If you catch yourself huffing and puffing 15 minutes into a workout, that probably means you are low on stamina. But that does not mean you lack physical strength. Stamina is not about how much you can do, but how long you can do it for. In simple terms, it is about endurance. Stamina is very activity specific. So, if you want to be a long-distance runner, the workout you have to do will be very different from the routine needed for swimming. Each activity requires the strength of different muscles and, therefore, the training required will differ as well; which is why stamina cannot be generalized.
However, there are a couple of common rules one can use to create an effective endurance routine. Contrary to popular belief, building stamina is not about long workout sessions in the gym alone. It has to be done through a judicious mix of focused exercise routines and careful eating. The process takes time. Just like any other form of training, stamina building is a long and tedious process. Results won’t be achieved within a couple of days. A workout such as this calls for consistency. So, how do you build stamina? Here are some tips and tricks that could help. Incorporate the following points into your workout and you should have a well-balanced and effective routine. Other than the tips given below you will have to supplement your endurance workout with an activity specific workout.
1. Shorter Intervals Reduce your rest time to get your body into the groove. By shortening your breaks your body starts to become aware of the levels it needs to climb to. If you do one set of crunches and one set of leg lifts, make sure you don’t take a break of for more than a minute between them. If your usual break is of a minute, start by decreasing it to 45 seconds.
Once you’re comfortable with that, reduce to half a minute and then keep shortening the interval time. Push yourself! Maybe the first time you reduce your break time you will fumble a bit. Don’t let that get you down. Work at your body and really push yourself. The aim is to work in as many exercises into a particular time period as is possible. By lessening your rest time you are teaching your muscles to work more efficiently for longer periods of time as opposed to them working in short spurts.
2. Mix it up Although it is mentioned above that your stamina is not dependent on your strength, stamina minus strength holds no good. A person may have strength but no stamina, but a person with stamina will have strength. Just doing endurance exercises (such as long distance running or cycling) for a session will not help you in reaching your goal. You must mix in strength building exercises, too. Without any strength training, your body will begin to lose muscle tissue. For example, along with long distance running do some weights and strength building exercises.
3. Dynamic workouts Your aim during your workout should be to make your entire body move. Stamina and endurance are all about your whole body being ready for a certain exercise or activity. The way stamina will increase is if your whole body gets a workout. Introduce items into your sets which utilize your entire body such as squats with weights. Isolated movements such as weight lifting will only strengthen a particular part of your body. Pull-ups, push-ups, squats, are all ways of making your whole body move.