Depending on your background and fitness goals, you might see endurance as something vital or something you can do without.
The truth is, having endurance is vital for a lot more than lasting a few extra minutes while you run. It has a profound physiological impact that impacts every area of your fitness efforts and results.
In this post, you’ll learn exactly why that is, what it means for you, and how to start building up endurance like a champion.
What Is Endurance And Why Do We Need It?
Endurance is relatively straightforward: your ability to sustain physical activity for extended periods. But, understanding what determines our endurance is more complicated.
The two most essential components of endurance are:
- How well your body can use lipids and carbs in the presence of oxygen to produce ATP molecules (1, 2)
- How efficient you are at a specific task and how much energy your body needs to produce a particular movement
We also have a third component, though quantifying it is much more difficult: mental grit. We are capable of a lot more than we think, but developing grit comes from positive affirmations, mindfulness, and repeated exposure to stress.
Having endurance is vital because it improves our work capacity, which is beneficial in allowing us to do more productive work in the gym and recover more quickly (3, 4, 5). And, given that training volume is tightly correlated with growth, we need good work capacity to keep up with our training demands (6).
Training For Endurance: 3 Great Ways
Like most, you probably correlate endurance training with boring sessions on the treadmill. But, like with many other fitness goals, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Here are three fun and engaging ways:
- Using the Battle Rope Station
If you’re looking for a fun, dynamic, and intense way to train your upper body and build your endurance, look no further than the battle rope station. This low-impact form of cardio is fantastic for building up your arms, shoulders, chest, and back while also burning a ton of calories and building up your aerobic capacity (7).
The best part is, you can learn various movements like the power slam, wide circles, and alternating arm waves. You can also combine them to change up your workouts and push yourself in new ways.
- Jump Rope
Jumping rope might seem like something only boxers would benefit from, but the activity is practical and excellent for building your endurance (8). This whole-body activity improves your coordination, strengthens your lower body, makes you more explosive, and burns many calories.
Jumping rope is also remarkable for improving your endurance. It might seem easy, but skip rope for ten minutes and see if you still feel this way.
- Running Outdoors
Running is amazing. It’s natural for us, we can do it anywhere, there are tons of training options, and the benefits are incredible (9).
Running is great for burning calories, improving our endurance, and becoming more athletic. It’s also fun and offers us the chance to have a workout anywhere - in the park, on the local track, and the beach while taking a holiday. It also elevates our mood and makes us feel great for hours after we are done.
Depending on your fitness level, you can start with a simple jog in the park or go for intervals on the track. You can also switch up the intensity to keep things fresh and engaging.