How To Boost Your Stamina
Do you feel exhausted after climbing a few flights of stairs? Is a short jog around the park making you feel out of breath?
Then, it comes down to one very important aspect of physical fitness, your stamina.
The need for stamina is not limited to athletes and marathon runners. If you want to get through your day feeling energetic and pumped up, this is one thing that you need to focus on.
And, let’s get this very clear. It does not matter if you have a ripped physique, you can still run low on stamina.
The question that comes up next is, “How does one build stamina?”. Just like anything to do with physical training, it takes time, effort and some patience.
To make it simpler to understand the stamina game, you need to understand what makes some people better than the others. The Science guys refer to this as VO2 Max.
No, It is not a magic formula. It simply means how efficiently your body makes use of oxygen during any physical activity. The better your body is at consuming oxygen, the more stamina you have. It is as simple as that.
Now, some people are genetically blessed. For those who are not, the good news is that stamina can be built over time. It does not happen overnight, of course. But, it can happen. And, here is how you can boost your stamina:
Start With The Stairs
Stairs are the most easily accessible “equipment” for you to get your heart racing and blood pumping. Just start by running up and down a flight of stairs. Do this till you physically cannot climb another step.
For some, this may be two rounds up and down the stairs and for others it could just be one. That is not important. What matters is that you increase your heart rate and automatically, your body begins to consume oxygen better.
Take it easy and increase one round every few days to boost your stamina.
Time Your Resting Period
The common mistake that we make when training, be it functional training or even at the gym. When we are pushed to the limit, we tend to take longer breaks. This prevents your heart rate from staying elevated and defeats the whole purpose of stamina training.
Now, the simplest thing to do is to reduce your current resting time by 30 seconds and see how your body improves.
A classic example of how reduced rest between sets can increase both strength and endurance is the Tabata technique. This is where you go through a cycle of eight different exercise variations.
Perform the exercise for 20 seconds and take a break for 10 seconds. Then, move on to the next variation for 20 seconds and so on. This is a proven technique used by world-class athletes today.
Single Muscle Training Won’t Cut It
Working on a single muscle group each day is great. However, the type of training that you choose depends upon your goal. If you are looking for muscle volume and strength, then this is perfect for you.
However, when you add stamina to your list of goals, your approach must be a little different. It is best to choose compound movements. Burpees, deadlifts, squats and everything else that you dread is just what you need.
In simple terms, compound exercises are ones that use two or more muscle groups at once. These exercises even get the smallest muscles going and increase oxygen uptake drastically.
The added benefit of compound movements is that they also help you build strength and put you on the fast track to cutting down on fat.
Turn The Intensity Up
We are all comfortable when we are working out at a steady pace. Then, the repetitions are easier and you can even add in a few more. When it comes to stamina, intensity matters. You need to make your exercises more intense.
What does this mean? Let us say you are running or jogging at a steady pace. To build stamina, add a few seconds of an explosive sprint. Basically, go as fast as you possibly can for a few seconds and then get back to your steady training routine.
You can do this with any form of cardiovascular activity, such as cycling. The goal, like any other stamina building exercise is to get your heart rate up fast.
How do you know if the intensity was good enough to boost your stamina? You will feel out of breath. Second, you will feel an intense, almost uncomfortable, burn in the muscles that you engaged in that activity.
Add Variety To Your Training
No matter how hard you train, the fact is that your body eventually adapts and gets used to it. That is the beauty of how the body is designed. Sure, you can add reps or increase the time that you perform the activity for.
However, after some time, the mind also sets in and leaves you feeling bored to death. That is the last thing that you need when you are training to boost your stamina.
The best thing to do is to keep switching between different types of training methods. Go from running to swimming. Then add some functional exercises or take a few laps around your neighbourhood on your cycle.
This keeps your mind engaged and interested. The more engaged you are, the better the results will be.
Another advantage is that you will work various groups of muscles with different activities. This builds overall endurance faster.
None of the steps mentioned above are too hard to try out. All you need to do is begin. Once you start, it is only a matter of pushing yourself each day, trying to be better than your last training session. Check out our more Men’s Health and Fitness Tips.
Reminder, building stamina takes time. Do not go for the overkill on day one. Increase the intensity gradually. The steadier the increase in your stamina, the longer it will stay at its optimal level.