How to increase the body's endurance

How to increase the body’s endurance

Swimming and running, cycling and skiing require the ability to perform monotonous physical work for a long time. This quality is called muscle endurance. Its increase is a difficult task that requires the involvement of not only training means, but also special methods of recovery. In professional sports, the endurance period is approximately half of the annual cycle. At other times, athletes work on speed, strength, and technique. In the amateur, the figure can increase to 2/3, since beginners come with very weak indicators. Endurance is useful not only in sports, but also in everyday life – to walk several stops, climb to the 8th floor without an elevator and walk with your child all day.

Everything you need to know

How to increase the body's endurance

Endurance depends on three parameters:

  • The ratio of muscle fibers in the body of the athlete. Those athletes with more “slow” fibers are naturally more enduring;
  • VO2 max, or the rate of oxygen uptake, is a parameter that allows you to measure how quickly redox reactions occur in the body. This parameter is laid down genetically, but it is trainable. High-intensity interval training such as alternating sprints and long recovery stretches, or even circuit training, can increase this parameter;
  • The lactate or anaerobic threshold is a parameter that determines at what level of load the athlete’s body begins to accumulate lactate, and the muscles “clog up” and prevent them from performing multi-repetitive work with the same intensity. Work can be done with high intensity for a long time, and then the lactate threshold rises

All endurance parameters are genetically determined, but they are trainable. To increase endurance, training is used very close to what is practiced in fitness for weight loss. This is the ratio of circuit training, running or other moderate to high intensity aerobic work, and recovery activities.

Can muscle readiness for endurance work be improved? Frankly, the fiber ratio cannot be changed, but the athlete is able to develop “slow” fibers through regular training.

Action plan for guaranteed endurance gain

How to increase the body's endurance

It is possible to talk about the development of physical qualities only if training, nutrition and rest are brought together in a rational plan that allows you to use all the elements of the system. Usually, endurance problems occur in athletes who are trying to simultaneously gain or maintain muscle mass, or seriously lose weight.

If the goal is to develop athletic qualities, body recomposition, weight loss, and “pumping” of lagging muscle groups need to be sidelined. Endurance loves quality recovery, good nutrition, and a moderately active lifestyle.

  • Complete rest . This is not a weight loss workout that requires moving as much as possible every day. If your goal is to improve endurance and athleticism, you should rest on non-training days. Think of something like a sauna and massage, rather than long walks, hikes, and outdoor activities. Too much non-training load can lead to disruption of recovery processes.
  • Eat for recovery… If in ordinary fitness, “proper nutrition” means control over carbohydrate intake, more protein than is customary in the traditional diet, and an active increase in the amount of vegetables and fruits in the diet, then to increase endurance it will be necessary to increase the amount of carbohydrates. Usually, 50-60 g “above the norm” is recommended for an hour of training. It’s about net carbs. Therefore, athletes who can no longer eat use restorative drinks and special gels. Under normal conditions, it is enough to consume about 5-6 g of carbohydrates per 1 kg of body weight in order to fully satisfy your recovery needs. Is there a way to avoid losing muscle mass too quickly? Most sources state that athletes should eat more than 1 gram of protein per 1 kg of body weight. In professional sports, dosages are increased to 2 g.
  • Alternate between stamina and power work . Power work for running, cycling, or swimming is high intensity interval training. The classic HIIT workout is 30 seconds of maximum speed work, alternating with 1-2 minutes of recovery workout at a low heart rate.
  • Add strength training… To increase endurance, classic basic exercises are used. There are two methodological approaches. Squats, bench presses, lunges, pull-ups, standing presses and deadlifts are used exclusively in power mode in 3-5 repetitions in 4-5 working approaches, multi-repetitive work is excluded. Such a power cycle serves the purpose of strengthening the ligaments, bones, and increasing strength and power indicators. In sports, it is practiced in the off-season and helps build endurance quickly as training becomes more specialized. Beginners and non-professional athletes can start with very small weights. The second methodological approach is to try to increase the oxygen consumption of the muscles with the help of strength training. Then the exercises are combined into cycles and performed without rest. This training option allows you to get rid of quick fatigue,
  • Eliminate weak points . Running uphill allows you to improve your speed on a flat surface. Workouts that alternate sprinting and running at normal speed – it is better to run in mountainous areas. Using dirt, sand, earth will help you gain power and run well on asphalt. You need to know your weaknesses and eliminate them with the help of special preparatory exercises. For a marathon runner, it can be running with different inclines, alternating surfaces, or special exercises like running out with rubber, or running up the stairs.
  • Listen to music . The musical accompaniment not only allows you to keep the pace, thanks to the rhythm, but also improves your mood. Good music allows you to train with full dedication, and emotionally invest in every training session.
  • Beet juice . Drinking this drink not only helps to increase the vitamin C content in the body, saturate the body with antioxidants and get additional carbohydrates, but also fight fatigue. There is scientific evidence that beet juice improves endurance by 16%. Many professional marathon runners dine on macaroni and beetroot juice before the race and perform well.
  • Rational training . The “do more at any cost” approach is not applicable to training. It is worth giving all the best only once per macrocycle – in important competitions. The rest of the time, the load should be distributed so that the athlete comes to training fresh and actively recovers in his free time from training.

7 ways to improve endurance

7 ways to improve endurance

Trail running, obstacle course, marathons and short distance road races are popular entertainment for the mainstream athletes. People are gradually abandoning “club” fitness in favor of more athletic activities that allow them to develop athletic qualities and get higher loads.

Participating in amateur running events and triathlon requires significant endurance. Often beginners start running, swimming or pedaling to the point of exhaustion, but this does not help to become more enduring at all. The reason is a banal lack of power indicators. The muscles do not work in the “endurance” mode, but in the “power” mode. It is very simple to “treat” – you need to combine different types of training in your program and not forget about strength training.

Race of Heroes runner coach Will Torres notes that overall physical performance is important, not just pure endurance. If your legs are strong, any adventure race can be much easier to run than when strength is not exercised. Torres has developed 7 principles, the knowledge and combination of which will lead to improved performance in running, swimming, cycling and adventure racing.

1. Competent combination of strength and endurance training

The right combination of strength and endurance training

Torres argues that crossfit training is more appropriate for racing enthusiasts, rather than the classic muscle building in the gym. He suggests combining heavy bench presses, deadlifts, pull-ups at about 70-80% of one-rep max, and strength-endurance exercises such as running at maximum speed for a distance of the order of a kilometer. You need to pick up several complexes that would allow you to recover for a running workout the next day. Usually, strength training is not a priority in the plan, therefore they are performed no more than 2-3 times a week, and they try to keep it as short as possible. You can take the complexes from the main page of the site, or even come up with it yourself. Torres suggests alternating a minute of pull-ups, a minute of the bench press and a 1 km run, or a minute of exercise with a rope, and a squat, an army press,

2. Do strength exercises without rest

Arm and shoulder workout

Endurance training differs from pure strength training in that the rest periods are as short as possible. If in ordinary workouts we rest either for 30-90 seconds, or until full recovery, then these complexes should be done until complete muscle failure, when breathing becomes disordered, and the muscles burn so that there is no way to continue. Torres suggests repeating a set of 10 bench presses, squats, pull-ups and crunches on the press as much as is physically possible.

3. Keep the pace

pre-workout complex

High speed strength training is a good way to not only improve your endurance performance, but also maintain your muscles. This allows you to actively progress in both running and adventure racing. The easiest way to keep pace is to keep track of it or by doing exercises accompanied by vigorous and active music.

4. Make a “base”


Basic exercises allow you to use more muscles, promote strength development, and prevent you from losing muscle mass too quickly. Of course, isolation movements are easier to do if the muscles are loaded or there is an injury, but regional training is not very useful for developing general endurance. He has a different goal – injury prevention and movement correction.

5. Avoid adaptation

The body adapts to typical endurance exercises the fastest. If for the growth of strength indicators we need 12 weeks on a fairly monotonous plan from basic exercises with a minimum inclusion of isolation training, then for endurance we will have to alternate movements. Torres encourages cyclists to start running ladders, runners to swim, and so on. If you include 1-2 cross-training workouts in your plan, the body will not have time to adapt and the results will be higher.

6. Do hybrid exercises

Do hybrid exercises

The simplest hybrid exercises are lunges with simultaneous lifting of dumbbells for biceps and front squats with a barbell press. These movements involve a lot of muscles and are good at improving endurance when included in a multi-rep training program.

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