During October and November, we looked at the concept of Prehabilitation, and all that goes with it.

We also had a quick talk about the difference between Muscle endurance, Strength, Power etc.

This month, I would like to breakdown each of these Phases of Resistance Training (RT), so we can get a little more clarification on how to get the most from our RT.

Endurance Athletes like the word endurance and it is amazing how one little word can have so many meanings.
For some, it means the ability to go for long periods of time (in the Ultra-Endurance sense of the word).

For others, it means being able to do an activity without becoming unduly fatigued (like spending the morning on your feet helping an event, while for others, it might mean just being able to carry out your daily activities.

In muscular terms, muscle endurance is the ability of the muscle to overcome an applied resistance for an extended time period.
It is an important phase in the Resistance Training (RT) continuum because, like the Base Conditioning training done in the Swim, Bike and Run, Muscle endurance conditioning sets the muscular-skeletal system up for the more intensive lifting in the training phases further down the line.

During this phase of training, the purpose of training is to:
  1. Increase the strength of the connective tissue, including Ligaments, Tendons and Fascia.
  2. Increase Mitochondrial and Capillary density at the muscular level.
  3. Improved co-ordination and ability to perform movements through Neuro-Muscular adaptations.
  4. Increase the overall time to exhaustion of the muscle fiber.
  5. A transformation of the overall percentage of FT-A fibers compared with FT-B fibers
Ultimately, by using higher repetitions, we are focusing on developing an improved capactiy for submaximal, prolonged contractions with a reduced fatigue rate.

The following are a few general guidelines for training:
  • High Volume (3-5 sets of 15 + repetitions)
  • Low Intensity (50% - 75% of your 1 Repetition Maximum (1RM)*
  • Movement cadence (The spped at which you raise and lower the resistance at) CON: 3sec: HOLD: 1sec ECC: 3 sec
  • This phase can last for between 6-8 weeks (depending on your program, goals and level of conditioning).
  • Add in basic Core stability progressions and a lot of Flexibility work.
This Muscle Endurance phase of training can be applied through the December month, and into the January month, depending on the structure of your training plan.

With the focus in your Endurance Training (RT) training on General Preparation, the result is a great compliment between your RT and your ET.

Use this FREE 45 MINUTE TRAINING SESSION to get a better idea of what a Muscle Endurance RT session might look like (Use Promotion Code at checkout: F5853ABD)

Next week we will break down the concept of Strength and how to train for it.

James Greenwood is a competitive tri and multisport athlete currently training for Ironman Canada 2009. A level 1 Triathlon Coach, he holds a post graduate degree in Exercise Science, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA. James is also currently the resident health and fitness programs expert at MyPypeline.com, and has starred in a number of multisport specific fitness videos.
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