What’s the difference between stamina and endurance?
Most people think they’re two names for the same thing, but that’s inaccurate.
First, let’s define endurance in simple terms; Endurance is the ability to do something for an extended period of time. Marathon runners are endurance athletes. 100-meter sprinters are not.
What about stamina?
Stamina is the ability to do something for an extended period of time comfortably.
Endurance is nothing more than finishing the task.
Point A to point B.
Stamina is how much of that job you can do easily.
Think of it like this; a marathon is 26.2 miles; that’s the task. The portion of that race you can complete comfortably while achieving your goals indicates your stamina.
The reason it’s important to make the distinction between the two is because stamina is what most of us want from our training.
What does that look like in everyday life?
The ability to play soccer in the backyard enjoyably and comfortably with your kids.
The ability to get up and down from the floor to play with the puppy or clean the house.
The ability to take your family hiking over the weekend without needing to train for weeks to handle the strain.
Stamina is at the core of practical fitness.
Well, what is practical fitness?
Practical fitness is everything you need and nothing you don’t in order to have physical freedom and a life well lived.
It’s having the necessary physical capacity to live the life you want without fear of your body giving out on you or punishing you later.
Practical fitness is what 95% of the people who go to the gym want.
It’s recognizing that there’s such a thing as enough strength, enough endurance, enough flexibility, and pursuing more for the sake of having it won’t improve your life.
We know the difference between endurance and stamina. Endurance is to get the job done, and stamina is how much of the job is done comfortably.
We also know that practical fitness is everything you need and nothing you don’t in order to have physical freedom.
How do they come together?
If you know exactly what you want from your fitness, it’s easy to determine what you need to do and what will be a waste of time.
If you want to hike with your family, squatting 400lbs won’t make that any easier than if you squat 225#.
Just like having the stamina to hike 40 miles comfortably won’t appreciably improve your experience of a 5-mile hike with your kids.
On paper, these seem like blatantly obvious observations, but they aren’t when you’re in the thick of it. When you’re the one chasing a goal, it’s easy to get tunnel vision and assume if some is good, more must be better.