Want to know how to improve physical stamina and speed? What’s the best way to improve your race times and obstacle training?
It’s no surprise people want to improve their endurance and strength. With a glut of obstacle course races kicking off over the UK and across the globe involving short runs and superhuman distances, you may be scratching your heading wondering how on earth to start endurance training in time for these events, especially if you’re a newbie. It’s important to remember that stamina and strength are incredibly important.
What is Endurance Training?
First, let’s look at the meaning “endurance training”.
To have good endurance means you’re able to run or participate in physical activity for an extended period. For example, it requires lots of endurance to run a marathon.
People often refer to endurance running as long-distance running. People who run 5ks and longer are often seen as distance runners.
So, endurance running means you run for a long amount of time typically covering a far distance.
How to Increase Stamina for Exercise
These days, many concentrate on cardio activities, such as cycling or running. However, that’s really the tip of the iceberg when it comes to endurance training. The key is to improve your strength.
For example, when you bolster your leg muscles, you’ll be able to push yourself to more extreme levels, every step you take when running. What’s more, the extra muscles help soak up the impact that’d otherwise inflict a large amount of strain on your joints.
Whether you’re looking to take on a Rat Race, Spartan Race, Tough Mudder or any other endurance race, check out the below pointers on how to increase stamina for beginners. Chances are you’re not doing these training techniques— but once you do, you'll ramp up your endurance and stamina quite considerably.
- Alternate Cardio Days with Strength Days
Rather than building cardio-only workouts, focus on building more muscle. Essentially, the more muscle you can get working, the more it’ll challenge your heart, not to mention your cardiovascular system. It’s all about interlacing strength days into your training. Instead of putting one day aside for strength, and the other day for cardio, try combining the two instead.
After performing a leg press, for example, do some pull-ups, then sprint for a mile as fast as you can. Then repeat. Alternatively, do some squats, use the jump rope for a minute, followed by some ab crunches then some dead lifts. Repeat. Check out our bulk training and weight loss workouts if you need inspiration.
- Use Weights at an Incredibly Rapid Pace
When it comes to endurance exercises, doing high-intensity, fast-paced lifting can really do wonders. As well as pumping up your strength, your endurance activity will also be enhanced. In fact, weight training is one of the best ways to fire up your metabolism. When people do too much endurance-only training, they conversely slow down their metabolism as it starts eating away at muscle tissues.
- How to Build Stamina with Compound Movements Over Isolation
Another top tip when it comes to muscular endurance training is to bear in mind that compound moves that involve more than one joint – like step-ups, squats, push-ups and pull-ups – will boost your durability a lot more than exercises in isolation. Bicep curls and leg lifts are examples of isolated exercises, both of which won’t do an awful lot to improve your stamina.
- Take Less Breaks Between Sets
Typically, bodybuilders give themselves around 30 – 90 seconds of recovery time between sets, but if you want to up your endurance, reducing the amount of rest time between sets can really help you achieve this goal. Your muscles, at the end of your sets, should be on fire – you should be breathing heavily and sweating. If you really can’t physically carry on, it’s time to take a break. You could pick a series of exercises, such as 10 squats, 10 lunges, 10 pull-ups, 10 crunches. Perform three sequences of the series side-by-side, taking the least number of breaks you possibly can.
- Plump for Hybrid Moves
Mix up your exercise routine with hybrid exercises. So, maybe a leg raise with a shoulder press. Or push-ups with leg curls, bicep curls with crunches, squats with lunges – you get the idea. Taking two separate movements and bringing them together will work more muscles, thereby stimulating your heart muscles which, in turn, develops your resilience. Result.
- Wave Good-Bye to Routine Workouts
Perhaps the worst thing you can do in the world of stamina exercises is stick to the same fitness regimen. Switch up your workout routine to build endurance and strength. The human body gets used to a workout after two weeks. So, if you’re always cycling, start doing weight lifting or cross training instead. Or if you’re a keen runner, try cycling or swimming in its place. The key thing to remember is to move muscles in different ways so they don’t become overworked. Better yet, exercise becomes a whole lot more interesting if you don’t do the same thing all the time. It’s all about keeping the mind guessing.
- Mix in Energetic Exercises to Your Workout
Adding vigorous movements to your workout will no doubt challenge your endurance, stamina and strength, all at once, as they use loads of energy. As soon as you become fierier in your movements, you’ll realise you’ll start moving more quickly. Introduce exercises like box jumps, jumping jacks, power push-ups and burpees to your fitness regime and you’ll soon notice a difference.