Building Strength and Endurance

Important Note: Remember to consult a physician prior to beginning a new exercise program!

Muscular Strength

Muscular strength is the capacity of your body’s muscles to generate extreme amounts of force in a short period of time utilizing anaerobic energy.

Anaerobic energy produces short term bursts of energy, and does not require oxygen. Instead anaerobic energy comes from the burning of carbohydrates, and can be sustained for several minutes, after which a short rest time is needed to replenish the system. Anaerobic energy is used for everything from weight lifting and sprinting, to the low impact sports of tennis and golf. Anaerobic energy is also used within aerobic-centered workouts when additional spurts of energy are needed.

Enhanced muscular strength often increases muscle and connective tissue size and density by enlarging cells, or “building” muscles. Apart from their aesthetic value, larger muscles and connective tissues are less prone to accidents and aid long term weight control, since muscle tissue burns more calories than fat, even while resting. Size up your current strength.

Tips for Building Muscular Strength

  • Stagger exercises. Concentrate on activities that work specific muscle groups. Work slowly with concentration on form and resistance to gravity. Directed energy provides the best effect, while helping to avoid injury.
  • Anaerobic activity produces lactic acid build-up in muscle tissue, which can be temporarily painful.
  • Stretching before and after workouts can prevent this condition.
  • Like aerobic workouts, gradual progression of stress on muscles will increase muscular strength. Again, moderation is key to avoiding injury and realizing benefits.
  • A warm-up is crucial to any workout.
  • Rest. One or two days recovery time is necessary for maximum effect and injury prevention.

The Ontario Pistol Team held a training camp during the weekend of Nov. 23rd/24th, 2002, with their coach, Richard Horne. One of his handouts detailed a plan which was successful for him when he was an international shooting athlete. I’ve added a few things to it, and given a bit more instruction, but the information is essentially his. This Strength Training Plan can be found in the Documents section.

Muscular Endurance

Muscle Endurance is the measure of how well muscles can repeatedly generate force, and the amount of time they can maintain activity. Muscular Endurance is the practical use of raw strength. It is crucial for every fitness activity, from the mostly anaerobic weight lifting repetitions (or “reps”) to intense aerobic activities like jogging (where specific muscles in the legs are used repeatedly.) Muscular endurance combines both aerobic and anaerobic energy.

Tips for Building Muscular Endurance

  • Like aerobic endurance and muscular strength, muscular endurance is increased through overload.
  • Overworking the muscles makes them stronger and gives them more endurance. But don’t overdo it.
  • Moderate increases achieve the same result with lower risk of injury.
  • When weight lifting, averaging three sets of 10-12 lift repetitions is an excellent way to build endurance.
  • Rest in between workouts.

Aerobic Endurance

Aerobic Endurance is the body’s ability to exercise whole muscle groups over an extended period of time at moderate intensity, utilizing aerobic energy. Your aerobic system uses oxygen to break down carbohydrates and convert them into lasting energy. Since it’s a prolonged need, fats and proteins are also broken down, making aerobic workouts ideal for fat loss.

Aerobic exercise also increases heart rate, strengthening the organ’s ability to contract. Stronger contractions mean an improved, stronger blood flow, in turn making a body better equipped for exercise.

Tips for Building Aerobic Endurance

  • Maintain your workout for at least 15-30 minutes at your target heart rate. If you are having trouble maintaining 30 minute workouts, try staggering three 10 minute shifts throughout the day.
  • Workout at least 3-4 times a week for lasting effects.
  • Slowly increase your aerobic activities over a period of time to improve performance. Generally the more aerobic demands you make on your body, the stronger it gets. But be moderate. Slow gradations will help avoid injury.
  • Rest. The body needs time to recover and grow. Alternating days and staggering intensity of workout can aid in your overall development and prevent injury. Paying attention to your body’s messages — soreness, tension, aches — can help you figure out when to work and when to rest.

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