How to Get Strong – The Science of Strength

In an earlier post, The Components of Physical Fitness, I divided physical fitness into it’s component parts and provided a brief introduction of each part.

In today’s post, I am going to focus on muscular strength…or as Google likes to say…how to get strong, how to get stronger, how to get brutally strong, how to get freaky strong, etc, etc, etc.

And if you plan on getting freaky strong, you’re going to need to understand the whys and hows behind getting strong. And those whys and hows are all based in science.

So….we’re going to look at some of that science to help you figure out how to maximize your own personal levels of “strong”.

Intro to Muscular Strength

How strong you are (and how strong you could be) depends on the performance of your body’s skeletal muscles.

Your body’s muscles are highly adaptable. They will react to the stresses that you place upon them.

  • Sit on the couch and they will atrophy.
  • Try and run fast and they adapt to produce faster contractions.
  • Lift heavy objects and they will increase their ability to produce maximum strength.

Muscular Strength can and has been categorized in a variety of different ways. In this article, I am choosing to divide Muscular Strength into four categories, based primarily on Newton’s Second Law.

vec F = m vec a (force is equal to the product of mass and acceleration.) Mass relates to how much weight/mass a muscle or muscle group can move. Acceleration relates to how fast that weight/mass is moved.

By using and manipulating force, mass and acceleration, we can force our muscles to adapt and become more efficient at generating…

4 Types of Muscular Strength

  • Maximum Muscular Strength
  • Maximum Muscular Power
  • Maximum Muscular Speed
  • Maximum Muscular Endurance

NOTE – Each of these categories has different characteristics with regard to mass and acceleration


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  1. Peter,

    Thanks for the comment.

    Blogging is still new to me. I hope that what makes complete sense to me in my head, makes sense after I have put it into print.

    Your feedback is appreciated.

  2. […] TrainingBy DR on May 9, 2008 ShareDigg DiggIn my post, Muscular Strength made simple, I introduced you to some of the theory behind the different types of muscular […]

  3. Great blog and very interesting to read how the muscle structures are stressed in order to produce results

    Thanks from Glasgow, Scotland


  4. Love this blog post! I’ve had the oppportunity to train pro athletes and it’s amazing how different phases can target all of these components to get maximum results. Do you these components in phases or do you concentrate the training to fit the performance? I have found that without all of the above components an athlete can only go so far… thoughts?

  5. The conclusions may be correct, but the basis for the analysis is in error. The acceleration term in Newton’s second law is due to gravity, and it is constant. Secondly, Force is not proportional to 1/velocity like fig 1 illustrates. Force is directly proportional to the change in velocity over time .. F = m*a = m* d(V)/(d)time
    This is poor science.

  6. […] How to Get Strong – The Science of Strength – Health Habits. […]

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