Aerobic Endurance and Strength Training Programmes

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Rebecca Dickson

Aerobic Endurance:

Aerobic endurance is the time which you can exercise, without producing lactic acid and it building up in the muscles.

Continous Training:

Continuous training is when low- to mid-intensity exercises are performed for more than 20 minutes without resting intervals. Generally, this type of training is used to prepare the body for sustained workouts such as marathons and triathlons, but can also be effective for more casual athletes. It allows the body to work from its aerobic energy stores to improve overall fitness and endurance. Chief benefits of continuous training include fat burning, muscle building, and increasing maximum aerobic potential.

The intensity has to work the cardio- respiratory system but must be light enough so it can continue for 30 minutes plus. The intensity should be 75-80% maximum heart rate or about 70% VO2max. Starting off with light, continuous type exercise is something most professional athletes do at the start of each season, before they begin interval training. It's part of nearly every training program. Continuous endurance training can take many forms such as swimming, cycling, running etc. To make it harder, the duration is increased not the intensity.

One of the biggest benefits of a continuous exercise plan is the slow but steady improvement most athletes see over time. Someone who may only be able to jog for eight minutes at the start may find, after enough weeks or months have passed, those 12 minutes is achievable. Before long, 20 or even 30 minutes may become normal. Usually at least three or four workouts per week are required to see improvement.

In addition to helping athletes build up their endurance, continuous training can help people lose weight and improve their cardiovascular strength. Contrary to some opinions, losing weight does not always require intense bursts of energy. Regular low-intensity workouts that are long enough to count as continuous training usually lead to sustained weight loss after several months.

Heart health is another significant advantage of these workouts. People who participate in continuous exercise typically have a lower resting heart rate, which can lead to a reduced risk of heart diseases and cardiac stroke. As the body becomes more efficient at processing and distributing oxygen during workouts, the respiratory organs are strengthened as well.

Muscular Endurance:

Is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to sustain repeated contractions against a resistance for an extended period of time.

Resistance Training:

Resistance training is any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increases in strength, tone, mass, and/or endurance. The external resistance can be dumbbells, rubber exercise tubing, your own body weight, bricks, bottles of water, or any other object that causes the muscles to contract.

Resistance training works by causing microscopic damage or tears to the muscle cells, which in turn are quickly repaired by the body to help the muscles regenerate and grow stronger. The breakdown of the muscle fibre is called "," and the repair and re-growth of the muscle tissue is called "anabolism." To improve muscular endurance you must perform sets of higher repetitions using relatively light weights and take only short rests between sets, for example three sets of 20 repetitions resting 30 seconds between sets. Muscular endurance training causes a significant build up of lactic acid, which will make your muscles burn, but this, is quite normal.

Here is an example using the FITT principle:

Muscular endurance is one of the many parameters of fitness. People who make repetitive muscle movements for extended periods of time need to have high levels of muscle endurance. This would translate into sports like basketball, football, soccer and tennis. The exercises involved with muscle endurance are performed in a high rep format with light resistance.  Body weight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, dips, crunches and supermans are common muscular endurance exercises. Medicine ball exercises are also utilised to strengthen the core and get the body adapted to throwing and rotating during a game. Squat throws, side throws, overhead throws, chest passes and lunges with twists are examples. Although free weights are generally used for muscular strength exercises, they are also combined into muscular endurance training. Bench presses, deadlifts, squats, curls, back rows and calf raises also build muscular endurance. Exercises in a muscular endurance resistance training program are performed in a high rep format. A basic rep range is 13 to 25 per exercise. In between each exercise, 30 to 60-second rest breaks are taken. This simulates the same experience that takes place in a sports game. In a training session, the exercises can be performed in a circuit format.

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These endurance exercises use the aerobic capacity of muscles to produce energy via the Krebs Cycle. Long bouts of exercise utilise Type I slow-twitch muscle fibers. Contrary to fast-twitch fibers, they have high resistance to fatigue and possess high mitochondria and capillary density. The low creatine and glycogen content means more triglycerides for efficient energy production. Endurance fibers allow muscles to sustain contraction for long periods of time.


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