Increase Your Muscular Strength And Endurance

Written by Emily Ledbetter
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Athletes, both professionals and "weekend warriors," are often searching for ways to improve their performance by increasing muscular strength and endurance. Muscular strength is the maximum amount of force that one can generate in an isolated movement. Muscular endurance is the ability of the muscles to repeatedly perform a submaximal task or to maintain a submaximal muscle contraction for extended periods of time.

Muscular strength and endurance have been linked with several health benefits that lead to improved athletic performance including increased bone density, lean body mass, connective tissue strength and anaerobic power and capacity.

Strength training with free weights, resistance bands and exercises that use one's own body weight for resistance (push-ups, sit-ups, etc.) contribute to an increase in muscular strength. Muscular endurance is enhanced by continuing to perform specific exercises to the point of voluntary fatigue.

Supplementing with Creatine

Muscle cells use creatine to form creatine phosphate, a high-energy compound which is used to restore adeno-sine triphosphate (ATP), the energy utilized by all cells in the human body. ATP furnishes the energy used to carry out every activity in the human body, from a muscle fiber contraction to the filtration of urine by the kidneys. Increasing the amount of creatine found in the muscle aids in producing greater amounts of energy used in high intensity anaerobic exercise such as weight lifting, sprinting and rowing.

Studies show that supplementing with creatine produces a net gain in strength of about one percent weekly, compared to a training regimen that includes no type of supplementation. While that may seem like a small effect, it could lead to substantial increases in strength over time.

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