Each time Rocky paces through the streets and runs up the stairs, fitness enthusiasts around the world lose their mind. They are driven by just one urge – to morph themselves into hardened steel, just like all the super fit A-listers in Hollywood movies.
Endurance training is literally not for the faint hearted. It is a training that pushes our body to the very extreme. Working out in the gym is great and it does help us get into a fitter shape. But there’s something about endurance training that grabs everybody’s attention. Maybe it acquaints us with our own limits. Shows us the extent to which we are willing to go to reach a particular milestone. The milestone can be different for each person. For some of us it could be a Marathon, a 600kms bike ride and for the blessed ones, four burgers and French-fries!
The All-Essential Cardio
We have all been there. Paid for a year’s gym and were never seen in its vicinity again. For this lot of the society, cardio exercises seem to be a sensible investment. The maximum extent to which you will go to prove your commitment is buying a pair of good clothes and earphones. At the heart of any endurance training is a cardio activity or several of them. The key to developing the right physique for endurance is to devote maximum time to these activities. When such activities are performed on a regular basis, they give a tremendous boost to the stamina and endurance of the athlete. And as we know, these are attributes that every human wants to have.
Strength is Important
Doing cardio exclusively can make you lose a lot of weight, no doubt. But doing it in excess can actually burn the muscles you worked so hard to gain. If you do not have supporting muscles and yet indulge in a lot of cardio it can make your muscles weaker. This state of the body is referred to as the catabolic state. It leads to reduced strength and can affect your metabolism severely. The slowing down of metabolism also affects the rate at which you burn fat in the body.
Like most matters of the body the ideal amount of cardio depends on individual cases. But as a metric, if you haven’t participated in distance running and yet spend close to an hour each day running, your efforts are likely to be counterproductive. For this reason most experts believe that cardio training is most beneficial when combined with a strength workout in a gym.
The interval between subsequent sets should not be too long. For those looking to strike the bullseye of HIIT, it is advisable if you shorten the gap between the sets of exercises you perform. At this stage it is important to acquaint you with what endurance training is all about. Endurance training is about bringing yourself to the stage where your muscles are burning as if they are on fire and you’re so short of breath that you’re actually gasping for air. But you only take a break when you cannot physically continue anymore.
Most endurance athletes have a set of exercises they perform in sets and these usually include pullups, squats, pushups, sit-ups etc.
Weight Lifting is an activity best done under supervision. Endurance tips for strength training cannot be passed off as an unsolicited advice. It is best to speak freely with your personal trainer regarding the type of physique and endurance you wish to build for yourself. They will be able to guide you in much better way than any article available online as they are aware of your physical limitations.
Workout’s known Enemy: Routine
When we settle into a particular routine with a fixed set of exercises it can be counterproductive for the muscles as well. For instance if you are predominantly a runner and the biggest portion of your workouts involve you running, then it is better if you mix and match the running workout with other supporting exercises. Like for a change you can climb the stairs, as they will cause movement of different muscles in your body.
When training for strength and endurance, the most important thing to remember is that you are building muscles for a body that can actually ENDURE. The body can only sustain heavy workouts if you have the necessary muscles that are strong enough to brace impact.