In recent years, the fitness world has changed dramatically. More and more athletic people engage themselves in obstacle course races, which demand highly of endurance and stamina. Though used interchangeably, endurance and stamina aren’t one and the same. Stamina refers to the length of time your ability to perform at maximum capacity will last. Endurance refers to how long you can perform an activity regardless of your capacity. Nevertheless, you need both endurance and stamina to sustain your performance in any given task whether in bed or at the gym.
In building stamina and endurance, you need to develop your own techniques and strategies. This can’t be done overnight. Some people hire personal trainers to help them stay the course and achieve their fitness goals. If hiring a personal trainer isn’t in your list yet, getting advice from the best personal trainers out there certainly helps.
Will Torres, a personal trainer and founder of Willspace, share his insights about boosting your endurance and stamina. He shares the following tips:
1. Mixing cardio with strength training
Running and cycling cardio exercises require a lot of legwork. This means your leg muscles must be stronger and massive enough to absorb the impact your joints must take in. By having stronger leg muscles, you’re not only boosting your endurance but reducing the chances of injuries as well. Start your routine with bench press followed by pull-ups and running.
2. Challenge your capabilities
Endurance requires you to challenge yourself. You can do this by extending your routines and decreasing the amount of your recovery time. Push yourself a bit longer until your breathing is heavy and you’re sweating like crazy. Push some more and test your limits.
Successful muscle builders never stop pushing their limits until exhaustion gets the best out of them. You may not wish to exhaust yourself but pushing beyond the limitations you set for yourself can bring your endurance to new heights.
3. Rapid high-intensity lifts
Lifting weights more rapidly can greatly improve strength and endurance. This ignites your metabolism and helps you burn more calories. Training that is focused solely on endurance can reduce your metabolism affecting your muscle mass in a certain way.
4. Prefer for compound movements
If you’re looking at improving your stamina, go for compound movements. These include squats, step ups, pushups, and pull-ups.
5. Switch up your workout
Torres points out that not sticking to a routine helps build endurance and stamina. When your body gets used to a routine, you may tend to overuse the muscles involved in it and neglect the others that are not involved in the routines.
Switching up your workout, at least every two weeks, get all the muscles in your body to work. You can replace running with Muay Thai and any other exercises. The point is to change the way your muscle moves.
6. Combine movements
Torres calls this hybrid exercises. It’s simply a combination of two separate movements. The goal here is to stimulate your heart muscles more for improved stamina. The more muscles involved in a movement, the more stimulation the heart muscles received. A good example is jumping pull-ups.
7. Try explosive workouts
One way of challenging your strength, endurance, and stamina is by adding explosive movements in your routine. The more you used up your energy, the faster you become. Torres suggests trying burpees, jumping knee tucks, and box jumps.
More Tips from Other Experts
Other personal trainers suggest building momentum through consistency. It’s doing something slowly and gradually. They call this gradual adaptation. For example, if you’re a total beginner in running, it’s foolish to run for 5k right away. It’s a good goal but not a wise one.
To ensure success, you need to set achievable goals, say 1k at the end of one week. If you’re able to do that, you increase the number of mileage as you go along. But then you have to give yourself time for rest and recovery. For this, you need to reduce your mileage then start increasing it after the recovery period.
9. Prioritize all your workouts
Since day one, every workout you do counts. They help you build momentum. Work on easy exercises for the first 3 days then increase the level of difficulty on the fourth and fifth. Then allow your muscles to recover. Momentum is best achieved when you mix your training.
10. Have a technique to fall back on
Emilio Flores, coach and founder of Even says that you’ll increase your efficiency when you have the right technique. Somewhere in the race or workouts, you’re bound to get tired, but when you employ the right technique, you’re able to go through the most challenging stuff. He recommends finding the perfect back squat or running with minimum effort or movement.
11. Add HIIT in your workout
One study found that a HIIT session lasting for as little as 20 minutes is more effective compared to cycling or running when building endurance.
12. Take advantage of your recovery periods
Reebok athlete Chris Hinshaw suggests using your recovery periods for your advantage instead of letting them pass by before doing the same thing all over again. This means running a hundred meters and recovering with a 300-meter jog instead of sitting around. He says it’s the best way to build and clear muscle fatigue.
13. Relax tensed muscles
Stressing your muscles too much can result not only to tensed muscles but also a tensed mind. Tension in the body and mind can block the proper flow of your energy. Release the tension in your muscles by giving it a good stretch. For this matter, wellness exercises like yoga or tai chi work best. Both of these activities improve your breathing, enabling your body and mind to relax much more easily.
14. Get good sleep
Sleep and endurance are closely linked. Failing to get a quality sleep can affect your energy levels, which can hurt your endurance. Sleep also helps speed up the healing and recovery process of your muscle fibers.