered into slowly with small increases in time, intensity, and duration.

Posted In:

Exercise and Physical Activity