Improving Endurance


Every athlete wants long-lasting aerobic/anaerobic enudrance.  By working together, the body is provided with ATP (energy) for exercise.  Aerobic energy refers to the energy you receive when going for a light jog or brisk walk.  Anaerobic energy comes into play during high intensity activities for a short period of time, such as sprinting or power lifting.  To summarize, aerobic energy is produced in the presence of oxygen during low intensity activities for prolonged times.  Anaerobic is for short, intense bursts, and takes place without oxygen’s presence.  Improving both will have a bigger impact on overall endurance than improving only one.

Aerobic Endurance

The best way to increase aerobic endurance is by doing cardiovascular exercise, i.e. walking, jogging, swimming, biking, etc.  For beginners and intermediates, try working your way up to about 25 minutes, 4 days  a week of cardiovascular exercise.  For the well trained individual, try implementing HIIT or Tabata training.

Anaerobic Endurance

We all know the feeling.  You’ve been exercising intensely for a period of time and that dull burn starts to build in the muscle.  You fight past it, but sooner or later it will become too much to bear and the muscle grows weak.  This is the result of lactic acid buildup.  Lactic acid is a byproduct of anaerobic energy.  By training for anaerobic endurance, you increase your muscles’ tolerance to lactic acid buildup, thus giving you more time before fatigue sets in.  HIIT training is excellent here as it will positively affect aerobic as well as anaerobic endurance.  Essentially, you want to hit about 90% of your max heart rate for a brief period of time, then sink back to 70& of your max heart rate for a few minutes.  Think: sprint all out for 30 seconds, then walk for 2 minutes…repeat for 20 total minutes.  As your HIIT training advances, aim for a ratio of 2:3, or even 1:1 for the very fit. 

Example HIIT training schedule below:

Week Daily Schedule
Week 1 Day 1: Cardio session at 70% MHR for 20 mins in the a.m. Weightlifting session (upper body, chest/delts/tri’s) in the p.m.Day 2: HIIT session for 20 mins (example 1 from above).

Day 3: Off.

Day 4: Weightlifting session (lower body) in the p.m.
Day 5: Cardio session at 70% MHR for 20 mins in the a.m.

Day 6: HIIT session for 20 mins (example 1).

Day 7: Cardio session at 70% MHR for 20 mins in the a.m. Weightlifting session (upper body, back/traps/bi’s) in the p.m.

Week 2 Same as week 1.
Week 3 Increase cardio sessions in the a.m. at 70% MHR for 20 mins to 30 mins.
Week 4 Same as week 3.
Week 5 Change HIIT training from example 1 to example 2.
Week 6 Same as week 5.
Week 7 Increase cardio sessions in the a.m. at 70% MHR for 30 mins to 45 mins.
Week 8 Change HIIT training from example 2 to example 3.
Week 9 Deloading week. Get off HIIT for the whole week and decrease cardio sessions in the a.m. back to 30 mins per session.
Decrease weightliftin
g sessions from 3 to 2 per week.
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