I know you're probably thinking, "Endurance!? HA, what's that?" After months of being cooped up in a gym, our endurance can take a major dip. Whether you are new to working out or you're just a little rusty, I've got a few tricks to help you build up your endurance.
Endurance isn't all about "distance". It's about maintaining a high level of physical output for an extended period. Nothing beats interval training when you need a workout that gets you from zero to hero. While interval training isn't designed to be long, it is designed to help you push your limits. The goal is to increase the intensity or time under tension and decrease rest between intervals. This methodology has unintended benefits that carry over to other forms of endurance!
In developing muscular endurance (not to be confused with aerobic endurance), the common thinking among novice athletes is that you must train at a very light weight for high repetitions. I disagree. When I look at the greatest athletes in field sports and CrossFit, for example, I see POWER. Power and muscular endurance, in my opinion, go hand-in-hand. How do you build power? Work in the ranges of 65%-75% of your 1 rep max while keeping reps to the 10-12 range.
I really love this tip because many people who want to build up their endurance find themselves training outdoors. It's a perfect opportunity to introduce new stimuli into your sessions. Grab a rock or log for instance and squat it, sprint with it, press it, walk with it, pull it... whatever. Training in this way pulls the rug out from under your neuro-muscular patterns and keeps your body guessing. As you build endurance, you should be challenging your comfort levels. A great way to do that is to think outside the box!
I've always had the 'what's next?' mentality. Every time I reach a milestone, I acknowledge it then look for the next goal to conquer! Endurance training is simply as effective as your mindset. It is the constant pursuit of 'better.' If you're working up to a one-mile run today, in a month you should be pushing for a 3K. There is no limit to how far you can build your endurance, but it falls squarely on you to make it happen.
For my beginners or sporadic workout peeps, incorporating little tweaks to your programming will help you progress at your own pace so you won't feel bad if life gets in the way (which it inevitably does). For advanced athletes, the goal is to keep your endurance training interesting so that you don't bail out because you are bored or feel like you've hit a plateau.
Getting stoked. Staying fired up. Enjoying every moment that life has to give. That is the mission of Athlete "EROCK" Eric Botsford. Personally, Eric's goal is to look beyond where others stop, finding that deeper drive both physically and mentally. Though he has made his mark as a 6 time CrossFit Games Regional Competitor and Tough Mudder MC, Eric is always looking for his "flow", leaping from planes, surfing, diving, skiing. Knowing that this ride is better shared, Eric has been a devoted CrossFit Trainer and Box Owner, Mentor, and NCAA Strength and Conditioning Coach helping to bring other athletes to their fullest potential. Eric constantly strives to be a clear voice in the health and nutrition world, blogging the most relevant and up-to-date science on health and performance. He believes that the key to inspiration is education.
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