With so many measurements for fitness floating around the exercise and training worlds, it can be difficult to pick a metric. Personally, VO2 max means fitness because everything else builds on it.
Testing for VO2 max has been around since 1963. Essentially, the amount of oxygen your muscles can use means the amount of fitness your body contains.
Some people may want to just lift. Some may just want to look the part. Endurance training builds the essential cardio health that makes strong, lean muscle possible.
If you want total fitness you want endurance training. After all, what is life if not an endurance test against the challenges we face in our health?
Like any good training routine, you need to know the steps and you need to understand the why of what you’re doing. The following list walks you through the steps and the total mindset needed to train well and build endurance.
As always, we want to prevent injury and not reset or lose what we’ve gained.
Hydration includes more than keeping water in your body. While exercising you will certainly lose water from sweat and effort. You also process water through your system to clean out the free radicals and chemical results of muscles working.
Hydration includes water and the necessary minerals and electrolytes to keep you from binding up or fatiguing. Always keep a balance of water to electrolytes in mind.
Training against your diet loses a lot of effort. Your diet should support your training, not the other way around.
You want to keep the lean protein coming in. You also will need the sustained energy of complex carbs or fats.
Adjust your diet as your training progresses to find the balance of fuel and energy that makes you feel good.
Get in some stretches. Get in some mobility and stimulate the systems. This will help prevent injury and get your body ready to work.
A bad warm-up reduces the effectiveness of your training and risks setting you back. Always get some dynamic stretching and light weights in before hitting the core training routine.
Keep your routine in mind. Focus on your goals. Don’t let distractions of the rest of the day intrude.
Psyching yourself out or over hyping your intended results take away from the process. Focus on what you are doing and it will get done.
I’ve listed 4 steps to getting ready to go, the same 4 steps apply after a routine. Be ready to sleep well, eat after training to reabsorb nutrients and to rest to prevent injury.
Being able to come down is just as important as getting charged up for training.
6. Compound Exercises
Don’t work just one muscle or muscle system. Training with compound exercises makes you work harder but also more efficiently.
Pull ups, push ups, squats with weights all of these work multiple systems and burn more calories while boosting stamina.
7. Explosive Training
You want to be careful not to strain, but mixing in explosive motion with careful reps pushes you harder. You will feel the burn more and your body will release more adrenaline and HGH when it feels it has to react suddenly.
8. Change It Up
Don’t have a single routine. Changing up the routine every other week keeps the muscles from getting used to a particular strain and plateauing.
Added bonus, changing up the routine keeps you from getting bored and helps you get excited for the training.
9. Interval Training
The number one way to increase V02 max comes from interval training. Mix up the training to include long, short, and medium distances.
Complete training comes from being ready for every scenario, not just one set of actions.
10. Quality Training
Don’t work harder when you can work smarter. Endurance training isn’t about doing the most you can for as long as you can. Work with your body and stay dynamic.
Quality training will beat quantity training every time.
Now you have the tools ready to go. Find yourself a quality endurance training routine and get to it. Looking for more fitness advice? Check out my blog for more information.