Welcome to the world of confusing theories on fitness – where most people either opt for body building or for endurance training, but never both. Although, sometimes, you should not see everything as black or white and understand that there are shades of grey in between.Welcome to the world of confusing theories on fitness – where most people either opt for body building or for endurance training, but never both. Although, sometimes, you should not see everything as black or white and understand that there are shades of grey in between.
What do you want? Do you want to build your muscles like a bodybuilder or develop endurance like an athlete? Well, the truth is that you cannot do one and completely ignore the other. Actually, bodybuilding and endurance training have to be balanced together to get best results.
Have you ever seen a bodybuilder lasting only 30 minutes in the gym? The bodybuilder’s performance in the gym depends on his endurance to do workouts. On the other hand, have you seen a very poorly built sportsman? Have we not longed to have a Greek-God-like physique that the world’s best soccer players have? It is important to know that both bodybuilders and soccer players have the best of both endurance training and bodybuilding.
If you regularly hit the gym and are looking for ways to harmonize body building and endurance training, we have picked the fitness recipe that you are looking for. You can customize your workout schedule depending on your individual goals. The following exercises are best for harmonizing bodybuilding with endurance training:
Warm-up and conditioning:
The most neglected part of a workout -warming up and conditioning – is a must if you are looking for a fulfilling workout. A fifteen-minute warming up and conditioning routine will help you avoid injuries and will delay fatigue. It will also help condition your mind.
Running, cycling and swimming:
If you are serious about endurance training, you must never miss any of these three exercises. If you can mélange all these in your weekly workouts – the results will surprise you. If you are a beginner, here is a simple schedule to start with:
- Running: A 45-minute jog once a week in an open area, preferably in a park or on the beach.A 100m sprint – five sets with a 30-second rest in between for recovery.Long distance running, at least once a week
- Swimming: Swimming for an hour, at least twice a week, using a regular stroke, will help in cardio vascular fitness and improve endurance.
- Cycling: 45-minute cycling in the gym or open area will help in conditioning the legs and improve your stamina.
Ladder training: Doing high knees and alternating it with a sprint is an effective workout for endurance, flexibility, agility and to enhance performance.
Jump rope training: If you thought that jumping rope was of no use after school, think again. It is the favorite of every martial arts expert. You can start with skipping for 1 minute followed by a 30-second rest for ten sets. Slowly increase this to skipping for 3 minutes followed by a 30-second rest for ten sets. If you feel this is too taxing, then try this: start playing your favorite song and jump rope till the song gets over. This way you tend to look beyond the pain.
Shadow boxing and punching bag workouts: Straight from the diary of a pugilist, shadow boxing and punching bag workouts are very effective for endurance and agility. You can even do shadow boxing as part of your conditioning. Punching bag workouts are one of the best when it comes to improving stamina. If you last for more than a minute with continuous jabs and crosses, then you probably will perform better in other sports as well.
Tabata workouts: Never miss Tabata workouts. They are disruptive workouts that are less time-consuming and provide with great benefits. Here is a sample Tabata workout for beginners:
- Mountain climbers
- Jumping jacks
- High knees
Do 20 counts of each for five sets without taking a break. This is an effective recipe for improving your fitness and endurance.
Recommended Video: 5 Great Benefits of Tabata Training
Spot training: Here comes the hero – spot training with weights! If you are looking for improving your muscle mass, then probably you have to start with a diet. Then move on to exercises that specifically target any muscle group. Progressively increase weight with lesser reps for muscle gain. For improving strength, do the same number of repetitions without increasing the weight for five sets. You can increase the weight after few days, but, if you want to avoid muscle gain, never increase the weight on the same day.
Compound exercises: The favorite of all sportsmen, compound exercises are multi-joint exercises that act on your entire body. For strength training, use less weight, and for muscle gain, increase the weight and do fewer reps.
Stretching: Never miss out on a stretching session after a workout. It will help your body to recover faster and will make your body ready for the next workout session.
You cannot do all these exercises in a day. So, start out with a weekly plan and gradually increase the intensity of the exercises to get that Greek-God-like physique. Here is an additional tip – plan your combinations like this:
- Day 1: Running and Tabata
- Day 2: Jump rope training and compound exercises
- Day 3: Spot training and walking Try different combinations to avoid saturation because after a point your body stops responding to these workouts. When this happens, hit the reset button and try a new combination altogether.