All Show And No Go? The 5 Types Of Strength You Need

Don’t Be A Paper Tiger. If You Look Like An Animal, You Better Preform Like One.


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You’ve seen those guys. Complete mirror hogs, who do endless sets of bicep curls, not once taking part in any functional movement. They don’t touch a weight heavier than a 20 and have trouble breathing after a flight of stairs. Sure, they might be stronger than you if the event were max reps on the cable curl machine, but for the sake of real world strength, they are essentially sedentary.

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DO NOT BE THIS GUY. Be the guy who looks like he can kill, and does so! What is the point of having muscle if it doesn’t work for you? Everyone’s goal should be to look like a bodybuilder but perform like an athlete. In order to do so, one must focus on developing all aspects of their strength. Generally speaking, there are five main types of strength: agility, endurance, explosive strength, maximum strength and relative strength.

1. Agility

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There is more to strength than simply maximum strength. You need to be able to use your strength both quickly and accurately. Agility is the ability to maintain balance while moving with speed and power. Without agility, one would simply fall over when attempting any sort of athletic movement, as your ability to control your strength would be lacking (aka your agility).

Green Bay Packers' Clay Matthews reacts after sacking Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler during the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

To improve agility, you must train your coordination and your central nervous system to operate at a higher level. Drills with cones or agility ladders are perfect for increasing agility, as they force you to change directions quickly and stick to a set pattern of movement. Throw agility training into your schedule twice a week, focusing on quality of movement and increasing speed. Keep the distances short, and pay attention to coordination.

2. Endurance

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How long does your strength last? Your ability to use your strength for any duration of time is endurance. Imagine a boxer in a fight; he has to have the endurance to keep punching for all twelve rounds. It doesn’t matter how hard your punches are if you can only deliver one punch before you run out of gas.


Endurance training is very simple; to improve endurance, train with both intensity and duration. For example, your first endurance workout of the week should be low intensity, but long duration. The second should be high intensity, but very short duration. Alternating workout types helps cover all your bases and prepares your cardiovascular system for any challenge.

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