Stamina: The Secret to The Extra Hours You Always Wanted

Stamina: the secret to the extra hours you always wanted

How often have you felt that you need more than 24 hours a day? Not too many, but just a couple of extra hours to check off everything from your to-do list. What if I tell you that you do not need extra hours, but more endurance and stamina?

Think about it. What if you could work faster, felt lesser fatigued and had the energy to go on for the whole day without taking any breaks? Well, I can assure you that you won’t feel the need for extra hours anymore and might end up having some time to spare. But damn, it’s the stamina that has struck you real hard. So let’s see how to boost your stamina and endurance.

Before that

What is stamina?

Stamina is your ability to sustain throughout the day. No, stamina isn’t just physical, it is also about mental stamina. Well, mental stamina is a topic for some other time. Let’s dive deeper into the topic of physical stamina and how we can skyrocket it.

Boosting your stamina and endurance is no magic, it is, for sure, pure hard work. So, are you ready for it? I can assure you that the hard work is going to pay off really well. Imagine getting up from your bed feeling your best self, getting through the day without any fatigue and having a few extra hours to spend. Don’t you love the idea of living like this more? Of course, you do, we all do. So let’s get right to it!

Most effective workouts to boost stamina

I have listed here the three most effective workouts to skyrocket your stamina:

  • HIIT
  • Full Body Isometric Routine
  • Ultimate Efficient Body Weight Workout

But before we go ahead, do you know…

What are mitochondria?

Mitochondria are the power plants of cells. Their primary role is to convert the nutrients we eat into energy.

Okay, why are we suddenly talking about mitochondria out of the blue? No, we haven’t diverted from the topic, but getting your basics right for mitochondrial density is important because that is going to contribute to your overall fitness goals.

If mitochondria are integral for the metabolism of fatty acids, shouldn’t that mean that the more of them you had, the better? Let’s look at it this way, if 10 people are building a house, then it can take them months. On the other hand, if 100 people build the same house, the work will be divided and it can be completed quickly.

Increasing mitochondria (mitochondrial biogenesis) takes the demand off of 10 mitochondria, and divides the workload amongst 100. This enables them to do their job more efficiently. They convert energy (fat) into ATP (adenosine triphosphate) so it can be used by the body.

To be honest, there can be thousands of mitochondria in each of our cells, and the human body has trillions of cells, so do the math – we have a lot of mitochondria. Still, it never hurts to have more.

So finally, let’s get to training, shall we?

1. HIIT – High-Intensity Interval Training

This training strongly benefits your mitochondrial density and cardio fitness! Mitochondrial density is achieved through very short efforts and long recovery periods.

On the other side, cardiovascular fitness (or VO2 Max = Maximum Oxygen Utilization) is achieved via slightly longer efforts compared to the mitochondrial density ones, but with longer recovery periods.

An effective way to achieve these results is through HIIT Trainings, which consist of 4 minutes of physical exercise at the maximum of your supportable pace, followed by 4 minutes of rest.

According to research, this routine must be performed 3 times in a row, for a total of 24 minutes of training, once every two weeks.

If you have access to cardio machines, try to use the ones which use the majority of your body parts to do the training (e.g. the rowing machine or the elliptical trainer).

Alternatively, use a stationary bike machine, or any other cardio machine.

In case you use a bike machine, ensure that your cadence, or R.P.M., is the same from the beginning towards the end of the training. It is important to remember that your speed cannot change over the training: it must be the same from beginning to end, with the exercise being performed always with the same form.

Just in case cardio machines are not accessible to you, substitute them with 3 cycles of intense running followed by light walking (of four minutes each).

2. Ultimate Efficient Body Weight Workout

So, here is the second workout which I think is very effective.
These cardio exercises need to be performed once every week, with 30 seconds of exercise, followed by 10 seconds of recovery.

1. Push Ups

Push ups

2. Crunches

crunches

3. Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks

4. The Wall Sit

Wall Sit

5. Air Squats

Air Squats

6. Plank

Plank

7. Step-Ups

Step ups

8. Push-Ups with rotation on the left side

Push-Ups with rotation on the left side

9. Push up with rotation on the right side

rotation-plank-left

10. Side Planks on right side

Side planks

11. Side Planks on left

Side Planks on left

12. Dips

Dips

13. High Knee Run

High Knee run

14. Lunges (alternate legs over the exercise)

Lunges

Need more guidance? Here is a blog by NY times on strength training to help you understand better.

3. Full Body Isometric Routine

Ummm, what?

Isometric exercise is a certain type of strength training in which the joint angle and muscle length do not change during contraction. Isometric exercises are performed in static positions.

A set of exercise routine for higher endurance and stamina. Even if the below mentioned exercises are quite straining, they will benefit you in terms of concentration and help focus for an extended period of time.

This isometric workout works by putting the muscles in a certain position and by then holding such position for a period of time. By holding this position, your body creates lactic acid and growth hormone, together with a localized increase of muscle-mass ratio and muscular endurance.

In our case, the position will be held for 30 – 60 seconds, while professional athletes or sports enthusiasts can hold these positions for up to 2 – 3 minutes. In any case, 30 – 60 seconds is more than enough.

This exercise can be swapped with other workouts, such as the super-slow training, or the ultimate efficient body weight routine. It is recommended to perform these exercises at least every 4 – 6 weeks.

The recovery time between these exercises should be as short as possible, but if long recovery time is required, it should not exceed the total time spent on a particular exercise of the workout.

  • Turtle Crunch
  • Field Goal Pushes
  • The Gun Show
  • The Wall Extension (shoulder, triceps, upper back)
  • Plank
  • Abdominal Isometric Hold
  • The Wall Sit
  • The Push-Up Hold

1) Turtle Crunch: Get on your knees, place both hands behind your head, and then crunch as if you were pressing against an imaginary heavy object in front of you, as hard as you can, for 30 – 60 seconds.

Turtle Crunches

2) Field Goal Pushes: With your back against the wall, raise your arms up into the position that represents the “American football field goal”. From this position, push against the wall with the back of your hands, arms and upper arms for 30 – 60 seconds.

Field Goal Pushes

3) The Gun Show: Flex your guns as hard as possible for 30 – 60 seconds

Gun Show

4) The Wall Extension (shoulder, triceps, upper back): Place the back side of your body against the wall, plant the fists against the wall, and press your body against the wall as if you were trying to push the wall down for 30 seconds.

Wall Extension

5) Plank: Get into a front plank position, keep the butt elevated while pressing your elbows towards your hips as hard as you can for 30 – 60 seconds. Imagine you have a zipper from your belly button up to your sternum (that hard bone at the center of your chest) and you keep that zipper zipped up as hard as you can.

Plank

6) Abdominal Isometric Hold: This V-Sit exercise is performed by setting on the floor and then bringing your legs in front of you. Then you have to raise your legs up and bring your hands forward, place your hands together, and contract your abs as hard as possible for 30 – 60 seconds.

Abdominal Isometric Hold

7) The Wall Sit: Position the back of your body against the wall, plant your feet apart, drop your knees 90 degrees, put your hands everywhere apart from your legs, and hold the position for 30 – 60 seconds, squeezing your legs as hard as possible.

Wall Sit

8) The Push Up Hold: Drop into the bottom of the push-up position (or as low as you can go) and hold for 30 – 60 seconds while maintaining a very high mind-body connection. This will ensure that your muscles are in the hardest tension levels possible throughout the whole workout. When you apply the right amount of tension to your muscles, your muscles shake: this means you are doing the exercise correctly.

push up hold

Finally, hold your breath over the entire isometric contraction; if this is not possible, perform deep diaphragm breathing.

Wow, done with it already? Well, these are definitely easier to read then to perform. Do try them and let me know if it works for you. Also remember, “Consistency is the key to success.”

Also, I know these exercises can be tiring, so here is a treat for you. A blog on foam rolling, a beautiful way to relax and recover from physical fatigue 🙂

Alessandro Cipullo
Consciousness Explorer
Wellness Seeker

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