Strength and Endurance: Part 2

I’m finally back to give you part 2 of strength and endurance! I know I said I’d post this a week ago, but the other post was just drawing all sorts of its own attention, so I figured I’d wait a while.

Before I get into the second part of this (endurance), I have an announcement for y’all!

After some prayer and thought, I’ve decided to lead a small group this semester (February 1-May 2) with Church of the Highlands here at the Tuscaloosa campus. Here’s what it will be like: it will include about 20-30 minutes of a workout session (ranging from HIIT’s to weight training to yoga), followed by 20-30 minutes of Bible study and prayer. Details such as day, time, location, are still to be determined (after I find out who will want to participate and their schedules). If you want to sign up, you can go to churchofthehighlands.com and find it listed under small groups, or you can get in touch with me. You won’t need any materials besides yourself and maybe your Bible or journal. The details say that it’s for women ages 20 and up, but it doesn’t really matter. If you want to come, then come! And tell your friends!

Okay, so endurance. I gotta say, it’s a little ironic that I’m talking about endurance today, because I over-trained yesterday and strained my calf muscle. That is very bad. Do not do what I did. When you’re tired, keep going. When you’re sore, keep going but don’t kill it. When you’re tired AND sore, just sit it out.

Endurance is basically when your body can sustain an amount of work for a certain amount of time. It can be shorter or longer depending on the type of workout you’re doing, but it’s good to work on endurance regardless of the type of workout you’re doing.

When most of us think of endurance, we think of cardio, but like I said above endurance can be improved in both cardio and weighted workouts. When our body is at a moderate amount of work, type 1, or slow-twitch, muscles are more active. They are what can push us through a long distance run as opposed to a sprint. They are also what carry us through a high amount of reps and low amount of weight in weighted workouts as opposed to maxing out in the gym. In addition, they are leaner muscles than type 2 muscles which are used for heavy lifting and provide our body with strength.

Type 1 muscles are why most people who are trying to decrease body mass or clothing sizes focus on cardio. Because they’re lean muscles. But they build just like Type 2 muscles build when they are worked out over a specified period of time (even if you’re working with body weight!…. Looking at you Pure Bar. Ever wondered why your lats and back muscles are getting big? That’s why!) But it’s actually endurance that should be focused on, because it provides the body with balance and endurance should be achieved in both cardio and weighted workouts. So how do you achieve that?

Endurance in Cardio

Boosting endurance during a cardio workout is going to be measured by how long you can do your cardio, so, the length of time or distance. A really great way to boost your endurance in cardio workouts is to add time/distance onto the workout in specific increments. An awesome example is the Couch to 5K approach. It sets you up with goal of running 3 miles, and starts you off by walking for a portion of time and running for a portion of the workout. Eventually you increase the running interval and decrease the walking interval to the point where you run the entire 5K. But if you’re not a runner, this same approach can be taken for swimming, biking, kickboxing, elliptical training, and rowing. If you’d ever like for me to set you up with a cardio schedule to increase endurance, just send me your goal and I can help!

Endurance in Weighted Workouts

Endurance in weighted workouts functions much like endurance in cardio workouts, except it measured differently. Like I said above, this usually looks like higher reps and lower weight. However, it doesn’t mean you should always use a low amount of weight. In fact, making endurance your focus actually makes increasing your weight load much safer. Let me explain. For me, I am currently capable of squatting about 110 lbs at 3 sets of 10 repetitions. For me, that’s a challenge but not too difficult so I’d consider it “high weight low rep”. However, as I continue my workouts that will become easier I will be able to squat 110 at 3 or 4 sets of 15 reps. Then when that becomes easier I’ll bump it up to 120 and back off to 3 sets 10 reps again. See what I mean? I increase my endurance and then bump up the weight to increase my strength. Again, if you have a goal in mind and would like an outlined workout schedule, just message me!

Being able to break this concept down, has helped me achieve long term goals much easier and better know how to create daily workouts. Now, something to keep in mind when working on endurance is intensity. Intensity becomes a factor when you add more speed and strength (power) into the workout. That will definitely shorten the amount of time you can maintain the workout, but it doesn’t mean your lessening your endurance. It’s just a different type of endurance. But understanding this helps you customize your workout much easier than when you’re just trying to lose weight and start doing workouts that may or may not actually help you achieve your goal.

Simple and easy, huh?

Well, that’s all for now!,

Love,

Chaslee

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