If you’re a hardcore gym stan, chances are you’re already doing endurance training without even realising.
But ‘what is endurance training exactly?’ we hear you ask. Well, we’re here to provide some clarity.
Endurance training describes any type of athletic training that increases your body’s cardiovascular or muscular endurance. This style of training helps to improve the body’s respiratory capabilities and muscular strength to sustain physical activity with a reduced risk of injury for longer periods of time.
Cardiovascular endurance training utilises aerobic exercise, which includes activities that enhance the way your body uses its oxygen supply to give you energy. Meanwhile, muscular endurance training improves your muscles’ ability to handle increasingly strenuous use for extended periods.
To find out more about this style of exercise and the benefits of endurance training, we caught up with AYBL Athlete, Lexie Herod.
HEY LEXIE, WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL WEEKLY WORKOUT SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE?
I typically workout six days a week. This consists of three leg days, two upper body days and one active rest day. I also make sure I do 10,000 steps every day.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU INCORPORATE ENDURANCE TRAINING INTO YOUR WORKOUT SCHEDULE?
It all depends on your goals and what you’re trying to achieve at the time. We’re all different. You have to take everything into account. For example, are you bulking or cutting or are you in a maintenance phase?
Generally, I think doing cardio two to three times per week is the most beneficial.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF ENDURANCE TRAINING?
I’ve noticed that since adding weekly cardio to my routine, my weight training has improved. I don’t tend to get tired as quickly, which allows me to do more, whether that be lifting for a longer length of time or actually lifting heavier. Because of that, I’ve made more muscle and strength gains.
Other benefits of endurance training include:
- Improved sleep;
- Increased energy levels;
- Better self image;
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease;
- Increased metabolism.
WHAT EXERCISES WOULD YOU RECOMMEND AS PART OF ENDURANCE TRAINING?
Firstly, find something you like. I personally don’t like running, so I avoid it. I tend to mix it up with the Stairmaster, elliptical trainer, bike or some HIIT. I also love going for walks to get my steps in, or if it's raining, I walk really slow on the treadmill whilst listening to music. It’s very therapeutic.
There are five types of endurance training. These include:
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WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO DO ENDURANCE TRAINING?
Endurance training is great for both your physical and mental health.
It improves the heart’s ability to pump oxygenated blood around the body, while reducing symptoms of depression for better mental health. It also improves muscle mass, bone density and overall strength.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT ENDURANCE TRAINING?
I have to admit, I don’t love it all the time, but I do enjoy the results cardio gives me and how it makes me feel. It’s not always about the activity itself, it’s about the results you get from doing that activity.
For example, nobody likes getting braces or having to deal with the discomfort for months on end, but we do love the result of having straight teeth and a beautiful smile.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TOP TIPS TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR ENDURANCE TRAINING?
Stay hydrated, make sure you’re hitting your daily protein intake and stretch, then stretch again and stretch some more. Stretching has been life changing for me.
If you’re wondering how to improve your endurance, we also recommend:
- Maintaining a healthy diet, with plenty fruit and veg;
- Making sure you warm up properly. We recommend a dynamic warm up, such as squats, push-ups and jumping jacks;
- Choosing the right type of endurance training for your goals;
- Tracking your performance;
- Increasing difficulty when you’re ready;
- Resting well after training;
- Being consistent.
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HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED TO WORKOUT?
I get asked all the time ‘how do you find motivation’ and the truth is I don’t. You’ll soon learn that motivation is only temporary. You need to find your reason ‘why’. Then you simply choose to do - or not to do. Choose to do nothing and stay the same or do something and be the new you. To win, you have to do.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE OUR FEMALE COMMUNITY TO HELP THEM ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS?
I have five key pieces of advice:
- Firstly, surround yourself with supportive people. This may mean you have to distance yourself from the unsupportive ones.
- Be prepared to give up or change some old habits. Trust me, you’ll love the results from the new habits you pick up.
- Be accountable. If you need to, tell a supportive person your goals to help with this. They can help keep you on track through the good and the bad days - we all have them.
- Do it for you! Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from achieving your goals.
- Fitness is a lifestyle change. It will take time, so be patient.
C’mon, what are you waiting for?
It’s true! When it comes to any type of fitness, be it endurance training or sport, the only way to remain consistent is by doing it for you, and only you.
If you’re looking to kickstart your fitness journey or switch up your workouts, we’ve got plenty of fitness tips and tricks to help you on your way, including The Best Workout For A Stronger Core.