Ramp Up Your Workout Endurance
Stamina and endurance are becoming increasingly important today than ever before. Even in the world of bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts, endurance is the key to sustaining one’s efforts so that all the gains that have been achieved so far will not be for naught.
The human body is highly adaptable. Over time, it is able to adapt to the stresses that it is exposed to. That is why you should be able to ramp up your workouts if you want to keep on reaping the benefits of such an activity. The only way you can increase the intensity, frequency, and quality of your workouts is if you have the much-needed staying power or endurance.
It is never easy to build endurance, like everything else in this world. It takes time. You don’t get that staying power overnight. It requires discipline and a fair understanding of the 5 different ways you can ramp up your workout endurance.
Slow and Steady is the Key
Everyone has to start from scratch or from the bottom. And everyone also proceeds at a rate that is specific to that person. Some can progress through the different stages of workout endurance-building rather quickly than others. Some may take longer than average.
The point is to always start with your workouts from a more comfortable level. Once the body has acclimatized to the changes that are occurring in every cell and tissue, then it’s about time to increase the level of intensity of the exercises, one step at a time. It is a very slow and painstaking process, but one that will yield highly favorable results.
First, you have to have a very clear idea about what you want to achieve. For instance, if your goal is to be able to lift a 200-lb weight, then you have to break this goal down into more tangible, more workable objectives. You can target lifting 50 lbs in the first week then increase this to 70 lbs on the second week. You can gradually increase your targets every week until you reach your goal of lifting a 200-lb weight.
But this is just one aspect of building your workout endurance. The other aspect is increasing the number of repetitions for every workout session that you have. For example, if your goal is to lift a 50-lb weight for the first week, then you can target performing 3 repetitions per set and achieve 2 sets on the first day. On your next workout day, you can target 4 sets of 5 repetitions each, and so on. Remember that your objective for the first week is still 50 lbs. However, you are also building endurance by gradually increasing the number of times you have to perform the lifts and for how many sets in one particular training day.
You can adhere to the same principle in any form of workout exercises that you may have. For example, if part of your workout is to run on the treadmill, then you can start with a comfortable 3 MPH jog for about 30 minutes on the first day. On your second workout day, you can aim for a 3 MPH jog for 45 or 60 minutes. On your second week, you can then try to speed things up a bit and go for a 5 MPH run for 30 minutes on the first day, followed by a 5 MPH run for 45 minutes on the next training day.
Building endurance is all about taking it one step at a time. It may be slow, but its steadiness simply means you’ll be able to have that staying power you’ve always wanted for good.
Combine Cardio Days with Strength Training Days
When it comes to building endurance, cardio exercises are the best since your body’s metabolism is pushed to the limit. When it comes to building muscles, strength or resistance exercises come to the fore since the muscles have to work against forces that they are not normally subjected to. However, since the heart is mostly composed of muscles, then strength training can also help further improve your endurance. It is for this reason that strength training and cardio exercises should always be made as integral parts of a more comprehensive workout program.
Cardio exercises are best defined by repetitive movements whereby the muscles do not really work against resistance. They will still contract basically to move, but insofar as strengthening and toning the muscles go, they pale in comparison to strength or resistance exercises. Cardios are typically advised for individuals who would like to lose weight. Since there is repetitive movement at a rather fast pace, there is a commensurate increase in metabolism coupled with a commensurate increase in heart rate and blood pressure.
Increasing the heart rate naturally increases the workload of the heart. Over time, it learns to compensate by enlarging the individual muscle fibers of the heart and, thus, enlarging the heart itself. This allows the heart to pump blood a lot more forcefully. Once it is able to achieve this, it can start decreasing its heart rate. That’s why if you look at seasoned athletes, especially long distance runners and swimmers, they have slower heart rates and lower blood pressures compared to ordinary individuals. This is how they build endurance.
Ideally, you should intersperse your workout sessions with cardio and strength training exercises. You can dedicate alternating days for cardio and resistance exercises or you can incorporate both in one session. For example, you can perform jump rope for about 5 minutes then follow it up with several repetitions of squats (you can use a squat rack for best results). You can then add several sets of bench press before rounding it up with situps. Alternatively, you can perform several sets of bench press and pull-ups before you hit the treadmill on a 15- to 20MPH sprint for 30 seconds. This should get you well on your way to building endurance.
Forget about Having a Routine
Some folks think that the key to a good workout is having a steady routine to follow. So, if you have been running on the treadmill since day one, gradually increasing your speed to close to Usain Bolt’s, then you are not really maximizing your potential to build your endurance. Even professional cyclists do not train only on their bikes to be in tiptop shape and to have that staying power needed to hurdle a long stretch of an uphill climb. They will run and swim and even pump iron. In other words, they introduce variety into their workout programs.
If you want to build workout endurance, then you’ve got to start forgetting about establishing a routine. The thing is that, as we already mentioned earlier, the human body has the uncanny ability to adapt to almost anything and everything. You may be seeing the benefits of running 10 MPH for a full hour non-stop, but sooner or later, your body will already grow accustomed to it that the benefits are already negligible. You may also be able to perform 10 sets of 5 repetitions of bench presses, but if you keep on doing the same thing over and over, then your body will acclimatize to it that it loses the impetus to change for the better.
The trick, therefore, is to keep surprising your body with different types of exercises. You will still be using the same groups of muscles, but the way they are used will be slightly different from one exercise to the next. This can help prevent muscle disuse and overuse. Plus, it’s more motivating this way since your mind simply cannot keep up with what you are going to do next.
Running on a treadmill may be your bread and butter for a routine, but don’t you think it’s about time you introduced other exercises as well? Running makes use of your leg muscles. Try rowing instead or perhaps even cycling. Alternatively, you can also try martial arts like Muay Thai, Taekwondo, or even Jujitsu for a very different kind of workout for your leg muscles.
Allow Ample Time for Rest and Recovery
While it is true that our bodies are very adaptable, it is still made up of living tissues. And like all living things, our bodies also need to rest to allow for the more efficient repair of damaged tissues and facilitate faster recovery.
One of the benefits of working out is that you will feel good about yourself. This has something to do with the stimulation of the brain to synthesize and release chemicals that make you feel good. These substances are chemically similar to narcotic agents that can give you a sense of euphoria and happiness. Of course, since these substances are produced by the brain itself, they will not cause dependence and addiction.
Unfortunately, there is a drawback to having too much of these substances in the brain. Since you’re feeling more upbeat than ever, you will be motivated to push yourself even further. Sadly, our bodies have limits, too. But since your brain is flooded with these feel-good chemicals, it no longer recognizes the signals sent by the rest of the body that it, too, needs to rest.
That is why you should make a conscious effort to program your workouts. We know we said that you can forget having a routine. However, we did not say you should skip rest altogether.
When you work out, your muscles will be hard at work. You may have your protein with you to help improve muscle recovery right after your workout, but if you are going to exercise every single day, every week, then even the most potent mix of complex carbs and high-quality proteins will never save you from extensive damage to your muscles. Your body needs time to repair itself and allow the amino acid building blocks to facilitate tissue regeneration.
Ideally, you should never work out for more than 4 days every week. A good schedule to follow is to work out on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and rest on Wednesdays and the weekend. It is also important to work different muscle groups in different days. For example, you can target the chest on Monday, the legs on Tuesday, the back on Thursday, and the shoulders and arms on Friday.
Add Supplements in Your Routine
One way you can boost your workout endurance is by taking your pre-workout supplements. These are substances that can help improve your exercise performance, allowing you to reap all the benefits of your workout sessions.
You can add whey protein powder into your workout regimen to provide your body with readily-available peptides and amino acids. These work in two ways. First, they minimize injuries to the muscle tissues. Second, they provide the building blocks for the repair and regeneration of any damaged tissue in the body right after working out. The current recommendation is a gram of protein for every pound of body weight. A 200-lb individual should, thus, add 200 grams of protein for his workout. This is where protein bars and whey protein can be especially useful.
Dextrose, a kind of sugar, can also be mixed with whey protein powder and water in your protein shaker. This will give you an instant boost in energy should you feel that your energy levels are dipping.
You can also take certain supplements that contain nitric oxide since this substance can help improve blood circulation. Improving blood flow greatly improves your workout endurance in the same way that cardio exercises can help improve stamina. An improvement in blood flow means oxygen and nutrients get delivered to your muscles, allowing them to contract more efficiently. You might want to pick a supplement that also contains branched chain amino acids and creatine for even greater improvements in muscle protein synthesis.
Building workout endurance is not a straightforward process. It takes time. Above all, it requires discipline and perseverance. Regardless, if you can adhere to any one of these 5 ways to ramp up your workout endurance, then you’d be greatly rewarded with a better-sculpted body, better overall exercise performance, or even improved weight loss.
- 7 Ways to Boost Your Endurance and Stamina – Men’s Journal
- Keep Going and Going: How to Increase Endurance – Shape