Many years ago I was doing only weight training in order to increase my muscle mass. It worked well but then I realized that my stamina is not the best. I knew that one of the most efficient ways to build endurance is to cardio workouts. Hence, I started running and aerobic training to boost my heart rate and I did less weight training.
The fact is that I saw some improvement in my stamina, but the results were not as good as I expected. I dug myself deep into the topic to learn how I can combine muscle and strength training with cardio in order to get results I want. Lean muscle mass and super endurance.
I tested many methods and here I would like to share my suggestions that work for me. I’m over 30 now, but I’m fitter, stronger and leaner than ever before. I have pretty complex 2-week workout program built up by the methods below.
Here are my 10 proven tips on how to build endurance.
Reduce the rest time between sets
I used to let myself 2-3 or even more minutes to rest between the sets. Now I only allow myself maximum 1 minute depending on the exercise. When I do calisthenics training it is always under 1 minute. However, I sometimes do heavy weight lifting when the aim is to handle bigger weights then I rest for 2-3 minutes. I never let myself recover entirely.
Do Compound Exercises
Since I mainly do bodyweight training most of the exercises I do are compound ones such as push ups, pull ups, etc. Many studies have proved that compound exercises burn not only more calories, but also increase stamina. The reason is simple. More muscles are involved, and that requires more energy and more intense cardiovascular activity.
In this video you can find some examples and why they are so good.
It is crucial, but most of us forget. Regular stretching helps skeletal muscle fiber recovery, avoid injury, maximize muscle strength and growth. After warming up stretch your entire body and after your workouts as well. I even stretch my body on rest days.
Do Super Compound Exercises
What the hell is that? For example, squat with overhead press. Moves in which you combine two or more exercises into one. These super compound movements work your heart muscles very efficiently that leads to endurance improvement. For efficient endurance training, these types of moves are crucial.
Never Drink Carbonated Drinks
I have seen many people in the gym drinking carbonated drinks then gasping for the air. These drinks bloat your stomach and reduce the amount of oxygen you can breathe in. Simply, forget them during your workouts.
Combine Strength Training with Cardio
It is what fighters do, and there is no question that they have amazing stamina. Do Crossfit or high-intensity interval training that are proven to build endurance maybe the most efficiently.
For example, you run for 400 meters, then do kettlebell swing and finally pull ups. And you do three rounds focusing on time. Or jump rope for 1 minute, do push ups, squats, pull ups and the three rounds.
In the document below you can find many Crossfit routines (WODS), or you can download an apps from here.
Change Your Routine Regularly
I used to follow a training plan for many months, and that was a huge mistake. Of course, I was bored with it after some time, and I cannot see the results I wanted. The muscles or better to say your entire body get used to a workout routine sooner than you think. And if it is used to it is harder to stimulate the muscles and the cardiovascular system.
In order to boost stamina modify your schedule in every two months. Alternate the exercises and activities you do, mix up the cardio and strength training. Include new sports, fitness activities. For example, I started swimming that I have never done before.
Do more than you did last time
Push yourself to the maximum at each of your workouts. Even if you do one more rep or do a cardio exercise for 20 seconds longer.
Do Explosive Training
One day I bumped into an application that provides MMA type workouts, and I found a routine for improving the explosiveness. I tried it, and I was shocked how effective it was. In this routine, several explosive movements are included combined with compound exercises. I was gasping for air during the workout, and I felt the burn in all my muscles.
If you want to increase your power, speed and performance, you need to do explosive moves!
Here 20 example moves.
Do Weight Exercises Faster
No matter if you do bodyweight moves or you use weight, try to perform the moves as fast as possible. However, always perform the movements correctly. Faster moves help not only endurance development but also boost your metabolism that leads to fat and calorie burning.
How to build running endurance
I’m not the best runner. I do sprint for high-intensity intervals. In this video, you can find tips on how you can improve your running stamina.
These are my hints on how to increase endurance. I follow these methods and as I say they work well.