Cheat Sheet: 5 Ways to Hack Your Muscular Endurance

Muscular strength and endurance sound like the same thing, but there are some subtle distinctions to be aware of.

In a nutshell, muscular strength is broadly understood as the maximum force or exertion you can bring to bear on a task. The stronger your muscles are, the heavier weights you can lift and/or the more reps you can do with those heavy weights...

Muscular endurance, on the other hand, relates to how long your muscles can perform a task. It dictates how many reps you can do overall with a set weight amount.

When it comes to getting stronger and bulking up, both muscular strength and endurance are important; but muscular endurance is incredibly critical for athletes, bodybuilders, and practical physical performance. Better muscle endurance improves your cardiovascular health, makes exercises easier to complete, and leads to numerous other health benefits.

So, how do you hack your muscular endurance and unlock all these benefits for your gains? Here’s 5 smart ways: 

5. Cardio is King

Cardiovascular exercises like running, yoga, and swimming, are necessary if you want to improve muscular endurance. That’s because your endurance is heavily affected by your heart’s cardiovascular fitness.

The higher your cardiovascular health, the harder your heart can work and the more robust your circulatory system is. On top of that, better cardio health means your body can pump oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to your working muscles more easily.

This, in turn, significantly affects your muscular endurance overall.

4. More Reps, Lower Weights

When training for greater muscular endurance, you should do more reps of your favorite exercises with lighter weights. Specifically, it’s recommended that you complete three or more sets of 15 reps with a load that’s 50% or less of your RM or one rep maximum. (Your RM is the maximum weight you can lift in a single repetition for a given exercise.)

For example, say you have an RM of 100 pounds when lifting a dumbbell. If you want to train your arm muscles for endurance, you should perform 2-4 sets (with 15 or more reps) using a dumbbell load of 50 pounds or less. This will improve the endurance of those muscles and tone them, leading to aesthetic improvements as well.

3. Bodyweight Exercises

Bodyweight exercises like planks, push-ups, and crunches are excellent ways to build muscle endurance as well. That's because you can't overload yourself with a weight that is too heavy, as each of the exercises is dependent on your total body weight!

Check out our collection of specially-designed Bodyweight Workout Programs that are guaranteed to level up your endurance and get your muscles looking stacked in no time.

2. Shorter Rest Periods

Training for muscle endurance also means giving yourself short rest periods. When lifting heavy weights and building muscle, you might rest for a minute or two in between each set.

But when training for endurance by lifting lighter loads (but performing more reps), give yourself shorter rest periods to keep the heart pumping and maximize your endurance gains.

1. Exercise Often

Similarly, you’ll want to exercise more often when trying to build up your muscle endurance. Your combined investment of time and energy will accumulate - resulting in better cardio strength, faster reaction time and speedier recovery.

Aim to do high-repetition and cardiovascular exercises 4 to 5 times per week for maximum endurance boosts. 

Training for muscular endurance will necessarily take time, but it’s well worth it in the long haul - particularly so you can go the distance and achieve your goals with less struggle.

Use the above cheat sheet to hack your muscular endurance and make massive improvements in no time!

Stay strong, warrior.

Justin | MME Workout Contributor

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