Muscle Endurance Training

Wouldn't it be great to be a little bit stronger and last a little bit longer when performing your favorite sport? It's that "little bit" we all want to the best at what we do.

Well, when it comes to working out, muscle endurance may be exactly what you need.  I didn't realize how much it would help me until it helped me.  I had picked up Muscle Endurance Training about 7 years ago.  I enjoyed it and added it to my workout schedule twice a week. Three months into it, I had a running event and killed my PR time by 5 minutes! It was easier to run, I felt extremely comfortable and I was a lot faster because I was stronger.  

First, let me define what muscle endurance is.  Muscle Endurance is your muscles' ability to work against resistance for a long period of time.  "Getting stronger and lasting longer" is what you need to remember here.  For a cyclist, leg muscles would be trained for longer rides and easier climbing uphill.   A distance runner trains their legs, arms and core muscles during their off season.  Runners could easily continue training during season because of the light weight and high repetition option. Golfers. . .core, legs and back training would benefit from muscle endurance training because it would help prevent lower back injuries, as well as arm and shoulder injuries.

Muscle Endurance Training consists of light to medium weights with high repetition.  Here's an example (each workout is dependent on the individual's needs):

  • Chest: 10 pounds on the bar / 30 reps / 3-4 sets
  • Squat: 15-20 pounds on the bar / 25-35 reps / 3-4 sets
  • Bicep curls: 5 pounds on the bar / 20-25 reps / 3-4 sets

For the past 7 years, Muscle Endurance Training is definitely a part of my weekly workouts and I do it 3 times a week.  The moves are simple, my posture and core have improved tremendously and I am just as strong and fit as I was in college with a few exceptions.   

Muscle Endurance Training, no matter what sport you love, will get you stronger, last longer in your event and reduce your risk of injuries.  Anyone can do it and if you have the right trainer, they can help design a workout particularly for you.

Benefits of Muscle Endurance Training:

  • Muscle Endurance Training allows you to fluctuate your workout program.  If you want to go a little heavier you can definitely add on the weight or if you want to take it easy, there is the opportunity to go light and not interrupt your training schedule.
  • M.E.T. continues to burn calories long after you are done working out.  Studies have shown that muscle endurance training is not the same as cardio endurance training, particularly for weight loss.  Cardiovascular Endurance (like long runs or cycling) Training immediately burns calories while working out.  Once the workout is over, your muscles are at rest and are not burning the same amount of calories as if you were still working.  Muscle Endurance Training on the other hand begins the burn during the workout and continues to manipulate the muscles well after the workout.  Breaking down muscle fibers to rebuild stronger muscle.
  • M.E.T. helps with coordination.  If you have progressed from stability training and moved into strength training, the coordination of your body just got stronger.  Repeated moves for each muscle group, when done correct will improve your core and joint stability.  In other words, you will have better posture and a stronger base to work from when training.  Even with everyday moves like gardening, cleaning or stacking boxes, your body will have better alignment and strength making everyday moves that much easier.  
  • M.E.T. exercises are simple and anyone can do it.  You don't have to be a strapping 22 year old to get into muscle endurance training.  You can find all kinds of group classes that emphasize on high repetitions and low weight.  Trainers are very familiar with this concept of training and can definitely get you started AFTER you have completed stability training.   

Ask your local gym and/or trainer about Muscle Endurance Training workouts and classes that might work for you! Have fun and good luck!