is the ability of a person or animal to exert force
on physical objects using muscles
. Increasing physical strength is the goal of strength training
Relation to muscle types
An individual's physical strength is determined by two factors; their genetic
inheritance of muscle fiber types and their degree and type of physical activity (e.g. strength training) they may undertake. Individuals with a high proportion of type I
slow twitch fibers will be relatively weaker than a similar individual with a high proportion of Muscle type II
fast twitch fibers, but would have a greater inherent capacity for physical endurance. The genetic inheritance of muscle fiber type sets the outermost boundaries of physical strength possible (barring the use of enhancing agents such as testosterone), though the unique position within this envelope is determined by training. Individual muscle fiber ratios can be determined through a muscle biopsy. Other considerations are the ability to recruit muscle fibers for a particular activity, joint angles, and the length of each limb. For a given cross-section, shorter limbs are able to lift more weight. The ability to gain muscle also varies person to person, based mainly upon genes dictating the amounts of hormones secreted, but also on sex, age, health of the person, and adequate nutrients in the diet.