Training

What Is Muscle Endurance Training? | Definition & Exercises

There are numerous benefits of using resistance training, however arguably the three most popular reasons are for muscle building, strength training and muscular endurance.

This article will detail how you can adapt exercises through the use of resistance training for the purpose of muscular endurance and will also feature a full body muscular endurance workout for you to try at the end.


What is Muscular Endurance?

By using the term muscular endurance, we mean enabling the muscles to handle a certain resisted movement for a prolonged period of time; such as rowing, cycling, running and swimming.

For example: in order to row for a prolonged period of time, the individual would benefit from good muscular endurance in their back and arms in order to consistently row. Whereas, someone who participated in cycling would benefit from good muscular endurance in their legs.

Using resistance training in order to increase muscular endurance is an efficient method which allows you to create a training plan which enables you to mimic the movements of your sport and helps you to become better.

An example of a resistance exercise which mimics a sporting movement is the cable row, which can be used to increase muscular endurance in order to improve your rowing technique.


muscular endurance

Rep-Ranges // Percentages of Weight 

In order to alter your training so that you’re able to perform a movement for longer (such as rowing), you can use higher rep ranges compared to hypertrophy and strength rep ranges. Typically, strength training is anything from 1-5 repetitions, and hypertrophy is generally considered to occur from performing 6-15.

Muscular endurance just requires you to place the muscles into a longer frame of time under tension; using 30-40% of your 1RM for the exercises performed and carrying out up to 25 repetitions per set.

The idea of muscular endurance is that by consistently pushing/pulling against a resisted force your muscles adapt to be able to handle that load for a prolonged amount of time (hence the high reps), so that when you’re practically performing your actual exercise your muscles are more equipped for maintaining their sufficiency in dealing with a resisted movement for the duration required. This is also a very convenient way to train for sports, as you’re able to create resistance training programs/circuits tailored to your sport indoors and train whatever the weather which may be an obstacle for those who would usually rely on training outdoors.

If you’re looking to improve your overall muscular endurance, exercises can be performed for each muscle in order to aid you. Below I have created an overall body workout which will help to increase muscular endurance throughout in each main muscle group.

This programme may be useful for those wanting to just simply increase muscular endurance to aid other forms of resistance training, or for those who participate in numerous sports, or even triathlons and the iron man.


Muscular Endurance Exercises

Push – Pull – Legs Split

muscular endurance

Back/Biceps/Rear Delts/Traps – PULL Sets & Reps
Cable Row 3 x 15-25
Cable Curls (EZ bar attachment) 3 x 15-25
Lateral Pull-down 3 x 20-25
Cable Shrugs 3 x 15-25
Rear-delt resistance machine 3 x 20-25
Legs Muscular Endurance – LEGS Sets & Reps
Hack Squat 3 x 20-25
Stiff-legged Deadlifts 3 x 15-25
Leg Press (Standard width) 3 x 20-25
Hamstring Curls 3 x 15-25
Walking Lunges 3 x 20
Chest, Shoulders and Triceps – PUSH Sets & Reps
Chest-Press 3 x 20-25
Triceps Dips 3 x 20-25
Cable Flyes 3 x 15-25
Cable V-bar Triceps Pushdowns 3 x 20-25
Resistance Machine Shoulder Press 4 x 20-25

Muscular Endurance Tips

Rest for as little time as possible, begin by taking 90 seconds rest between sets/exercises and slowly decrease the resting time each time you perform the workout.

All weights should be 30-40% of your 1RM on each exercise (Increase the percentage from 30 weekly and once you can comfortably perform 40% for the maximum amount of repetitions adjust the weights up slightly)


Take Home Message

For those of you who are training for a specific sport, feel free to just use one particular part of the training plan and add in some extra sets or exercises. EG: Further lower body movements if you’re just focusing on legs.

Otherwise, if you’re looking to increase overall muscular endurance this programme should enable you to begin exercising effectively.

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