Stamina VS Endurance: The 7 Differences Between Each

Are you training to run a marathon?

Or looking to bulk and power up?

Maybe you’re training for another reason?

No matter the rationale, you should have a clear grasp on what stamina and endurance are to get the most out of your workouts.  Sometimes, these words are used interchangeably, but they don’t have the same meaning.

Understanding the difference between stamina vs endurance can help you better improve your conditioning skills.   

So let’s start with a few simple definitions.

What is Stamina? What is Endurance? 

First and foremost, to know the difference between stamina vs endurance, you should know the general definition of each.

Stamina describes a person’s ability to complete physical or mental tasks for a prolonged period. Specifically, it refers to a person’s ability to continue on full throttle for a lengthy time… although these tasks don’t necessarily have to be challenging or difficult.

Endurance means you can contend with a difficult or unpleasant task without giving up. Although you don’t have to be exuding your full potential the entire time with endurance workouts… your goal is to just finish.  Much of this is mental.

In terms of running and exercise, stamina describes how long you can run or perform a certain task while exerting all of your energy and pushing yourself. Stamina describes how long you can run or perform a certain task, even though you aren’t exerting all of your energy or pushing yourself to your limits. 

To help you better understand the difference, consider these scenarios:

With stamina, you may run as fast and hard as you can for 45 seconds.  On the contrary, with endurance, you may run at a moderate level, but you can do so for two minutes.

In terms of weight lifting, you may be able to bench press 200 pounds for five repetitions, while with endurance, you can bench press 150 pounds for 15 repetitions. 

Stamina VS Endurance: The 7 Differences Between Each

Although the definition of each of these words is different, they differ in other ways as well in a variety of scenarios. 

1. Training 

In terms of training, you could tackle the issue in one of two ways.

If you want to train for endurance only, you train what you can handle without pushing yourself to your limits. For example, if you’re trying to run a marathon, but it’s not a competition, you’ll want to run as often as possible.

Each time, you won’t run as quickly as you can. Instead, you’ll run at a moderate pace for a designated length of time. As you improve, you’ll continue to run at that pace but will run longer. 

If you’re training for stamina, you’ll run as fast as you can for as long as you can. You’ll continue to do this until you can run for longer and longer. While you’re building your stamina, you’ll also be increasing your endurance. You’ll be able to run longer, and you may even increase the pace you can run at in the meantime. 

2. Purpose 

As you’re training, you may want to consider the purpose of why increase endurance or stamina. Let’s use the example of running again.  

You may want to increase stamina if you plan on running a sprint. If you’re planning on running in a long distance run or marathon, you’re better off training for endurance. 

The same concept can apply to weight lifting. If you’re competing against others to see who can lift the most, you’d want to focus on increasing stamina. However, if you want to see who can complete the most repetitions, you’ll focus on increasing endurance. 

3. Calories Burnt 

When you compare stamina vs endurance, you should consider how many calories it burns if you’re interested in losing weight. 

You burn more calories when you’re pushing yourself and traveling at a higher speed. For a 200 pound person, a 30-minute run would burn 239 calories if the person ran at a speed of four miles per hour. If the person increased their speed by just one mile per hour, the person would burn 239 calories. At five miles per hour, the person would burn 369 calories. At five miles per hour, the person would burn 396 calories in the same time. A seven-mile-per-hour run for 30 minutes would burn 525 in the same person.

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When you compare stamina vs endurance, you should consider how many calories it burns if you’re interested in losing weight. 

Keep in mind that the time you run has an impact on how many calories you burn as well. Even if you ran at eight miles per hour but only ran for 10 minutes, you wouldn’t burn as many calories as you would if you run for longer at a slower speed. 

This same concept applies to cardio exercises, such as jazzercise. If you’re exercising to your full potential for only 10 minutes, you wouldn’t burn as many calories as you would if you decreased the intensity a bit and exercised for longer. 

4. Repetitions Matter

Comparing endurance and stamina in terms of lifting should take into account what helps you build more muscle because ultimately you want to exercise smartly to reach your goals.

If you’re doing more repetitions with a lighter weight, you’ll tone your muscles. You can build more muscle when you’re lifting a heavier weight but doing fewer repetitions. 

Therefore, your goals are what determine which option is best for you. 

5. Time It Takes for Improvement

If you continuously train, you’ll notice an improvement whether you train for endurance or stamina. However, an increase in stamina or endurance won’t happen in the same amount of time. And no matter which one you’re focused on, it will take time. 

6. Best Varies 

As you continuously train, you’ll notice that your best fluctuates. If you’re having an off day, tired, or are stressed, you may not be able to lift as much as you usually can. The same applies if you’re running and working on endurance rather than stamina. 

7. Gradually Increasing 

Generally speaking, you should gradually increase your endurance or stamina. You could be a risk of an injury if you try to do too much at once. Additionally, you could hinder your progress if you’re trying to lift too much, perform too many repetitions, run too fast, or run for too long.

What you gradually increase for either varies, though. With stamina, it might be your maximum weight lifted or the maximum speed you reach. When speaking about endurance, it might be how long you run. 

Final Thoughts on Stamina VS Endurance 

Whether you are looking to improve your endurance or stamina, or both, you’ll need to warm up before you start training.

The purpose of warming up is to get blood to flow to the soft tissue. During a warm-up, you also increase your heart rate slowly rather than shocking your body with an increase. In addition, a warmup can help you mentally prepare yourself to exercise. Not to mention, you stretch your muscles, so they’re more flexible. Ultimately, when you warm up, you help prevent an injury, whether you’re boosting stamina or endurance.

But how you warm up may vary based on your goals. 

Stamina and endurance are both vital aspects of a workout plan or strength training. However, as an athlete or just someone who enjoys fitness, these two concepts aren’t the same. It’s essential to understand which one is best for you based on your goals. Not to mention, it’s important to understand how to achieve better stamina or endurance because you can’t achieve them in the same manner. 

Hopefully, this article helped you to identify your goals and how to achieve them. If you’d like to learn a specific strategy to build endurance, then be sure to check out this step-by-step guide on how to start running.

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