Athletes frequently face the challenge of whether to build strength or endurance when they want both. Knowing how to get this right theoretically is a lot easier than achieving a physical balance between the two.
However, experts have tested the boundaries between these two goals, and confirm that both are possible. Find out how to achieve strength and endurance, set goals and milestones, and measure progress for motivation.
Nutrition is key to fitness goals
Never underestimate the benefits of nutrition in achieving your goals. Diet is specifically important when aiming for both endurance and strength because you’ll need loads of energy to accomplish your aims.
A specialized diet will improve muscle recovery quickly and help you to train hard. You also don’t want to lose hard-won muscle mass because of sub-optimum nutrition, so do your research and get it right.
Always measure progress to boost motivation
Train for both your goals and expect to see results in the endurance sphere first. Always measure progress because you might be expecting to see increased muscle size as proof of strength, but this is not always the case. Instead of size, you may find yourself capable of increased power and lifting capacity.
According to Fitwirr.com, if you’re aiming for definition and increased power, especially for lower ab exercises, a dual program may not give you what you’re looking for. Don’t leave it to your visual measurement to determine progress, but let your measuring tape and abilities provide the proof you want. Record your data from week to week to keep yourself motivated.
Get enough rest
You’ll need rest in between your exercise routine because endurance and strength workouts are taxing. Don’t get enough rest in between workouts, and you run the risk of insufficient recovery.
Slow recovery will impede the attainment of your goal more than taking enough time out. Achieve balance before aiming for the moon, and take in enough nutrition to fuel your regular workouts.
Balance strength and endurance training properly
Avoid excessive training in one area while neglecting the other. Your exercises need to stay balanced between strength building and growing your endurance capacity. Too much focus on the one goal and you risk sacrificing the other.
Mass is known to decrease at a routine of 3x a week for 20-minute gym sessions each time. Muscle mass will recede if you don’t concentrate on strength building. Train for both because balance is key.
Tailor your exercise routine for optimization
It’s difficult for athletes to achieve the balance they desire. They may be more proficient in one area, causing them to concentrate on that facet of their routine, without realizing the sacrifice they’re making.
If you’re struggling to build on one or the other goal, consider getting a professional coach to get you on the right track. Experienced guidance can make up for training weaknesses, that you’re not even aware of.
If a coach is not feasible, speak to the local gym trainer for some tips to help build a routine that will create a 50/50 balance for strength and endurance workouts.
Our recommendations for balanced strength and endurance training seem self-explanatory. Endurance athletes can incorporate more strength training exercises. Match load training with endurance muscles used in cycling and running, for example. Efficiency, strength and speed will then grow.
For athletes focused on strength building, and who want to now promote their endurance levels, alternate training days for each goal. Maximum recovery is required between sessions, so don’t do more than three days of endurance training every week.
Rather go for more endurance training within your strength routine. Adding intensity with compound movement or circuits will improve speed, and decrease rest opportunities between sets.