Getting the energy to go to the gym is hard enough, but it’s even harder knowing it’s going to be a short trip. Building up stamina is a great way to increase the duration and intensity of your workouts. Stamina is the “strength of physical constitution.” Think of it as the power to endure, which is very important when thinking about increasing the intensity of your workouts!
First, take a look at your rest periods. It’s important to rest briefly while working out to allow your muscles some recovery time, however, it is also important to have the correct length of rest. To build stamina, decrease your rest periods between circuits to 30 to 90 seconds. Because you’re decreasing your rest time, you should also decrease the weight you’re using in your circuits in order to avoid overworking your muscles. Reduced rest and increased repetitions (on decreased weight), is a quick way to build up your power!
Next, turn up the intensity several notches. The best way to build up stamina is to push your body to work as hard as it can in small spurts of time. No matter the workout (it could be burpees, running, push ups, or a core workout), do it at a sprint pace for 45 to 90 seconds. Try pushing your body to go as fast as possible, as hard as possible, and as powerful as possible. When you feel your muscles burn, you know it’s working! After this spurt of intensity, return to a normal pace before taking a brief resting period. It’s important to cool down instead of stopping the intensity all at once. This is teaching your body to adapt to the extreme, thus increasing its stamina.
Keep in mind, not every day needs to be an exhausting workout! In order to build stamina, you need days that you take it easy. Instead of doing your normal intense workout, try something lighter! Take a yoga class, go for a bike ride or a light jog, or take a long walk. This way, you keep your muscles moving, but you aren’t pushing your body over the edge. There’s a fine line between pushing your body to work harder and hurting yourself.
Building stamina is all about a combination of the intensity of your workout and how often you do it. You need to stay dedicated to a workout routine throughout the week to effectively build up more power. Working out at an intense level about three to five days a week is a good balance of going all out and taking it easy.
When it comes down to anything exercise-related, you also need stamina of the mind. Keep reminding yourself that your body is capable of a lot more than you think it is. Test your strengths, and push the limit. The only thing stopping you is you!