How to train for optimal endurance
Endurance is the body’s ability to continue a certain exercise or activity for an extended period of time. The better an athlete’s endurance is, the more reps they can lift or miles they can run. This endurance is not typically something that we naturally have. It takes extensive and consistent training to build up endurance over time.
Endurance training builds cardiovascular and muscular strength
Endurance training, simply put, is any type of exercise that helps to improve your ability to sustain physical activity for a longer period of time. Building endurance can look different from person to person, depending on individual fitness goals and workout plans. For example, athletes training for marathons or participating in aerobic endurance based sports like swimming will likely focus their training on improving their ability to run or swim longer. For others who are just looking to improve their overall health, jogging or moderate intensity cycling might be just enough to get the heart pumping.
Endurance training is more than just running on a treadmill
Though endurance is typically associated with aerobic cardiovascular exercise (or cardio), there are actually several different types of endurance:
Cardiovascular aerobic endurance training
This type of endurance is associated with the body’s ability to pump oxygenated blood to the heart and muscles. Improving cardiovascular endurance will help you exercise at a moderate intensity for an extended period of time. Typical cardiovascular endurance exercises can include long distance running or cycling.
Cardiovascular endurance is for everyone – not just triathletes or marathon runners. Regular cardio is great for the overall health of your heart, one of the most vital organs of the body. It is also helpful in improving blood pressure and lowering cholesterol. Overall, cardiovascular endurance training can help you feel your best, no matter what your fitness level is.
Anaerobic endurance training
While cardiovascular aerobic endurance training improves your ability to sustain exercise over longer periods of time, anaerobic endurance is the body’s ability to complete short-burst, high intensity exercises. Anaerobic endurance training helps to build muscle and power by converting glucose, rather than oxygen, into energy.
Muscular endurance training
Just like cardio endurance training improves your ability to pump oxygenated blood through your system for longer periods of time, muscular endurance training helps your muscles contract more times and under more pressure.
Depending on your fitness goals, this could mean lifting more weights, doing more squats, or getting in one more rep. This type of exercise can also help to improve your aerobic endurance, posture, and overall stamina.
Working with a personal trainer can help you safely train your muscular endurance. Trainers can also help you measure your improvements and track your progress!
Follow these six key tips to achieve your optimal endurance
Make sure to fuel your body
Because endurance exercises require you to work out over an extended period of time, it is essential to give your body what it needs to sustain this. Make sure to eat a healthy, protein rich, high carb snack before your workout.Drinking plenty of water before and during your workout will help to prevent cramps and keep you performing at your best!
Warm up and stretch before starting your endurance workout
To avoid injuries, make sure your body is adequately warmed up before you begin exercising. Start with a walk or gentle movements to get your blood pumping. At Shock Fitness, we recommend a dynamic warmup before your workouts. Dynamic warmups include a series of dynamic, rather than static, stretches and body-weight exercises like lunges and squats.
While static stretching is great for improving range of motion, this type of stretching is not ideal before a workout as it does not help to warm up your muscles.
Try different types of endurance exercises to find what works for you
The type of endurance exercises you choose will depend on your specific fitness goals and your current fitness level. We recommend working aerobic, anaerobic, and muscular endurance training into your workouts to help you reach your optimal results.
When it comes to specific exercises, it is important to find what works for you! For example, many people do not enjoy running on a treadmill for their cardio workouts. Instead, you could try cycling, rowing, or even jump rope! You are more likely to follow through with your workout plan if you are enjoying it.
Add strength training to your workout plan
Strength training can be easily overlooked by endurance athletes or casual exercisers who are just looking to stay active. However, strength training can drastically increase your power and range of motion. Incorporating strength-based exercises into your workout routine will help combat the risk of injury during endurance training. Strength training also improves balance, reducing the risk of falls.
If you are new to strength training and aren’t sure where to start, get in touch with the Shock Fitness team. We can help create a customized workout plan suited to your unique needs.
Increase the difficulty of your workouts over time.
Endurance training is a slow burn. In order to improve your body’s ability to push itself, increase the difficulty of your workouts slightly when they begin to feel easier. This could mean running a little further or completing an extra repetition of an exercise. Each time you increase the difficulty of your workout, you will help your body build muscle and endurance. Making small adjustments to your workouts is also easier on your body than large leaps in difficulty.
Like with anything, consistency is key when it comes to endurance training. Find a schedule that works for you and stick with it. This doesn’t mean you have to work on your endurance every single day, but committing to a schedule and monitoring your progress is the best way to see results.