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Strength Training Vs Endurance Training
Lets take Bicep Curls as an example...
First we determine what your 1RM is. 1RM means "One Repetition Maximum", meaning the maximum amount you can lift and only do 1 rep.
So in the example of Bicep Curls lets say you can lift a maximum of 50 lbs with one arm and then you have to stop and catch your breath.
With Strength Training what you would then do is calculate what is 75% of that and do bicep curls for 5 sets with 5 repetitions each set. Do that three days per week for 3 weeks and then calculate 80% of 1RM and do the same thing for another 3 weeks. Then 85% of your 1RM for 3 weeks and eventually 90% for 1 RM for 3 weeks.
After you're done all 12 weeks then you recalculate your new 1RM, and start back again at 75%, repeating the same cycle every 12 weeks.
Note: To be fair you're not meant to be doing only Bicep Curls. You should be doing sets like this for Squats, Stationary Lunges, Modified Deadlifts, Calf Raises, Upright Rows, Bench Presses, Pullovers, Bent-Over Rows, Military Presses, Preacher Curls and Tricep Curls. The end result is a full body workout.
It also means you will need to determine your 1RM for each machine at the gym, write it all down in a journal and then recalculate your 1RM every 12 weeks of your Strength Training program.
Lets say however that you weren't trying to build strength so much however and you were more worried about endurance...
Here is what you would do instead.
#1. Calculate your 1RM like you would above, but when choosing the amount of weight to be using you instead calculate it to be 50% of your 1RM.
#2. Instead of doing 5 sets of 5 repetitions, you are instead doing 5 sets of 10 repetitions.
#3. You train 4 days per week instead of 3 days.
#4. After 3 weeks of training you don't change the amount of weight you are lifting, instead you increase the number of repetitions to 5 sets of 15. Three weeks later it becomes 5 sets of 20. Then 5 sets of 25.
#5. After the 12 weeks is over you recalculate your new 1RM and start over again with 5 sets of 10 repetitions.
With Endurance Training you are still building strength at the same time, but the focus is on increasing your ability to lift many multiple times without tiring so easily. Endurance training is also safer because it builds up your cardiovascular heart and lung muscles more in a similar way to Cardio training.
When Sprinters train out on the track they might only be running 100 meters at a time, and they stop and rest and when they're ready again they will sprint the 100 meters again. They might do that maybe 20 times on a training day. If they can sprint the 100 in 10 seconds their total exercise time might only be 200 seconds of actual sprinting, but they have spaced it out so they have plenty of time to rest in between sprints.
As such Sprinters typically look strong and quick. Marathon Runners have a strong tendency to look almost anorexic.
In contrast Marathon Runners will be out there running half or full marathons 3 or 4 times per week. Approx. 21.1 to 42.2 km. So for example they might be running 25 km four days per week.
With Marathon Runners they need to be careful to avoid going over 100 km per week because if they do they can often develop "Exercise Addiction", a condition runners are frequently prone to because of the batch of hormonal painkillers the brain releases during long runs which are highly addictive. The side effects of Exercise Addiction include insomnia, loss of appetite, headaches, anti-social behaviour, decreased libido, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (obsessive cleaning, etc). It can even lead to loss of weight / anorexia as the person can sometimes exercise so much they end up burning away muscle and brain tissue for energy. Like any other addiction it can also ruin relationships as the person will choose running over spending time with family or friends.
Even professional marathon runners avoid going over the 100 km limit due to fear of developing an addiction to "Runner's High".
We should note that Marathon Running with an Exercise Addiction is not going to increase your endurance. If the person is running that much the hormonal imbalance in their body causes them to be unable to sleep properly and regenerate muscle tissue during their sleep. Instead they will burn away muscle tissue in order to fuel their obsessive need to keep exercising.
Some Exercise Addicts are known to run 140 km or more per week and get emotionally upset if they don't go outside and run because they're so obsessed with their "Runner's High".
Thankfully that sort of thing doesn't really happen amongst Strength Training or Endurance Training because the focus is still on building muscle, right?
Wrong! Strength is actually prone to Exercise Addiction too. According to some bodybuilders it can even be more addictive, although it is difficult to measure if that is true or not. A warning sign of someone who addicted is their insistence that they have to go to the gym 6 or 7 days per week to work out for several hours, working out for 15 hours + per week.
What is known is that Exercise Addiction is more commonly found amongst "Power Lifters" who develop a psychological dependence on weightlifting - the heavier the weights the more addicted they can become. The psychological symptoms are the same as other Exercise Addictions. It doesn't matter that it is weightlifting instead of running. It is still addictive and dangerous to their mental health.
Worse, Power Lifters are also more likely to use Steroids. Increasing their psychological addiction with a drug addiction that will damage their internal organs. There is a lot of information out there available on this topic if you want to Google the words powerlifting steroids addiction.
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