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 do 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 the results I want. Lean muscle mass and super endurance.
I tested many methods and here I would like to share the suggestions that work for me. I’m over 30 now, but I’m fitter, stronger, and leaner than ever before. I have a pretty complex 2-week workout program built up by the methods below.
Here are my 10 proven tips on how to build endurance.
1. 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 a maximum of 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.
We can work harder and grow more muscle if we take short rest breaks. Those advantages come from strict rest times between sets, like 1–2 minutes between compound lifts and 30–60 seconds between smaller isolation lifts.
A crucial variable in resistance training is the time between sets. Changing rep count and intensity can be complemented by adjusting rest periods. Not enough rest between sets can result in submaximal muscle growth. A lot of rest can throw you out of your routine and waste valuable time in the gym.
2. Do Compound Exercises
Any movement that requires the use of more than one muscle group simultaneously is a compound exercise. The benefits of compound exercises are that you can train your entire body in less time, your heart rate is kept high, and you burn more calories. It builds strength for everyday life because it simulates real-world movements.
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.
The idea of stretching is to deliberately flex or stretch a muscle (or a muscle group) so that it feels more flexible and has a more comfortable tone. With this treatment, you will feel the results of increased muscle control, increased flexibility, and increased range of motion.
It is crucial, but most of us forget. Regular stretching helps skeletal muscle fiber recovery, avoids injury, maximizes 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.
Stretching cold muscles increases your risk of pulling them. Warm-up first. Do a low-intensity exercise for five minutes. You need to hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds in order to lengthen the tissues safely.
4. Combine Strength Training with Cardio
A good combination of strength and cardio training will allow your body to function at its best by complementing and not competing with each other.
It is what fighters do, and there is no question that they have amazing stamina. Do Crossfit or high-intensity interval training that is proven to build endurance may be the most efficient.
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 apps from here.
5. Change Your Routine Regularly
There are two fundamental reasons why individuals should vary their exercise regimes. For starters, to avoid getting bored with the same exercise routine. Plus, to avoid or delay hitting a plateau in your training.
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 physical stamina modify your schedule 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.
6. Do more than you did last time
It’s a method of strength training that gradually puts more stress on your muscles and nervous system. Progressive overload says you will get stronger and bigger muscles by continuously increasing the amount of work you do during your training sessions. By improving overall performance, the athlete will be able to keep training harder.
Novices should start at an appropriate level of muscular intensity and progress to overloading the muscles over time to minimize injury. Progressive overload means increasing volume, intensity, frequency or time until you reach your goal. The following are some definitions for volume and intensity:
- You can think of intensity as a percent of maximal repetitions, or as a percentage of maximum effort.
- Frequency refers to the frequency of training sessions. It is closely linked to consistency in training.
- A volume is just how many repetitions you do multiplied by how much resistance (weight) you use.
- It is the time interval between sets of the same exercise or between different exercises.
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.
7. Do Explosive Training
Using different movements at different speeds and forces to build muscle power is called plyometrics. When you train with plyometrics, you are improving your physical performance and ability to do a variety of activities.
In plyometric exercises, you jump or perform explosive movements. Plyometric exercises include skipping, bounding, jumping rope, hopping, lunging, squat jumps, and clapping push-ups, among others.
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 by 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 are 20 example moves.
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