Do you know the difference?
Both Strength and Endurance training are important components to your workout plan. It is important to diversify your rep counts, weight choices, types of movements, etc. to achieve results. Of course, depending on your goals, you may do MORE strength if you’re trying to gain muscle mass or you may do MORE endurance if you’re focused on toning and lengthening, however, both work HAND IN HAND to achieving your overall fitness goals!
One common error I see is people picking up the SAME WEIGHT for both endurance and strength focused moves. Let’s take a squat for example. If your workout calls for 10+ reps, you are working endurance. If it is less than 10 reps, you are more than likely focusing on strength. While it is the SAME MOVE, each workout would require you to use DIFFERENT weight selections. The endurance workout would use lighter weights and the strength heavier.
Now as you’re reading that you’re probably thinking “NO KIDDING, ASHLEY”, but trust me when I say that I see people go for the same weights no matter the workout ALL. THE. TIME. I’ve spent a lot of time asking myself “But, why?” and I think I have found an answer. We are getting too comfortable.
The goal of your training should be to get STRONGER, not to train at one weight choice that is easy or comfortable. Think about when you started – the weight you started with was probably difficult. But over time, the more you exercised and familiarized yourself with the moves, your muscles got stronger and/or USED TO that weight choice, and it got easier. While yes, that is a great thing – you’re getting stronger, don’t sell yourself short. Why stop your goal there when you can keep getting better? The moment a weight feels comfortable or easy, you’re not done! That is the time to press in and go heavier! It means you’re achieving RESULTS, but eventually you will hit a plateau if you don’t continue challenging your body. As your body gets stronger and changes, so should your workouts in order to continue to progress and see more results. If you’re still grabbing for the same weights that you started with 6-8 months ago, you’re probably not challenging yourself enough.
At the end of the day, it comes down to being CONFIDENT. It is scary grabbing heavy weights that at one time might have seemed impossible for you. It’s easy to think that you can’t handle it, because maybe when you started you couldn’t. But the truth is, as you grow, you CAN handle those heavier weights. Worst case, if it doesn’t work out, you can always go back to the other weight choice! But no matter what, your last 2-3 reps should be challenging to complete otherwise you need to UP THAT WEIGHT, BABY!