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Five Components of Fitness: Muscular Strength

written by: Summer Banks • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 10/7/2010

The muscles of the body are the root of all calorie burn and physical fitness. The strength of these muscles is quickly becoming a major focus of fitness gurus.

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    Physical fitness is comprised of five components. These five components include cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, body composition and flexibility. Muscular strength is the muscles ability to exert force during physical activity and fitness.

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    Building Muscular Strength

    It is important to build muscular strength in order to increase overall body fitness. In recent years, more focus has been placed on the importance of muscular strength and weight training exercises as a part of a balanced fitness routine. When seeking to build muscular strength, there is only one real way to build muscle and muscular strength and that is to work the muscle.

    When choosing the method of exercise, weight training can take on various forms. Two common styles of weight training are resistance training and weight bearing exercises.

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    Resistance Training and Muscular Strength

    Resistance training can be used to build muscular strength. There are various forms of resistance training including, weight training, hydraulic fitness machines, banding exercises and water exercises. Each of these exercises helps to build muscular strength by tearing the muscle. Small muscle tears are at the heart of muscular strength. As the body repairs the small tears in the muscle, often one of the causes of pain after physical exertion, the muscle grows larger and stronger.

    Depending on the level of fitness and physical strength before starting the fitness program, some people may find they need to work up to weight lifting as a part of their resistance training. Weight lifting, or strength training, has been shown to build stronger bones in addition to building muscular strength.

    Women often feel the weight training exercises will leave them with manly muscles. This fear could not be farther from the truth. In order to build muscles, and increase muscular strength the muscle needs to physically be torn in order to heal stronger. These small tears occur with weight training exercises. Men and women who choose to be body builders, and therefore increase muscle mass, do not simply tear and repair the muscle, they feed the muscle in a much more focused manner than a traditional fitness regimen would entail.

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    The Importance of Overall Body Muscular Strength

    As a fitness component, muscular strength is probably one of the most important because of the total body change it can produce. The stronger the muscles of the body are, and the more muscle built on the body frame, the more calories the body will burn at rest. In addition to a calorie burn, weight training also helps to increase bone mass which is beneficial to women during pre-menopause and menopause.

Five Components of Fitness

The five components of fitness are cardiorespiratory endurance, muscle endurance, muscle strength, flexibility and body composition.
  1. Five Components of Fitness: Cardiorespiratory Endurance
  2. Five Components of Fitness: Muscular Strength
  3. Five Components of Fitness: Muscular Endurance
  4. Five Components of Fitness: Flexibility
  5. Five Components of Fitness: Body Composition