Training for low weight, high rep workouts
This is your quick workout tip, a chance to learn how to work smarter in moments so you can jump straight into your workout.
Compared to most things in life, building strength is rewardingly simple. Lift heavy, lift often, and you’ll quickly begin to stretch the limits of your shirt sleeves.
Many guys stop there, taking a literal approach to strength training that keeps them on the beefy end of the weight rack. But if your fitness goals go beyond simply moving as much iron as possible, your program should include one of the other key pillars of strength training: muscular endurance.
What is muscular endurance?
Not to be confused with cardiovascular endurance, which is your ability to sustain aerobic exercise, muscular endurance refers to the number of times you can contract a muscle before it tires. In the weight room, this means how many reps you can do at a given resistance, whether with irons, bands, or even your bodyweight, before reaching technical failure.
Unlike building strength and power (the other two pillars of strength training), increasing muscular endurance requires high rep sets (over 12) using lighter loads and a minimal rest (30 seconds or less).
Benefits of muscular endurance
In addition to increasing your overall exercise capacity – which, by the way, can pay dividends for your strength and power goals – emphasizing muscular endurance in your workouts can also help Stimulate muscle growth by targeting type I muscle fibers that are focused on strength and power. lift tend to miss.
In short, regardless of your primary goal, you will benefit from working on the lighter end of the weight rack occasionally.
How to train for muscular endurance
Athletes often emphasize muscular endurance during specific phases of their training programs, but you can reap the benefits by simply incorporating more high rep/low weight sets into your weekly workouts.
As with strength and power training, the key is to select the toughest resistance or exercise progression that allows you to complete all of your sets and reps in good form.
You’ll need to go lighter than you usually do for strength-focused diets when training for muscular endurance, but don’t err on the side of caution. If you have more than two reps left in the tank at the end of your last set (meaning you could complete two more reps with good form), you need to increase your load next time.
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