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How you can improve your endurance



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There is another kind of endurance training that you probably don't do.


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Endurance means many different things for different people. For runners this means that you can run for many kilometers over many kilometers. For weightlifters it can mean that you can lift heavy weight for many repetitions. For athletes it can mean that they have to go through an entire training or competition without having to rest.

Regardless of the institution, endurance refers to your ability to perform a certain physical task for a longer period of time. Two parts of your body – your heart and your muscles – both contribute to endurance. Although they are both important to help your body go the distance, knowing the difference between cardio and muscle endurance is the key to to reach your fitness goals .

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What is cardiovascular endurance?

Cardiovascular or cardiorespiratory endurance is what most people mean when they generally talk about endurance. Defined, cardiovascular endurance is the ability of your cardiorespiratory system (heart and blood vessels; lungs and airways) to keep your body active for a long time.

Most people mean "aerobic fitness" when they talk about endurance. During aerobic exercises, your body uses oxygen to provide energy to your working muscles, and this is the type of exercise that can be performed for hours at a time, depending on how conditioned you are.

People often imagine marathon runners and Olympic swimmers when they think of people with good endurance, because those activities require a high level of aerobic conditioning. But top athletes also have great muscular endurance – a less well-known but equally important part of fitness.

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cardiovascular endurance 19 mostly cardiovascular duration9 Ryan Edy / Getty Images

What is muscle endurance?

The true definition of muscle endurance is "the ability of a muscle or muscle group to repeatedly perform contractions for a longer period of time."

Simply put, that means the number of repetitions you can perform for a particular exercise without breaking the shape or failing. Common muscle endurance tests are doing so many push-ups, squats and pull-ups that you can do before you are physically unable to continue, but muscle endurance is also important for activities such as walking, running, swimming, and high volume weightlifting .

Which is better?

Surprise: neither is better than the other. Cardio endurance and muscle endurance intertwined to promote an optimal level of health and fitness.

Take running for example: you absolutely need good cardio endurance so that your heart and lungs can continue to work efficiently and ensure that your muscles get enough oxygen during your run. You also need muscle endurance to supplement cardiovascular endurance to ensure that your legs do not give you up, especially if you are running on rough or hilly terrain.

You also use both types of endurance during daily activities, such as going up a few stairs .

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Muscle endurance is important for many outdoor activities, including walking.


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How to Build Cardio Endurance

When it comes to cardio, there is nothing else to do but do it. You cannot escape building cardiovascular endurance: you have to do the work. This means running, cycling and walking; climbing stairs and sprinting; do things that make you sweat heavily and breathe hard.

Steady-state cardio and interval-based cardio help both to build cardio endurance, and it is best to include both in your training plan. Slow, long-distance training is the most common form of endurance training, and it is what marathon runners mainly use to stay in shape for their races.

You can also build cardio endurance with tempo training, Fartlek training and sprint training .

Read more: How to make running on the treadmill more fun

Follow [1965903839] Cardio exercise is by far the easiest form of exercise to keep up with, since it is mainly at a distance or on time based. The wealth of activity trackers and exercise recording apps makes it so easy to keep up with cardiovascular endurance.

For running, walking, cycling, and walking, you can use your fitness watch or virtually any remote-based activity app .

You can also use perceived effort to measure cardio endurance. Choose a workout – let's use a 5 km ride for an example – and complete it with a full effort. If you register your first test as "5 km running, 30 minutes, felt very hard" and your second test, three months later, as "5 km, 27 minutes, felt very hard", you know you have improved.

Even though both tests were rated as very difficult, your time lets you know that your total effort for 5 km is now faster.

Another way to test and monitor your cardio endurance is with your VO2 max .

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track cardio endurance by logging your runs on a running app.


Nike Run Club on the App Store

How to build muscle endurance

You build muscle endurance primarily through resistance training. You can effectively build muscle endurance through body weight training, weightlifting, and the use of resistance cables and bands – everything that pulls your muscles together against resistance improves the endurance of your muscles.

The most important thing to remember is that training for muscle mass endurance is different than training for muscle strength. To train endurance, you need to lift lighter loads for more repetitions; to train strength, lift heavier loads for fewer repetitions.

Tracking

Keeping track of your muscle endurance is, of course, more difficult than keeping up with cardiovascular endurance. You cannot explicitly measure muscle endurance in terms of distance, speed, or time, although those statistics can certainly help.

Tracking muscle endurance is more segmented per body part and often based on exercise. For example, you can test the muscle endurance of your lower body by performing as many body weight squats as possible before breaking the shape (breaking shape during squats can mean that your knees collapse, your heels fall off the ground, or you can no longer walk in parallel

You can test the muscle endurance of your upper body by performing as many push-ups as possible before your form breaks (your core falls in, shoulders start to grow long) or you fail in a rep.

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Periodically retest these movements, such as every three to six months, to see if you improve.

If you are more advanced, you can perform a weighted test for muscle endurance. For example, consider your basic test a set of 20 barbell back squats (bar resting on your shoulders) at 100 pounds. Perform the 20 repetitions with total effort and record these statistics:

  • How long did the 20 squats last
  • How many repetitions were completed with perfect form
  • How you felt during and after the set (use reviews of perceived effort above)

Let's say I did this test and it took 60 seconds to complete all 20 repetitions, and by the eighth repetition my form was declining. If I test again within three months and it takes 50 seconds, and all 20 repetitions are perfect, then my muscle endurance is clearly improved.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.


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