Three Kinds of Strength

Three Kinds of Strength
by Jesse de la Cruz

I have a great interest in fitness and bodybuilding. I always convey to people that if you go to the gym, work hard in order to change and challenge your body with resistance exercise and strength training, you are bodybuilding. I can only imagine the number of times I have been asked at the gym how strong I am. Generally, the answer to that question is “enough to make my muscles grow.”

In this blog entry I will tackle the concept of strength for you to have proper understanding of what strength really is. Although there are many types of strength, there are only 3 kinds of muscle strength. These are concentric strength, eccentric strength and static strength.

Static strength involves contracting a muscle in a fixed spot and holding the contraction or contracting against an immovable force, so long as the muscle is not lengthening or shortening – “fixed position”.

Eccentric strength is strength measured when a muscle is stretching with resistance as in lowering a weight from a contracted position. The term we use to describe this position in the muscular strength community is the “negative”.

Finally, concentric strength is what we all commonly think when we think of strength. It involves a muscle contracting or shortening with resistance. Example: curling part of a bicep. Concentric strength is considered the weakest of applied strength, while static stress is twenty percent greater than concentric strength and eccentric strength is forty percent greater than concentric strength.

It is also important to keep in mind that, like muscle growth, strength is closely correlated to the cross-sectional area of the muscle fibers. Strength does indeed correlate with factors such as biomechanical and structural leverage advantages as well as tendon thickness and length. Unfortunately, we cannot alter the biomechanics of our body; genetics deal you the equipment you are stuck with. But, creating a denser stronger, larger muscle fiber is something most fitness and bodybuilding athletes seek and can control. Fortunately, most strength training protocols are designed to accomplish this goal. Stay in touch for blog entries to come!

In the mean time stay strong, and always “stay positive”.

Jesse de la Cruz

About the Author

Jesse de la Cruz is a Registered Nurse with a minor in Nutrition.  He is also a National Level Bodybuilder whose passion is to help others achieve their fitness goals via weight training, cardiovascular exercise and good nutrition.