Endurance weight training can be dissected in two different ways: training for Strength increases explosive performance, while training for endurance increases Stamina, this article is going move your stamina into Hyperdrive.
Is strength or the increasing of it; important in endurance weight training?
Confusion on this issue can interrupt some athlete’s intentions; someone that is strong, often likes to gravitate to strength training exercises, Just as Endurance athletes often preform repetitive lower resistance movements.
So... is there anything wrong with this? Well, technically no... But, each athlete can have a tendency to develop weaker areas, a swimmer may have strong limbs and shoulder strength, with little hip or leg strength.
The cyclist may have strong quads and calves, but will often have weak glute, hamstring and upper body strength; the same might be said for the distance runner.
The problem with repetitive sports based endurance performance is:
Resistance is not tested or challenged against new resistance
or (periods of cycling using endurance weight training), meshed with some strength
training to improve explosive muscle and plyometric training to increase new
endurance and strength thresholds.
Never underestimate the unification of total body strength to increase muscular endurance and sports performance.
From the 60s to the 80s endurance weight training had some conflicting results, often based on the high reps/volume, preformed with light or easy to manage resistance associated to circuit training.
The thinking of this was to promote a stronger athletic stature, while giving a major boost to sports and fitness minded athletes to raise cardio and endurance levels to enhance athletic performance.
The general consensus of professional sports athletes, sports medical doctors and coaches over this time period was; some increase in endurance performance was noted on a small scale, but this increase was minimal.
The missing ingredient that is often overlooked to increase sports and fitness performance is: the increasing of ones strength first.
Increase Strength and Endurance for Optimal Performance Results
As the 80's give way to the 90's, strength training in some sports begins to show positive potential.
As sports doctors begin to delve deeper into R&D-data, the importance of increasing strength and endurance through endurance weight training now begins to show positive results.
All too often athletes Gage their overall progress by the sport or activity their engaged in, which is understandable, but what about increasing and taking advantage of real world strength that is regularly used in everyday life?
Gearing your endurance weight training to your athletic activity or sports related goal should have the unification of both types of training.
The body doesn’t work independently as it moves through an activity; it is constantly changing, adjusting, compensating and receiving messages as it’s engaged.
The signals come from visual stimulation of your situation on what your opponent is doing or about to do, within these micro-time-frames the central nervous system becomes very dynamic.
Processing and evaluating which signals to send and to what fibers, to give the most efficient and effective response...
This may sound a little heavy winded, but as you increase not just endurance; but strength and endurance-ultimately produces faster recovery times, while also increasing Nero-transmitter speed, forces the body to react bionically.
Using strength movements with alternating sets and exercise patterns in your endurance weight training increases explosive strength while stimulating testosterone - levels will ultimately increase stamina in the sport or activity you're engage in.
The endurance weight training routine I've designed for you is gender friendly, Take into account your sex, age and athletic level, by carefully setting resistance to match set and rep ranges.
This type of training is called: (Concurrent Training), Where two exercises and training methods overlap to to give a specific result:
Increasing explosive Strength + Endurance = acceleration in sports and athletic performance.
As mentioned: performing most sports can leave athletic weaknesses, endurance weight training is going to hone in on this with some exercises to both strengthen the weaker areas while increasing overall body strength and transmitter speed.
Note: try to take the time to preform a solid warm-up for 6- 8 minutes before you start any endurance weight training routine or program.
If your sport or activity is based on swimming, gymnastics wrestling or rowing etc., where the predominate amount of effort is expended through upper-body-movements, using the arms, shoulders upper back or pectoral muscles...
Then we’ll assume that your upper body already has a strength and endurance advantage over the lower.
Let’s start with the Barbell Squat: (striping method)
Warm-up set 50 -60% of 1 rep max 8 -10 reps
Preform 2 more sets of the squat exercise using a (stripping method), e.g. the first initial set should be 4 -6 reps no more, where upon completion, strip off enough weight to complete 8 – 10 more reps, no more, try to resist the urge to rest as you strip the weight: strength + endurance = increased stamina, adjust resistance to stay in this rep range.
Barbell/Dumbbell walking lunges:
Preform warm-up set with barbell,50 – 60% of 1 rep max 8 -10 reps each leg.
Preform 2 more sets with each set consisting of 2 exercise
moments. Starting with Barbell alternating leg lunges, resistance set to allow 4 - 6 reps each
leg. Immediately moving on to Walking Dumbbell lunges, try to set resistance to allow 10
– 12 reps for each leg. Keep the rest times to a minimum to build endurance
against the resistance.
Stiff legged barbell dead lifts - Leg curls (super set)
Preform warm-up set with barbell 50 – 60% of 1 rep max 8 -10 reps
Starting with the Barbell Dead lift in super set fashion, keeping the knees and hips locked, lower to the toes and return to standing, set resistance to perform 4 - 6 reps. Avoiding a rest, move to a Leg Curl machine as shown, keep the movement smooth and deliberate set resistance to achieve 10 - 12 reps.
Note: the increase in strength is obviously achieved through
the specific set and rep intervals throughout the exercises outlined: endurance is
increased through the effort of constantly trying to decrease rest time or
frequency, combining these two increase endurance performance exponentially.
Final note: preform exercises according to the nature of your sport/activity, meaning: if you’re a wrestler using crouching/explosive movements, use a wider stance and go lower into the exercise movement.
If you’re a swimmer keep the feet closer together going as low as you might when you make an explosive lung into the pool. Also note if you find your muscles are sore or tender over the next few days then it’s telling you (these exercises are working on the these weaker areas).
building strength and endurance in the core
Unifying your strength curve between upper and lower body increases the endurance of the core; often the most over looked and only unifying link we have between the upper and lower body.
Luckily the core is formed of higher density fibers making it somewhat easier to increase its strength and endurance over other body parts.
So let’s see how we can unify this areas connective strength and endurance as well as increase athletic response time.
Always warm up the abs or mid-section with some light cardio or calisthenics 4 - 6 mins.
Rotational Dumbbell Planks (super set) with Hanging leg raise
Starting with rotational DB planks chose DB resistance to allow 6 – 8 reps each side, immediately move to 2nd stage of the super set ‘Hanging leg Raise’, aiming for 8 - 10 reps. Allow time to recover then preform one more super set for a total of 2 super set exercises.
Barbell ab Roll-outs (Striping method)
Start with some light plate weight for resistance on your
shoulders in the barbell ab extension. Resting on the knees, keeping the
exercise movements controlled and smooth try for 8 – 10 reps; immediately
remove the resistance, complete another 4 – 6 reps, perform 2 total sets.
Cable Wood Chops (Super Set) with Knee To elbow Crunches
The first set in the super set is cable chops, with a solid stance, keeping the arms straight, pull the cable cross-ways with both hands while holding your abs contracted through out the exercise, for 10 reps each side.
The second part of the exercise is elbow to knee rotations, raise the legs and upper body to approx. 10 - 15%, begin rotating in a swift controlled fashion keep this motion constant until the burn makes you stop; perform 2 total Super Sets.
As we move to other areas of sports/activities; weaknesses in body strength and endurance can also be found and greatly improved.
If you cycle, distance run, ski, play ball sports or hike a lot, virtually any activity that predominantly uses lower body strength and endurance from that of upper-body. These upper body exercises should even out strength imbalances and increase overall athletic endurance.
Chin-ups + Pull-ups (Super Set)
Preform warm-up set (Wide-grip, cable Lat-pull-downs) 60 - 70% of your body weight.
Preform 2 more sets combining the 2 exercises as a (super-set), starting with the more difficult of the two, wide-grip chins: preform each movement from (hanging to chin even with the bar), for 4 – 6 reps.
Rest just long enough to recoup, then hit the pull-ups, 7 - 9 reps, short rest and repeat for last super-set. As strength and endurance increases; use a back pack with some books etc. to increase resistance.
Barbell Bent-over Rows (super set) with Dumbbell Rows
Warm-up set 50 -60% of 1 rep max with barbell for 8 -10 reps
Starting with bent over barbell rows, perform 2 total sets,
once you’ve set resistance to achieve 4 – 6 reps with the bar, immediately move to the second
set in the super set to bent over dumbbell rows, using enough resistance to
allow for 7 – 10 reps. On completion, rest just long enough to recover and repeat.
Parallel Bar Dips:
Warm-up set (bench press) 50 -60% of 1 rep max 8 -10 reps
Dips are another body weight exercise
that is demanding. Preform 2 sets of this exercise using a (drop set) method, preforming
the first set with some light resistance for (4 – 6 reps), then remove it, and immediately
perform a drop set using only your body weight (7 - 10 reps), repeating this
total exercise twice, with a 30 to 40 second rest between.
Note: in the beginning if you need more rest take it, as endurance increases continue to reduce rest, to stimulate new endurance thresholds.
Barbell Clean and Press:
Warm-up set 50 -60% of 1 rep max 8 -10 reps (striping method)
The clean and press is a classic and demanding upper-body exercise. Perform 2 total sets of this exercise, using a (stripping method). Starting with the bar at the waist - pull to the shoulders, then drive the bar straight up over the head, performing (4 – 6 reps).
Return the barbell to the
floor strip off 15% of the weight and immediately squeeze out (6- 8 more reps).
Rest adequately, then preform 2nd set.
The Barbell/ Dumbbell Dead lift (super set):
Warm-up set 50 -60% 1 rep max 8 -10 rep (barbell dead lift)
The barbell dead lift is a king in strength and endurance weight training. Preform 2 more sets with each set consisting of 2 exercise moments, starting with the barbell: again, aim for 4 - 6 reps this rep range is designed for strength.
Move to the Dumbbells keeping rest to an absolute
minimum, preforming a (super set) of stiff-legged dumbbell dead lifts, maintain resistance to allow reps in the 8 -10 range.
Personally, I've used variations of this program often:
In the late summer early fall, I adjust my training to more endurance based: this would noticeably speed recovery time and increase stamina for hiking in our local mountains. I would also use this type of training for spring skiing always produced positive performance results.
How to Start:
Write/record your lifts and rest times, you will use these to reflect on, try not to blow this recording phase off, this is going to show you your progress as you advance.
Keep in mind as originally mentioned; use the exercises in an order that you feel will best increase strength and endurance-unification, closest to your sport or activity, exposing and focusing on weaker areas is what accelerates performance results.
Try to be progressive - reducing
rest times + simultaneously Increasing strength = increased endurance.
The endurance weight training routine I’ve provided is based on a 8 week training cycle, as you reach the mid-point in your cycle add another set to each exercise – the last week of this program, amp it up even more by adding a forth and final set to each exercise.
A break at this time is usually encouraged to allow an adjustment time for the body and nervous system to recuperate and except these new thresholds. This routine and the intensity is demanding. Try it and challenge yourself and you will see noticeable results.