Monday, August 1, 2011


Tired of running out of steam before the end of the race? It's time to up your endurance.

You've got a triathlon. You're trying to lose a few pounds from your midsection. You want to see how hard and long you can push your body. No matter what your reason for exercising, your body won't get the full benefit of working out if you don't have enough endurance to push a little bit longer and harder today than you could a year ago. But how do you teach your body to do more than it currently will?

By building your endurance. And it all starts with a few tried-and-true steps.

Step 1: Prepare for Discipline

If you want to make gains in your endurance, you can't hit the gym on an inconsistent basis. You'll need to be disciplined in order to give your body opportunity to make advances in its ability to endure. This may mean going from three to four hard workouts a week. Or maybe it means a little bit more time spent at the gym during each workout. Know your body and your schedule well enough to know the most effective way for you to build your endurance, and then stick to it no matter what.

Endurance is patience concentrated
- Thomas Carlyle

Step 2: Know What Endurance Is

Depending on your level of athleticism and health, endurance may mean something different. After all, if you're already benching 200 pounds 15 times without trouble or running 25 miles without breaking sweat, your idea of improved endurance will be dramatically different than someone who has a hard time curling 20 pounds or jogging a mile. If you're already a gym rat, you can increase your endurance by lifting heavier weights and completing your runs at a faster pace. On the other hand, if you're new to this whole exercise thing, your endurance goal may be to push your body for 45 minutes instead of 30.

Step 3: Try Different Methods
Every body is different. As a result, your body will respond to endurance-building exercises in a different way than anyone else's. Hence why you shouldn't give up if your friend's endurance-boosting exercise routine leaves you feeling a little flat. Talk with your trainer or other exercise professional to find out some other ways to boost your endurance in the weight room, track, or pool. Don't quit trying out new ways until you find something that works. Then in a few months be prepared to try something different, as your body may grow so accustomed to the new routine that it doesn't give you the endurance improvement it initially yielded.

Step 4: Consider Going Slower
While your endurance goal may be to go faster or lift more weight, reaching that goal may not always come about by lifting heavier weights or running harder every day. Rather, you may need to take some time to slow things down. By pushing yourself to about 80 percent of your abilities, you're able to train for a longer period of time, which may ultimately help you up your endurance. As an added bonus, you're less likely to suffer many of the injuries that occur when you're pushing yourself to give your all on a regular basis.

Step 5: Listen to Your Body
There are a lot of people who can give you tips to improve your endurance. The trick is listening to the one voice that tells you what is working well. That voice? Your body. When you pay close attention to what your body is telling you during and after each workout, you can fine-tune your endurance-building routine to do its job well and consistently. Some of the methods that wind up working for you may be a bit unorthodox, but if it works, go for it!


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