HOW TO: Boost Your Endurance
Most recently, we've been pushing our bodies to our utmost physical limits (without injury) in exciting weightlifting competitions and group events such as the Spartan Race and Tough Mudder. In preparation for competitions, the most common misconception made by participants who train for them is that cardio such as running and cycling are the best and most effective ways to prepare. Below are some very important tips to help you boost your endurance and stamina in the most effective ways possible.
Go Hard With Less Rest Between Sets
When I find myself people watching at the gym, I often look around and see people putting up heavy weights then flexing in the mirror for a couple minutes before going in for the next set.
You came to the gym for a reason, and that is to get healthy and look good. You’re only cheating yourself by resting so long in between sets. Give yourself a small break, just enough to recover, then hit that next set with everything you’ve got.
Go for short rest periods between sets, 30-60 second or so, and max out on your final reps. Your body will appreciate it when you’re in the final stretch of your race.
Combine Cardio and Weight Training
When you think Endurance, cardio is the first thing that pops into your mind. Is it not?
Many people train to improve stamina and endurance by running, cycling, swimming etc. anything but using those god-forsaken heavy iron plates. Strength training is what is going to give you that competitive edge when competing in any type of event.
Weight training will help you propel your legs further and faster when you do exercises such as squats and leg raises. The added muscle also decreases impact that would otherwise stress your joints and leave you with pains and aches as you age.
Try doing some bent over rows, followed by some pull ups then run a mile as fast as you can. These out of the ordinary exercises will promote your fast twitch muscles and shock your body; the fastest way to improve strength and endurance in a short amount of time.
High-Intensity Interval Training
High Intensity Interval Training (AKA HIIT) comprises of very high intensity workouts alternated with low to moderate cool downs.
HIIT has been shown to be 50% more effective in burning fat than low intensity workouts such as jogging and is a great way to boost endurance FAST as well as increase metabolism!
A great example of a HIIT workout would be a 30 second jog followed by a 30 second sprint repeated 7-10 times, followed by a brisk walk. These HIIT exercises are brutal but one of the best ways to improve your physical endurance. Your HIIT exercise should be increased weekly. So lets say you do a jog, sprint, repeat exercise 7 times one week, next week you would repeat the routine 8 times.
Switch It Up
After a couple weeks of the same routine, your body will get used to a single program and will need change to make gains.
If you like to cycle, leave the bike at home and run yourself to the gym to hit some heavy weights like the bench press or squat machine. Martial arts is an awesome way to spice things up a bit as well and have fun while training.
Try Explosive Hybrid and Compound Exercise
A hybrid exercise is adding two separate moments and combining them into one. For example, dumbbell squats with a shoulder press at the end of each rep, or t-pushups.
A compound movement is an exercise which uses more than one joint. For example, military presses, deadlifts, pull ups, and squats.
Try replacing your bicep curls with these sweat inducing workouts and add a little explosiveness to them, instead of doing slow isolated reps. Explode as fast as you can while staying in control and slowly retract with a controlled negative rep.
This will help you become more explosive in your movements and you’ll notice you will be able to move a lot faster.
Try adding exercises such as box jumps and jump squats into your routine for some more great explosive exercises.
Shock your body with some intense HIIT. Pick up those god forsaken dumbbells and leave your bike at home for once. Remember, less rest more reps, and explode on every single one. You’ll smoke your competition if you follow these steps and have your opponents wondering why they’re eating your dust! Happy training!