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Strength vs. Power - what's the difference?

Published: 14 Feb 2008 - 09:37 by mike

Updated: 24 Sep 2008 - 17:36

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I just read this line in the Squash library (under squash fitness)

"Power training is recommended in the off season or in-between seasons since power together with strength training tend to make players slow as they gain more muscle bulk."


What's the difference between strength and power?

The bit about muscle bulk makes me think "strength" is more endurance and less total-weight related.

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From raystrach - 18 Apr 2008 - 15:23   -   Updated: 18 Apr 2008 - 15:44

had reason to revisit this post. i thought i had replied but i must had done it in my dreams.

power = strength x speed

strength involves muscle mass, speed  mainly involves the types of fibres which are in the muscles (ie fast twitch and slow twitch). although speed is to some extent heriditary, speed can be trained. however, weight training alone will not increase speed and may hinder it if it is not done with extra flexibility and agility training.  

sprinters do specific weight and speed training.  when is the last time you saw a scrawny sprinter?

strength is usually tested by one exertion (eg 1 lift - totally anaerobic) (nothing to do with endurance) (body builders are probably strong but probably lack the sports oriented attributes of speed, endurance, agility etc etc)

what some might be confused by is muscular endurance which is the ability of certain muscles to repeat an effort - again this can be trained quite specifically

the last one is speed endurance whcih can also be developed specifically and usually involves repeat speed sets (anearobic and aerobic)

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From dazza_16390 - 26 Feb 2008 - 06:50

Power is seen as a burst of energy

Strength is seen as a consistent, spread-out release of energy


Hope this helps

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From Stonehands - 16 Feb 2008 - 02:34

Strength vs Power

For car guys, I think a good analogy here would be like a car - "power" would be best compared to a car's "horsepower" and "strength" would be compared to the car's "torque."


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From rippa rit - 15 Feb 2008 - 07:50   -   Updated: 15 Feb 2008 - 08:03

Mike the short sharp sprints will train the quick twitch muscles and increase your speed of acceleration.

If you do this, say, and you are still slow off the mark, there is a need to look at other things about the court movement.  So, ghosting can then be helpful as you can get the sprint workout, as well as the aerobic/anaerobic workout, as well as the squash specific movement, all in one bundle.

Go for it.


PS - Ghosting using your racket of course, placing three or four balls on court in various positions, to make it as realistic as possible to a game, and paying attention to your footwork, preparation, swing, balance, and recovery to the T.

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From mike - 14 Feb 2008 - 22:47

jbs - yeah that is how I think of power training as well. The big twitch muscles that peform fast explosive movements like suddenly kicking a whale.


After tonight I think I lack strength/endurance more than power. I did play 10 games though.

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From hamburglar - 14 Feb 2008 - 21:27

it depends how you define strength. technically speaking, most people consider strength as how much force/energy you can apply, like doing a benchpress. There is a fixed energy value associated with lifting the weight from height A to height B. Power is a measure of energy over time, like wattage. Someone who lifts the weight from A to B expends the same amount of energy, but if they do it more quickly, they exhibited greater power. You can also imagine someone lifting a lighter weight, but exerting more power because they do it so quickly.

I usually think of power training as plyometrics, where you do explosive jumps and leaping.

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From mike - 14 Feb 2008 - 14:14   -   Updated: 14 Feb 2008 - 22:43

I understand.

Seems to me as though power is most relevant for the lower body to be able to harness big acceleration when necessary to get to impossible balls.  The upperbody on the other hand only needs to move 150 odd grams of racket and the impact of the ball so Strength and endurance would be more important most of the time.

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From rippa rit - 14 Feb 2008 - 13:12   -   Updated: 14 Feb 2008 - 13:17

For squash that is why the slow long heavy work is for the off-season and the quick speed work is for the pre-competition season, leading to a greater percentage of squash training on court for the competition season.

The quick twitch muscle training is to assist the take off, the first couple of steps of acceleration, as required in a squash match.   The endurance in the muscle is for the long hard slogs, so you don't end up with cramps, injury etc.

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From paul01323 - 14 Feb 2008 - 09:48

You've got it pretty much spot on, power is something you create through movement and is influenced by certain things like speed, acceleration, weight. Strength is the raw ability to push, pull, lift etc.


Muscles contain fast twitch and slow twitch fibres, training purely for strength will only increase the slow twitch fibres which isn't very helpfull for creating power.

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From aprice1985 - 14 Feb 2008 - 09:41

I would personally think of power as being an explosive action, relating to acceleration of a limb/joint whereas strength would be sheer lifting ability such as how much you can benchpress etc.  However i can see how they would link together as i think i get more power through having done more strength traning.

I personally dont get how muscle bulk will nessecarily make you slower, legs with lots of muscle will push you faster, maybe if you have massive weightlifter arms it would.

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