Limit strength: Limit strength is the maximum amount of musculoskeletal force that you can generate for one all-out effort. Commonly referred to as your maximum lift, limit strength is enhanced by training with weight that is 80-90% of your maximum, for low repetitions. Some individuals make the mistake of focusing too much effort towards improving limit strength, without consideration of explosive strength and starting strength.
Starting strength: Starting strength refers to your ability to activate as many muscle fibers as possible. You will activate fast twitch muscle fibers for explosive movements such as punching. Starting strength is best trained with ballistic lifting, using approximately 50-70% of your 1-rep maximum. Plyometrics are also excellent when training starting strength.
Explosive strength: Explosive strength is an extension of starting strength. Once the muscle fibers are activated (starting strength), your ability to keep the muscle fibers “turned on” is dependent on explosive strength. Consider the sprinter who begins a race with tremendous speed. This sprinter exhibits starting strength with his fast takeoff. If the sprinter can maintain his speed, he exhibits explosive strength. This form of strength is best trained with weights approximately 70-80% of your 1-rep maximum, along with plyometrics (complex training) and sprint drills.