Though interchangeable in everyday gym language strength, stamina and endurance are different. Know more about these terms and how to enhance them to achieve your fitness goals.

Weight-training programs often focus on boosting three related muscular attributes: strength, stamina and endurance. Though related, these are distinct concepts.

Strength is the quality to withstand pressure and resistance, in sports provided by external forces like dumbbells, barbells. Strength training provides significant functional benefits, like improvement in overall health, wellbeing which includes gains in bone mass, muscle size, improvements in joint function and lowered potential for injury. The common technique used in building strength is progressive overload, where the muscles are gradually exposed to incremental weight increases. It is primarily an anaerobic activity.

Stamina is the ability to sustain a physical activity in the long run.  All sports require some degree of stamina because the fitter you are physically easier it is to stay focused mentally.

The term “endurance” refers to cardiorespiratory fitness. It is the ability of your heart and lungs to supply oxygen-rich blood to the muscle tissues in action and the ability of the muscles to produce energy for the movement. Endurance decides how long can you jog, cycle or swim because you do not need a lot of muscle strength for these activities, but you do require a robust oxygen delivery system.

Any move to enhance strength, stamina or endurance doesn’t work in a silo. Its effect spills over to other two. For example, while strength training can be used to increase both strength and endurance, endurance training is effective at increasing stamina, strength and endurance.

6.     Cut carbs. It can have cardio rewards, according to the European Journal of Applied Physiology. “Training with lower glycogen reserves forces muscle adaptation,” says Joe Beer, author of Need to Know Triathlon. Reducing your carb intake from 300g to 200g a day for two to three days before intense sessions make your body 25 percent more efficient at using fuel and oxygen. But make sure you re-stock on carbs after that.

7.       Live clean. Eat well and rest enough to allow your body to recuperate after exercise sessions. While everyone’s sleep needs are different, the National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults.

Supercharge your strength, stamina and endurance and you will notice a difference in your fitness quotient.

1.     Progressive Overload believes in challenging muscles with a greater stimulus to coax muscles to grow stronger and heavier. When muscles are challenged repeatedly they adapt by growing bigger. Minor adaptations, when achieved consistently, will lead to huge results over time.

2.     Rest-Pause training. Choose a weight that is 85 to 95 percent of the maximum weight you can perform a rep with. Perform a rep with this reduced weight. Rest for 30 to 45 seconds. Unlike a standard powerlifting routine where you do low reps (1-3 reps) for several sets with long rest periods (3-5 minutes), rest-pause training requires you to take 10-15 second breaks between each set. You’re basically taking a short break between each rep in order to use the maximum amount of weight.

3.     Gradual progression. Any attempt to improve your stamina through exercise should be approached gradually. Set simple but realistic goals to achieve these goals, like first running 1 km., then, in two weeks, 2 kilometers (1.2 mi), then 5 kilometers (3.1 mi), and finally 10 kilometers (6.2 mi). Celebrate each milestone you reach as an achievement. Build up: Don’t give up!

4.      Reduce rest periods to build stamina and to recover faster.   The concept behind shortening of rest periods is to enable your body to exert maximum strength when not fully recovered. The continuous training under such condition will help retain your muscle strain with early recovery and thus enhance your stamina to the maximum level.

5.    Do breathing exercises to enhance your cardio-respiratory fitness. Just two minutes of breathing exercises five times a day can increase your lung capacity by 10 percent in 12 weeks, research at La Salle University in the US found. Inhale through your nose for three seconds, squeeze down through your diaphragm for two, and then exhale forcefully for three.