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How Do I Build Strength and Stamina?

A person must lift heavy weights in low repetitions in order to build muscle mass.
Some people do cardio, such as swimming, on days when they're not strength training.
Cross-country skiing builds stamina and slow-twitch muscles.
An illustration of the human muscular system.
Weight lifting builds muscle strength.
Article Details
  • Written By: Justin Bartz
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 19 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Building physical strength and stamina requires a lot of hard work, and there is no way to increase either one quickly. You must be diligent as you perform various strength- and stamina-building exercises over a long period of time, but you gradually will see results from your hard work. Building strength usually involves exercises such as weight training, resistance training and isometric training. Building stamina typically involves doing certain aerobic exercises, such as running, cycling or swimming, for a longer period of time. Following a regimen involving both types of training exercises will help you build strength and stamina.

Physical strength is defined as using your muscles to exert force on an object. Weight training, resistance training and isometric training increase the strength and size of the muscles that are used in strength-building exercises. In addition, strength training can increase the strength of bones, tendons and ligaments, and it can reduce the chance of injury if done properly.

When you do these exercises to build strength, it is important to use as much weight or resistance as you can while maintaining proper form and safety as you complete the desired number of repetitions. Using too much weight or resistance could result in an injury or improper form, and using too little weight or resistance could limit the benefits you receive from the exercise. When using free weights to perform exercises such as a bench press, having someone be your spotter can help you avoid a serious injury.

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Stamina, also known as endurance, refers to your ability to maintain performance over a longer period of time. You can do various aerobic exercises that increase your stamina and fitness by developing what are referred to as "slow twitch muscles." You might do types of exercise such as running, biking, swimming or cross-country skiing. As you begin to increase your stamina and fitness level, they might choose to compete in distance-running races or even duathlon and triathlon events.

Achieving the correct balance of strength and stamina exercises is essential, because strength training and stamina training can have opposite effects if a balance is not achieved. Sometimes, either strength or stamina is neglected in favor of the other. In an effort to increase muscle size, an individual might concentrate on strength-training exercises involving heavier weights and fewer repetitions during a workout. This will increase strength but not stamina, and a regimen including this type of exercises but a lack of stamina-building exercises could result in more strength but less stamina. You still can do exercises to increase muscle mass, but performing the same resistance training with lighter weights and more repetitions helps to increase both your strength and your stamina.

Before you begin strength and stamina training, it is helpful to determine your goals, expectations and abilities. For example, if you are a wrestler, you might find strength training and increasing muscle mass to be more important than if you are training for your first marathon. What works for someone else might not work for you, and while exerting yourself during the course of a workout helps to improve endurance, pushing your body past the point of fatigue can increase the chance of a significant injury. Understanding your limits will help you find the best possible workout for building strength and stamina.

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