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Strength training – Mid phase, Endurance

 13th March, 2012

Strength training after injury or surgery is essential. It will help you recover to a better level of activity, often with less pain and with a reduced risk of re-injury.

6-8 weeks after starting your strength work (see previous blog on early phase training), your muscles will start to change in size and fibre type depending on how you carry out your training. Endurance training, strength training and hypertrophy (muscle bulk) training will be described over the next two days. For greater knowledge on endurance training, read more.

Endurance training is best suited to those wanting to return to fitness and activities that require prolonged use of muscle groups. The obvious examples here are the marathon runner and tri athlete, but it is also the case for the rambler.

To effectively endurance train, you need to work at a light to moderate level of resistance:

This is approximately 40-60% of your 1 repetition maximum.

Complete a high number of repetitions, >15 in a set.

Rest for less than 90 seconds between sets. Shortening your rest period is likely to increase your cardiovascular and endurance workout.

Multiple sets may be completed depending on how fatigued your muscle is becoming. Signs of muscle fatigue include:

  • Muscle twitching/shaking
  • Worsening control of the movement.
  • Greater difficulty of work against the same resistance.
  • Aching within the muscle.
  • Muscle cramp.

Endurance training with time, will increase the number of Type 2a muscle fibres within the muscles trained making them more fatigue resistant.

The mistake sometimes made by people who enjoy endurance activities however is to focus purely on endurance exercise. A change in routine and other forms of strength training (see tomorrows blog) may help you to balance your training. The primary focus of your training should be discussed with your Physiotherapist or fitness instructor to achieve the best results.

Jo Lamplough, Senior Physiotherapist, MSc, BSc (HONS), MACP, MSCP