Training girl announcing third round of endurance box

Published on April 21st, 2013 | by Joe Starks


Physical Fitness Types: Muscular Endurance

When training for any sport you wish to have some level of muscular endurance. Endurance offers you more energy and stamina when it comes to taxing exercises. Becoming more durable when it comes to exercising is one of the ways to get fitter in general. Building endurance is the first step a totally unfit person must take towards a fitter future. So what exactly is endurance? How do you train it? Do we all need it?

What is endurance?

Endurance is the ability to last longer while doing a specific workout. There are three main types of endurance training:

  • Aerobic endurance
  • Speed endurance
  • Strength endurance

During aerobic endurance you wish to improve your body’s energy supplying system. Muscles usually burn ATP (adenosine triphosphate for the science fans out there) for fuel, which it gains from metabolizing glucose and glycogen stores. If you work out for a long time you will also need to break down carbohydrates and fatty acids in your cell’s mitochondria, which are like tiny energy factories found within almost every cell.

The longer an exercise lasts the more aerobic it becomes. Just six seconds of exercise are over 90% anaerobic while exercising for an hour is absolutely aerobic.

Speed endurance is gained by training to maintain a high speed for a longer period; this is achieved by developing the coordination of muscle contraction. Usually the training involves few repetitions in a high number of sets. This training is mostly useful for sprinters and other athletes that wish to be able to maintain high speeds with excellent muscle coordination.

Strength endurance is gained by training a muscle to be able to contract for a longer period of time and at the same quality. All athletes need to have a certain level of strength endurance to be able to perform their sport correctly.

When you are doing any type of endurance training your heart begins to change over time. You get a thicker muscle wall of your heart, your heart beats slower and you have raised muscle enzymes in your bloodstream. All these can be confused for a heart problem by a physician, so if you are a serious endurance athlete you should always inform the hospital or doctor about it, so that they don’t misdiagnose you.

How to train your endurance?

To train you aerobic endurance you have to slowly up the time you are doing your exercises in. Great exercises for aerobic endurance are:

  • Running
  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Rowing

The longer you can last doing these exercises the higher your aerobic endurance becomes. Marathon runners are an excellent example of extreme aerobic endurance trained athletes.

To gain speed endurance you can do these exercises:

  • Running a pyramid doing 200, 300, 400, 300, 200 meters at a time
  • Running up the clock 600, 700, 800 meters
  • Running down the clock 800, 700, 600 meters
  • Running differentials 4 times 400 meters at with a different time achieved every time
  • Running over distance 4 times 1200 meters
  • Or under distance 2 times 3 times 400 meters
  • Quality runs 3 times 600 meters

Speed endurance has to be in the arsenal of any runner. Sprinters in particular are the best example of speed endurance trained athletes.

For strength endurance very good exercises are:

  • Circuit training
  • Weight training
  • Hill running
  • Harness running

Any exercise with high resistance and steady repetitions is excellent to build strength endurance in your muscles. Weight lifters especially are good examples of extremely strength endurance trained athletes.


Endurance training your muscles helps you have more stamina throughout the day and last longer doing taxing chores and exercises. Aerobic endurance helps you last longer, speed endurance helps you be more coordinated in your movements and strength endurance makes you able to carry heavy weights for a longer period. All three types of endurance training improve your fitness exponentially.

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