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The Difference Between Endurance and Stamina

At RxFIT, we believe there are 10 physical traits to fitness. The more competentant you are across these ten skills, the fitter you are.

Stamina and endurance makeup two of these skills. But what’s the difference between the two?

Stamina is the ability to continue to work at a near maximum capacity. In a workout, having great stamina would allow you to hold on to big sets with minimal rest.

Endurance is the ability to continue to work consistently at a lower capacity. Someone who can keep running without stopping, regardless of the speed, is an athlete with great endurance.

An example would be if I asked you to do 200 push-ups for time.

An athlete with great stamina would do 20 sets of 10 push-ups. They would finish their 200 push-ups totally spent, probably around the 4-minute mark. If asked to do 10 more push-ups, they probably couldn’t.

An athlete with great endurance would do 100 sets of 2 push-ups. They would finish around the 7-minute mark, but would be able to do 200 more push-ups if asked.

The difference, therefore, is intensity. Stamina is the ability to hold high-levels of intensity for long periods of time. Endurance is the ability to hold low-levels of intensity for even longer periods of time.

Both are components of fitness; one is not more important than the other. You need to develop both.


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