Endurance is sometimes the last thing that people think of when it comes to fitness. Why do I need to build my endurance if not a training for running or cycling? Building your endurance and stamina can lead to bigger muscle gains as well as torch calories.
World-class trainer Will Torres and spoke to him about endurance.
“When people think of endurance and stamina, all they tend to focus on are cardio activities like running or cycling,” says Torres, a New York-based personal trainer and founder of the personal training studio, Willspace. “But that’s only a small part of the equation—you also need to improve your strength.”
For example, Torres explains that by building your leg muscles, you’ll be able to propel yourself further in every step you take while running. “The added muscle also helps absorb the impact that would otherwise put stress on your joints,” he says. So here, Torres gives you seven sneak tactics (ones you’re probably not trying) to boost your endurance and stamina.
Find Your Motivation
Fitness is as much of mental game as it is physical. Having your motivation in mind is a good way to push yourself when you are ready to break. Kevin Hart uses his family as motivation when he is doing his 5k runs.
“My biggest motivation is my kids — they make me want to be great. I want to feel good and be active with them when they’re in their twenties. I want to be able to do things with my grandkids when they come. I don’t want to be the guy who has a bad back, who’s in the chair and has to watch everything from the porch.”
Combine strength days with cardio days.
It’s a simple equation: the more muscle you can get working, the more it will challenge your heart and your cardiovascular system. Instead of building cardio-only workouts (the pitfall that’ll prevent you from building endurance) make sure to weave strength days into your training. “Most people reserve one day for strength and another day for cardio. Try combining the two instead,” says Torres. “Use a bench press, immediately followed by pull-ups, then run a mile as fast as you can… and repeat.” Another good example: Jump rope for a minute, followed by squats, an overhead press, and finally sit-ups. Repeat.
Reduce your amount of rest.
Men typically give themselves between 30 and 90 seconds of recovery time in between sets, but if your goal is greater endurance, be prepared to sacrifice break time. “By the end of your sets, your muscles should be burning—you should be breathing heavily and sweating,” says Torres. “Only take a break if you physically cannot continue.” Torres suggests selecting a series of movements like 10 pull-ups, 10 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups. Do three rounds of the series back to back, taking as minimal a break as possible.