“WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STAMINA VS ENDURANCE?”
I got asked this question on my Instagram Stamina vs Endurance, a common question asked by many, and yet, one with no simple answer. But I’ll give it a try.
THE MEANING OF STAMINA.
This is the easy part. Stamina is a person’s ability to break down stored energy, like fat or glycogen and deliver that energy to the muscles. Fueling the physical activity they are currently doing, also known as “Muscular Endurance.”
THE MEANING OF ENDURANCE.
The word and meaning of “Endurance” is where all the confusion comes in. People around the world refer to anyone who can do a physical activity for extended periods, as someone with great Stamina or Endurance. Both words are used so broadly.
When in reality, Stamina is the only word that is dedicated to physical activity. But Endurance can mean a lot more, endurance refers to anything or anyone that can last, exists or persist for a long time.
“The cities endurance was tested to the utmost during the war.”
It can also mean other aspects of a person, like Mental Endurance or Emotional Endurance. Poker players have high Mental Endurance. They can play for hours on end whilst remaining sharp enough to calculate the odds of each hand and continue to read their opponents during the game. But how many of them could run or swim more than 1 km without stopping for a breather?
Endurance could also be referred to as one’s ability to withstand pain or hardship. Someone having a run of bad luck. Going through a divorce, death of a family member, collapsing business, financial pressure, but still able to keep it together. This person could be referred to as having exceptional “Emotional Endurance.” But you would not say “They have great Emotional Stamina.”
There is even Endurance Racing, which is a form of motorsport. It tests the Endurance of the car and its ability to be driven around a track for 24 hours continuously. It tests the Endurance of all parts of the car as well as the drivers, usually a team of 4.
So the word Endurance is so broad and does not directly mean anything on its own in the Health & Fitness world. If you look at the 10 Components of Fitness, you will see Stamina there but not Endurance. Not the word on its own anyway. You will see Muscular Endurance, which is Stamina and Cardiovascular Endurance.
What is Cardiovascular Endurance?
Cardiovascular Endurance is your heart and lungs abilities to oxygenate the blood and deliver it around the body, specifically to the muscles doing the work.
If Stamina is known as “Muscular Endurance”, then perhaps Endurance can be just a short way to say “Cardiovascular Endurance”. Both these two components of fitness are what makes up one’s ability to do physical activity for long periods.
Soooo, What is the difference between Stamina vs Endurance?
In my mind asking what the difference is between Stamina and Endurance is like saying What’s the difference between the “Colour Red” (Stamina) and the Word “Colour.” (Endurance)
But if anyone asks, you could tell them that Stamina means specifically and only “Muscular Endurance”. But Endurance can mean Muscular Endurance, Cardiovascular Endurance, Mental Endurance and Emotional Endurance etc. As well and any other aspect that someone or something would need to do something or to exist for a long time. Either through time, hardship or an activity.
Anyway, I hope that clears up what the difference is between Endurance and Stamina. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
Krix Luther is a Health and Fitness Specialist and one of Asia’s leading Personal Trainers. He is an Ex Professional Muay Thai fighter and Avid Free Diver. At the same time as being a very active person he also has a passion for gaming and has his own Twitch stream. If you have any questions for him, you can contact him via his Instagram.