Training Harder For Longer

Many people delve into the world of fitness in order to enhance their ability to preform. From MMA & Football to playing live music on stage. The ability to preform for extended periods of time without “gassing out” is absolutely critical for both hobbies and jobs alike. Having the edge on your opponent in MMA in terms of fitness can be the deciding factor between a win and a loss. If you preform in a band, especially if you’re a singer, this is something you should look into also. “running out of breath” when you’re singing can be embarrassing and seriously knock your stage confidence.

How Do I Improve My Performance?

So how do you approach the task of improving and maintaining your endurance? It turns out there are a variety of different ways.

Moderate Intensity Continuous Training

This is the bread and butter of cardiovascular training. It’s as simple as jumping on a treadmill and running at about 50% intensity. You can progressively overload this aspect of your training pretty much indefinitely. There are numerous programs and regimes on the internet such as the “Couch to 5k” which break down reasonable goals to attempt to meet throughout your training. You should always seek to either improve your intensity or improve your time spent running.

The benefits of this approach are that it’s reliable, hard to mess up and not particularly demanding. It can however be time consuming.

High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT

This is a style of cardiovascular training in which you alternate between periods of high intensity training, running at say 80% of your maximum speed, then dropping back down to a less intense 50% or so. You continuously alternate between these high intensity and low intensity states without taking a rest. The appropriate time to stop is when you are too exhausted to continue. Care should always been tacking not to overexert yourself however and this method of training is extremely effective but should not be done constantly.

You have a lot of freedom in how you choose to progressively overload this approach to training. You can attempt to increase the length of your high intensity periods, decrease the length of your rest periods, or just overall attempt to increase the overall length of time spent preforming this style of training.

Circuit Training

This popular style of training tends to combine a handful of body weight exercises, free weight exercises and various other activities into a set series of movements which you must repeat until your workout is finished. It is incredibly popular in workout DVD’s and the nature of the exercises makes it less repetitive and more fun than other styles of endurance training. The benefit is that preforming free weight/body weight exercises will have the added effect of improving your physique. The downside is that this does not train your cardiovascular endurance as hard as HIIT. It does however train your muscular endurance more so than most other endurance training alternatives.