How Do I Build Strength and Stamina?

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  • Originally Written By: Justin Bartz
  • Revised By: C. Mitchell
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2015
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There isn’t usually a single or easy way to build strength and stamina, as both require a lot of work over a sustained period of time. Varied exercise is usually the heart of any plan, and most experts recommend alternating between routines that focus on different parts of the body. Varying the intensity level of whatever exercise you’re doing can also help challenge your body and make you stronger over time. Building strength usually involves exercises such as weight training, resistance training and isometric training. Exercises for stamina more often include aerobic exercises, such as running, cycling or swimming, for a longer period of time. Following a regimen combining both types of training exercises will help you build strength and stamina, but don’t expect results right away; change is gradual, and can take months of work to really show itself.

Identify Your Specific Goals

Before you begin 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 a marathon. What works for someone else might not work for you, and while exerting yourself during the course of a workout often 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.


Importance of Exercise Generally

Most health experts agree that regular physical movement is crucial to good health and overall well-being. Moderate exercise will usually satisfy this, but won’t usually do much in the way of helping you achieve any specialized physical performance potential. In order to really improve in sports, running, or other physical activity, you’ll usually have to train your body by completing specific exercise routines. Most of the exercises that improve strength and stamina are focuses on resistance, weight, and interval training.

Understanding Strength

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. 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. When using free weights to perform exercises such as a bench press, having someone be your spotter can help you avoid a serious injury.

Stamina-Building Routines

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, you will ideally find it easier to compete in distance-running races or even duathlon and triathlon events.

Getting the Right Balance

Achieving the correct balance of 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.

Committing for the Long-Term

It’s also really important that you commit to your exercises for a long period of time. Both strength and stamina build slowly and require a sustained period to really take effect. Results often take months to really get established. Being patient and not losing hope are often just as important as varying your routine and getting for form and technique right.


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