Strength is the ability of the muscle to exert a force against a load.
Types of strength
- Static strength is exerting force on an object without moving it. This is useful for arm wrestling, scrums in rugby and some types of weight-lifting and training
- Dynamic strength is applying force repeatedly. This is useful in sports like boxing, martial arts and cycling.
Strength is the pre-cursor to power, the stronger you are, the more power you can exert.
Power is the ability to exert a large force quickly - (Force x Distance) ÷ Time = Power
Resistance training and plyometric training are good at building power. An athlete can be very strong but lack the speed to exert that power quickly.
Building strength and power is a long-term process and you should avoid over-exertion as this can lead to injury.
Free Weights vs Machines
Weight training machines are handy as you don't need a spotter when lifting heavy loads, they are quite safe and there is a good level of control on the range of movement.
However controlling the range of movement can be a negative as they don't train the your stabiliser muscles (muscles used to support your body)
Free weights are generally better as you can control your movements, train desired muscles groups as well as stabiliser muscles. So when training try to incorporate both types of strength training with a majority focused on free weights.