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Can Endurance Training Build Muscle?

Last updated: June 28, 2022

Crafting a unique and customizable fitness plan is paramount to achieving your body image and bodyweight goals. It is also conducive to a healthy lifestyle in order to achieve optimum performance and prevent further injury to your muscles and ligaments. It has long been said that building muscle includes diet and lifting very heavy weights and that the opposite is used to reduce the amount of fat within that specific area. Not only has this mystery been completely debunked, but it is also very possible to incorporate endurance weight training into your routine in order to optimize muscle growth and development.

In this article, we will go over the benefits of endurance training, first by defining what exactly this can look like. Finally, we'll go over the positives that can be achieved through endurance weight training, as well as answer some of the burning questions you may have at the end of the blog post.

What is Endurance Training?

Endurance training is not as difficult as it sounds; it is not an esoteric construct used to confuse the average gym-goer.

Endurance training, put simply, is utilizing your body weight or even free weights in a low environment of resistance so that you are focused more on the effect of continuous exercise rather than short bursts of energy.

In fact, endurance training with weights is the antithesis of the normal anaerobic movement we have come to know throughout various workout plans and regimens, as repeating a motion over and over coincides more with the doctrine of calisthenics rather than strength training. Here are three famous workout plans that incorporate endurance training through their disciplines:

  • Calisthenics: Calisthenics is the term your grandparents may use synonymously with exercise. It first started out as a way to teach generations about the daily importance of physical exertion, both for their physical and mental health. It was introduced and standardized in workplaces and schools throughout North America and the US but has long been cycled out as a federal program in lieu of phys ed. Calisthenics has grown and evolved to mean high repetition exercises that use mainly just your body weight, always providing enough resistance in order to properly workout any time and anywhere, with or without the need of equipment or bars.
  • Yoga: There aren't many that haven't heard of this ancient discipline. Yoga has been taught for thousands of years as a physical, spiritual, and even a lifestyle. It was popularized about a century ago in the west, and a few decades ago has been licensed as an approved way to workout your entire body. Even practitioners that do not focus on the more spiritual or intangible aspects of Yoga can still advocate the physical benefits of the flexibility, strength, and diet that Yoga teaches. This is the epitome of an endurance exercise that must be done daily and through sustained effort for the best effect. Best of all, it mostly uses just body weight and a mat.
  • Swimming: The largest sport and activity that can be done with almost no impact on your joints and muscles is swimming. People that are otherwise compromised, both in their internal and external physical health, can use the water as a therapeutic exercise, even if they are not swimming in the proper way. The very act of resisting the water or even waves (in the case of an open body of water) can help shape your body into a better version of itself. Because swimming has an extremely low impact, it increases the amount of workload you can put in and takes very little recovery time - allowing you to jump back into it day after day, creating an amazing habit.

Benefits of Endurance Weight Training

Endurance weight training helps the body in numerous ways that short spurts of anaerobic exercise cannot:

Increased Blood Flow

The act of repetition forms a pattern in your muscle synapses, making the next movement easier and easier to do throughout the course of time. This stimulates auxiliary muscles as well as increases blood flow to these parts of your heart and circulatory system. This can reduce blood pressure, fight against cholesterol issues and stimulate the prevention of heart and stroke disease.

Burns More Calories

Strength training focuses on muscle development through low repetitions and lifting as much weight as your body can carry. While this may be useful to a professional powerlifter or those who are looking to put on large amounts of mass, this can be very difficult for the average person. Most of those who are going to the gym are looking to either increase their strength while remaining lean or reduce their body fat percentage while also gaining strength. In this way, most goals are centered around burning calories or increasing metabolism, both for those who are suffering from obesity and those that are cutting down from a large bulk. Multiple repetitions in endurance training burn more calories throughout the body.

FAQs

Does endurance training tone muscle?

Toning muscle is a term that carries with it many assumptions. The act of "toning" your body cannot be done, as reducing the amount of fat in a particular area is impossible; the body loses weight overall through exercise. However, targeting a specific group of muscles can increase their muscular development. The high amount of repetitions burns more calories for your overall body than a low-rep strength training exercise would, as they aim to achieve different things.

Can endurance training be done at home?

Endurance training is very easily done at home, mostly through the use of resistance bands or calisthenics. It can also be done with various other disciplines and workout routines, such as Yoga and Pilates.

What impact does endurance training have on bones?

Endurance training, especially with resistance bands, helps to increase the range of motion for muscle and bone tissue. This can help to either prevent or even strengthen an already existing condition, such as osteoporosis.


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