Muscular Endurance Exercises Overcome Fatigue
Muscular endurance exercises develop the capacity to perform an action repetitively over a long period of time without becoming fatigued.
Without endurance training how long could you carry out an activity while still achieving high performance levels and quality results?
Examples of endurance exercises include long distance cycling and marathon running.
The Importance Of Fast Twitch And Slow Twitch Muscle Fibers
What makes someone good at muscular endurance exercises such as marathon running or long distance swimming, and others good at other types of exercise and sports like 100-meter sprints, weight lifting and so on?
The secret lies in the type of muscular fiber that predominates in our muscles. What do I mean by this – well, our muscles contain fast twitch or slow twitch muscle fiber. Our muscles are made up of both types of fiber, and depending on our genetic makeup, in each of our various muscle groups, the percentage of fast and slow twitch muscle fibers will differ.
Slow twitch muscle fibers contract more slowly than fast twitch muscle fibers and offer us much greater endurance. Slow twitch fibers use an energy system that utilizes oxygen and when viewed under a microscope they appear red in color. Fast twitch fibers contract much more quickly, have the capacity to grow in size more readily than slow twitch fibers and appear white under the microscope.
The rooster offers a great analogy for understanding the difference between the two types of fiber. He walks around on his skinny red legs while puffing out his large white chest, those chest muscles being used for explosive short bursts of wing movement.
To develop muscular endurance in a resistance training set – the rep count, the cadence, the number of times you move a muscle through a range of motion – all make a difference.
How To Develop Muscular Endurance
To develop speed and power you want to train with a low rep count, say between 3 to 5, with a relatively heavy weight, and an explosive speed as in the weight-lifting moves like the clean and jerk.
To develop muscular endurance, you would increase the rep count to between 8 to 12, with a moderately heavy weight, moving the weight at a well controlled cadence.
Look To Focus On Exercises That Hit The Muscle Groups Which Relate To Your Sport
If you want to focus on muscular endurance, because of your particular sport, then you are best to train using exercises that replicate reasonably closely the sport you regularly participate in. As well, it makes sense to do heaps of training in your sporting activity. For example, if you are a long distance swimmer, then you will have to do a great deal of long distance swimming training, and if you are a long distance runner, then you would be doing a massive amount of long distance running as a major part of your training. To complement those long distance training you can follow muscular endurance exercises that will enhance your sports performance.
For example, when you want to increase your upper body muscular endurance and strength, perform 3 to 5 sets of bench presses, use reps of 8 to 12, with a weight that takes effort to push, but which is not so heavy that you require assistance to lift the weight towards the end of your sets.
Exercises such as bench presses, squats, dead-lifts, shoulder presses, leg presses, are all suitable as muscular endurance exercises. Depending on the reps, amount of weight and cadence, you select, these exercises can be performed to primarily increase muscular endurance or to increase explosive power and strength.
Experiment with various exercises, trying different rep counts, amount of weight, the cadence of your movement, and you will gradually find what best works for you to develop your muscular endurance.