Strength vs. Power: What Is The Difference and Which Should You Focus On?

Many people incorrectly use the terms strength and power interchangeably. While they are similar, they mean different things.


The critical difference between strength and power is that strength refers to overcoming resistance. In contrast, power refers to how quickly you overcome resistance. For example, lifting weights is a strength exercise, but moving weights fast is a power exercise.


While these two types of moves often overlap, it is crucial to recognize the difference when deciding how often to focus on each one. Most athletes need to incorporate some level of strength and power moves into their exercise regimen to meet their goals.

What is Strength?

Strength refers to how much force you can generate. The more force you can generate, the stronger you are and the more weight you can lift.


Strength training does not consider how fast you can generate force (or lift weight). It measures only how much weight you can lift in any rep or set.

Strength Training

Strength training is essential to any well-rounded workout plan. Anytime you see someone lifting weights slowly, whether they are squatting, deadlifting, or benching, they are strength training. If they are lifting with rapid movement, they are likely power training.

Benefits of Strength Training

There are many benefits to strength training regularly. Strength training improves your quality of life by enhancing your balance, coordination, and ability to lift and move things. It can even improve your posture if you spend most of your time sitting in a chair.


Strength training is also crucial for maintaining your health. Regular strength training strengthens your bones and even makes it less likely that you will fracture your hips, spine, and wrists.


Strength training is also an excellent way to burn calories during your workout. Strength and resistance training can raise your metabolism and burn fat quickly and efficiently.

How to Strength Train

If you are new to strength training, start with the three basic strength moves: squats, deadlifts, and the bench press. You should be able to participate in each of these activities at your home or local gym.

Diet for Strength

Before you choose which foods to incorporate into your strength training diet, consider your goals. If you want to maintain your current weight but add strength, shoot for a calorie goal of 15 times your weight. For example, if you are 175 pounds, aim for 2,625 calories daily. You might want to add an additional 200 calories on days you are heavy lifting in the gym.


Once you know how many calories you should be eating, make sure you choose them wisely. You’ll need a diet that balances protein, fats, and carbs. Aim for your body weight in grams of protein (175 lbs = 175 grams), supplemented by 20% healthy fats and 20% carbs.


Avoid falling into the trap of fad diets, such as Keto. These can help you lose weight, but they are often not ideal for gaining muscle and building strength.


Always adjust your diet over time if you are not meeting your goals. You might be taking in too many or too few calories for your individual objectives, so adjust accordingly if you don’t see results.

Will Being Vegan Diminish Your Strength?

There is a lack of research about whether or not a vegan diet will hurt your strength, especially in weightlifting at the gym. Some weightlifters feel that being vegan has helped them by making them healthier overall and providing them with more energy. Others are wary of the lower protein intake in a vegan diet and feel this is harmful to their strength training.


Although we do not have studies directly focused on the matter, we can recognize that vegan diets high in protein may not diminish your strength. Plant-based options are high in protein, such as edamame, beans, lentils, nuts, and peanut butter.


Vegans should also concentrate on amino acids obtained from animal meat in typical diets. You can find these in sesame seeds, seaweed, tofu, soy protein powder, and other vegan options. You can also incorporate a protein and amino acid supplement into your everyday diet.

How To Measure Strength?

One way to measure your strength is by using a Wilks calculator. We happen to have a Wilks calculator on our site, follow this link.

Wilks uses a combination of power lifts in order to get an idea of what your overall strength he is in each lift.

Once you put all of them into the calculator it gives you a single score that’s used in Olympic style weightlifting and power competitions.

What is Power?

Power training is strength training, but faster. If you are power training, you lift weights at a faster speed. This activates different parts of your muscles than regular strength training.


In essence, power training allows you to apply the most strength you can in the smallest amount of time. This is beneficial for athletes who participate in sports that utilize speed, such as soccer or basketball.

Power Training

Power training is essential to your workout regimen if you want to get faster and stronger. It is best to supplement your power training with strength training to ensure continual progress over time.

Benefits of Power Training

There are many benefits to incorporating power training into your workout. If you play a team or other competitive sport, speed is often a crucial part of success. Power training helps you increase your speed and access your strength much faster. 


Power training can reduce your risk of ijfnjury by strengthening your muscles and improving your overall balance and coordination. Because of the sudden movements involved in power training, these exercises can also enhance your impact absorption, making you less susceptible to impact-related injuries. These benefits are especially evident in older individuals.


Power training will also help you improve your strength training. If you are someone who already spends a good amount of gym time focusing on lifting heavy weights, you’ll benefit from adding in a power move or two. This will improve your overall strength, eventually allowing you to lift even heavier.

How to Power Train

The most important thing to remember when power training is that you should be focused on speed instead of weight. When completing your power training moves, you should use the highest amount of weight that allows you to move quickly with good form. You need to lower the weight if you cannot complete each exercise at high speed.


Focus on the intensity and volume of your workouts when training for power. You want to work at various intensities throughout the week. While lower intensity, faster workouts are great for some days, more intense higher volume workouts can help you see better results.


Incorporate plyometrics into your workout to improve your power. These moves are popular in the CrossFit gym, but you can do them at home, or anywhere you have space. Sprints, burpees, or box jumps are popular options for improving your power.


There are also weightlifting moves that focus on power over strength. The snatch and the clean & jerk are some of the most effective power moves you can do at the gym are the snatch and the clean & jerk. Take a look at the Olympic lifts for more ideas because many of these are power-focused.


Practice your form and technique before jumping into Olympic or other power lifts. Power moves involve quick movement of the weight, which can result in injury if you are not careful. Always start with less weight than you think you can handle until you perfect your form in each move.

Diet For Power

Dieting for power is similar to dieting for strength training, focusing on high protein foods, healthy fats, and complex carbs. It is best to spread your meals throughout the day instead of eating a few larger meals in two or three sittings.


Like the diet we described above for strength training, concentrate on getting as many grams of protein as pounds you weigh. You can use the same calorie guidelines (15 x Your body weight) to calculate your ideal daily calories. Don’t forget to add an additional 200 calories on the days you lift in the gym.


There are many great protein sources to easily incorporate into your daily diets, such as chicken, red meat, fish, turkey, and low-fat dairy. Keep your diet varied by choosing different sources of protein every day.


Make sure you are eating enough carbs to fuel your powerful lifts at the gym. High-quality carbs like whole-grain bread, baked potatoes, and green vegetables give you the energy you need to keep improving your power lifts.

Will Being Vegan Diminish Your Power?

As mentioned in the above section on strength training, there is little research about weightlifting and vegan diets. However, no evidence suggests vegan diets are inherently detrimental to your power if you meet all your dietary needs.


Be sure to incorporate adequate protein and amino acids into your diet. You can find protein in many plant-based products, such as nuts, beans, and edamame. You will also need to seek out sources of amino acids, such as sesame seeds and tofu.


If you are unsure about getting all the protein and amino acids you need from your vegan diet, consider adding a daily supplement. There are many supplements available that can provide these essential nutrients.

Is Strength or Power More Important?

It is difficult to say if strength or power is more important because it depends on your personal goals and activities. Strength and power training each have advantages that will benefit athletes differently.


If you are a competitive athlete that competes in a sport that requires high speed, power is likely more important for you. If you are required to use your strength quickly, you will benefit from focusing on power training. Most team sports fall into this category, such as soccer, football, field hockey, and other running-intensive sports.


Suppose you are a weightlifter, powerlifter, or otherwise focused solely on how much weight you can lift. In that case, strength training is likely more important for you. Strength training will help you lift the most you can in each rep without worrying about how fast you can get it done. However, some power training will improve your overall strength training.


For the average person not participating in competitive sports, it is most beneficial to incorporate strength and power training into their regular workout routines. This will ensure that you are achieving well-rounded fitness that will benefit you in your daily life. 


A routine that incorporates strength and power training will help you reach your fitness goals faster, improve your quality of life, and reduce the likelihood of injury.

Can You Train for Both Strength and Power?

You can (and should) train for both strength and power in your regular workout routine. Strength and power training are essential to a well-rounded workout plan and will help you meet your goals. You can focus primarily on whichever type of training is most relevant to your personal goals, but try not to completely eliminate one or the other.


You can incorporate both types of workouts into each day at the gym or develop a plan that focuses on strength one day and power the next. If you decide that one type of workout is better for you or more relevant to your fitness goals, plan to incorporate more of that type into your weekly routine.


Concentrate on lifting heavier on your strength days. Moving slowly helps you lift heavier without risk of injury. Because you are not concerned with speed, you can take your time to focus and lift the maximum amount of weight with each move.


Aim for smaller weight limits on your power moves. Lowering your weight will allow you to move quickly through the motions and maintain speed throughout the exercise. You can also complete more reps at a higher speed without hurting yourself.


Whether focusing on strength or power, choosing the proper weight limits and maintaining good form throughout your exercise is essential. Failure to do so can result in serious injury, especially on power days when you move the weights around quickly.


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Jason Hughes
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