The longer you can do something, the better you are at enduring the activity. For lifting, this means conditioning your muscles so that they can go harder for longer. If you want to push the bounds of your own physical endurance, there are some calculated steps you can take to make it so you last longer at the gym.
1. Practice Good Form
Good form is more than just a straight back. It encompasses every movement you do throughout a workout, from sitting to lifting. The better your form is, the less energy you have to expend during the movement. When you expend less energy, you can put more toward the activity itself, increasing how long you can perform said action before feeling the sting of exhaustion.
2. High Reps, Low Weight
Practiced by bodybuilders, lower weights during your strength sessions mean you can push your muscles longer than you could with heavier weights. As far as endurance is concerned, this is necessary. Higher reps force muscles to build new blood passageways in order to increase oxygen delivery, thereby enhancing how long your muscles can perform a single activity.
3. Increase the Difficulty
Just because you use lower weights doesn’t mean you should stop improving. Every time you stand at the bar, you should be increasing the total weight you are lifting. The more you can push around for longer, the better your muscles will be able to endure long bouts of work. These increments should be small and controlled for the best results.
4. Rest Regularly
When increasing endurance, many forget just how important solid rest days and enough sleep are. In these moments, the body repairs itself. Muscle torn from working out repairs itself stronger than before. If you never take the time to rest, your muscles will not heal. Instead, they will become weaker, resulting in a net loss of endurance. If you do a full body circuit on your workout days, take off every other day for enough rest.
5. Eat Enough
Another factor many people overlook is the amount of calories you intake. If you’re resting enough and your form is perfect but your endurance is beginning to hit a peak, chances are you aren’t feeding your body enough energy, resulting in the depletion of your muscles. If this is happening to you, increase your daily caloric goal by 100 every two weeks you don’t see improvement.
6. Enhance Other Aspects
Increasing endurance doesn’t just mean adding weight to your strength training regime. You can also up the frequency and speed. Just be careful not to do everything at once. Choose an aspect and focus on increasing that one for a week or so. Once it’s at a place you are happy with, increase a different aspect. By rotating this, you increase your overall endurance.