Improving stamina & endurance

What is the point in perfecting your ability to perform any exercise if you can’t do it for long enough to see positive results? Of course I am referring to stamina. Our ability to persist with any task for extended periods of time completely depends on our lifestyle as a whole. Luckily there are certain things that we can all do to improve our physical stamina, helping us to endure almost any sort of exercise. 

The first thing to remember is that it isn’t all about cardio. If you increase the strength of your muscles then they are going to perform better in every single step, push, lift etc. Every time that we exercise it is inevitable that our joints will have stress put upon them. Added muscle actually helps to absorb impact and can lessen this stress. So what happens is that you feel less pain and can exercise for longer periods. Strength and cardio training don’t have to be seen as exercises for different days. Don’t be afraid to combine the two into one days training to help boost endurance levels.

Of course cardio training is massively important in its own right though and there are things you can do to make positive changes.

By now most people should know that they need to focus on high-intensity when it comes to cardio. The worst thing for your stamina is having a slow metabolism and the way to avoid this is by ensuring that all your workouts maximise intensity. Slow, lengthy exercises will do you very little favours at all. I mean, look at marathon runners. They never actually run a marathon during their training because they know that isn’t what builds stamina.

Rest is massively important too. That means rest in between exercises and at night. When you are working out the best thing to do is try to shorten your periods of rest in between sets. If you are used to taking 90 second rests then shortening these down to a minute will help you improve your stamina. As for rest at night? Well a well-managed sleeping pattern will help every single aspect of your fitness, including your ability to endure.

Sometimes we need to do isolated exercises but if you are looking to increase your stamina then bicep curls won’t be doing a great deal for you. This doesn’t mean you have to be focusing solely on total body workouts, although some people do choose to do that. You just want to be incorporating exercises that require you to use more than one joint, that way a number of muscle groups will all be getting stronger simultaneously.

One thing to be wary of is routine. In some ways I am fairly conflicted about this. One the one hand routine is good because it is the natural way in which humans work and it provides the stability required to allow us to achieve. But on the other it neglects the fact that our minds are incredibly intelligent. Ideally we want to keep the mind guessing by moving our muscles in different ways. This doesn’t mean that routines should be thrown out the window, it just means we need to be a little bit cautious in case we fall into a negative one.

Obviously the other main thing to bring your attention to is diet. Food is fuel and our muscles need a regular supply of energy if we want them to perform for long periods of time. That is why most people recommend several smaller meals throughout the day. Keeping hydrated is essential both when you are exercising and when you are not. Water directly fights off muscle fatigue by keeping the tissue hydrated, do not forget that!

You can choose to follow all the advice above but if you are doing something that you don’t enjoy then you are going to be less likely to persevere with it, it is that simple. So do the things that you enjoy and you will be surprised as to how much more you are willing to give. You will find yourself pushing harder than you thought possible and your stamina will naturally increase.

To truly see how well your stamina stands up against the rest you have to be willing to push yourself to the absolute limit!


Ollie Lawrence
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