Strength endurance training

Strength training has become one of the most important building blocks for improving fitness and performance in leisure, competitive and high-performance sports. Strength training is also becoming increasingly important in prevention. It supports the skeletal muscles, an important metabolic organ that performs metabolic functions in addition to movement, holding and support functions.

Many repetitions and less weight

Strength endurance training, training in the hypertrophy or maximum strength range? You will ask yourself, which kind of training is the right one for me? Through different types of training and training intensities, the different manifestations of strength are developed. For example, training in the hypertrophy area can help to build muscle. This is particularly important for recreational athletes and the health and rehabilitation sector. With training in the maximum strength range, rapid strength can be developed. But what is the purpose of strength endurance training?

Strength endurance training - permanent repetition for beginners?

First, let us clarify what strength endurance training is. Schmidtbleicher (1989) defines strength endurance as the ability of the neuromuscular system to produce as large a pulse sum as possible over a defined period (maximum 2 minutes at maximum load) against higher loads (more than 30% of the maximum force) and thereby to keep the reduction of the produced pulses as low as possible during the course of the load. Put simply, strength endurance training means training with a high number of repetitions at low weights. Strength endurance training therefore does not train with maximum strength, but only with an intensity of about 50 percent of maximum performance. For strength training it is recommended that the exercises consist of approximately three sets of 20 to 100 repetitions each. A pause of about two minutes must be taken between the individual exercises. Strength endurance training increases existing muscles. However, no new muscle fibres are produced.
Millions of recreational athletes train in the gym, mostly in strength endurance training, in order to promote their health and well-being. This form of training causes a muscle irritation even under low strain. Orthopaedic rehabilitation can no longer do without strength endurance training either. But strength athletes and training professionals train in the hypertrophy or maximum strength range and often avoid strength endurance training for fear of what they see as possible muscle loss. In addition, there is the image he conveys to the public. A strength athlete who only trains with light weights? Impossible! Only move 40 kilos in the bench press? Other members of the gym might think that the strength athlete is no longer able to do so. The professional fears a loss of image and that he will no longer show his actual possible performance when he does strength endurance training.
Is the thesis now: Beginners do strength endurance training and professionals train in the hypertrophy or maximum strength range? Is that all there is to it? But it's not that simple. Strength endurance training, as unpopular as it is with professionals, offers numerous advantages. In this blog post I would like to introduce you to the advantages of this training method. Power athletes and top athletes can also benefit from strength endurance training if they integrate it into their training plan and carry it out in addition to hypertrophy and maximum strength training.

Strength endurance training to muscle failure - what's the point?

Training in the range of 20 to 100 repetitions not only makes you sweat, but also makes you sore muscles inevitable. This is due to the lactate, the salt of lactic acid produced during the degradation of glucose. At higher loads, the lactate can accumulate in the muscles and, at too high a concentration, lead to so-called muscle failure, where no further repetitions are simply possible. The muscle does not really fail, but it can no longer provide the necessary amount of energy for movement. If the musculature is over-acidified by enrichment with lactate, it can no longer be repeated due to a lack of energy supply and the removal of harmful substances. This leads to exhaustion of the energy stores and thus to so-called muscle failure.
Strength endurance training, however, can improve the musculature's acid tolerance. This means that acidosis is delayed. In several studies with different subjects it could be proven that a training in the range of 20 to 100 repetitions resulted in an increased lactate threshold. This means that the test persons could train with a higher intensity after the training period until they reached the aerobic-anaerobic threshold. In addition, blood lactate levels in submaximal intensities were lower after the training phase. This means that due to the high number of repetitions with short breaks, an improvement in lactate values can be achieved, especially for untrained persons. The high series of strength endurance training thus provide new growth stimuli for the muscles. This reduced lactate production also affects training in the hypertrophy or maximum strength range. Thus the professionals who train with maximum strength can complete more repetitions with maximum strength before the so-called muscle failure occurs.

Capillarisation training - what is that?

Strength endurance training also has a positive effect on capillarisation. Capillarisation training is not yet implemented in many fitness studios. However, even with this form of strength training the maximum strength and/or the thickness growth of the muscles (hypertrophy) can be promoted. Capillaries, the smallest blood vessels of the human organism, bleed through the muscle and form a fine network in the organs and tissues of the body. They enable the exchange of oxygen, supply the organs with nutrients and transport the metabolic end products and other waste products. Strength endurance training can refine or expand the capillary network. The higher capillary density results in a better supply of nutrients and oxygen to the muscle, a more effective removal of the metabolic end products (e.g. lactate) and thus a higher performance. The muscle becomes more resistant to fatigue. Strength endurance training, which promotes capillarisation, thus specifically improves the flow of energy and thus a better supply of the muscles to increase performance. Strength endurance training also increases glycogen and enzyme levels.

Strength endurance training is important, but for whom?

In my previous remarks I explained the advantages of strength endurance training. All athletes can benefit from the advantages - whether beginners or professional athletes. Regardless of what their goals are and what performance they want to achieve. For example, the capillarization mentioned above can not only improve performance and recovery, but also reduce or prevent high blood pressure. In everyday life, recreational athletes in particular benefit from strength endurance training. Climbing stairs and carrying larger loads no longer cause him to breathe and sweat. Due to its improved strength endurance, this is no longer a problem.

Strength training has benefits for everyone

Strength endurance training has only a small training effect on maximum strength and muscle mass, but the competitive and professional strength athlete can benefit from the improvement in acid tolerance and the higher capillary density during strength endurance training. It improves not only its performance, but also its ability to recover, because the muscles are better supplied with nutrients. In addition, the lactate threshold is increased and lactate is transported away more effectively. Professionals benefit from the improvement of muscular activation ability, strength endurance and strength ability. Strength endurance training is also very important for training in the hypertrophy or maximum strength range due to the improved performance and recovery ability. Therefore, this type of training should not be ignored by the professionals either.

Integration of strength endurance training into the training process

You have now learned what strength endurance training is and how you can benefit from it. But you will also want to know how you can integrate this form of training into your training process. There are various recommendations for integrating strength endurance training into the training process. This is why strength endurance training for competitive athletes, for example, should be tailored to the physiological requirements of the respective sport and thus to the other training contents. When determining the training intensity, load configurations can result to improve the endurance component or the strength components. For strength endurance training, the exercises must be chosen in such a way that a large number of repetitions are possible. For recreational athletes, 20 repetitions are often enough to train their strength endurance. The various muscle groups (e.g. in split training) should also be used during strength endurance training.

Weight training is not, a lot helps a lot. Many hobby athletes seem to have great success with the method of intensive training in the hypertrophy or maximum strength range. But if the training would be so easy to carry out, why do many athletes talk of a plateau where no more increases can be realized? This can only be achieved through a versatile design of the training plan. Regular changes in phases between training with maximum strength and strength endurance are important and have an effect on muscle growth. In order to avoid stagnation, training methods for hypertrophy, maximum strength and strength endurance should alternate throughout the year. Strength endurance training is recommended over a period of four to eight weeks. Strength endurance training, for example, is well suited for a regeneration phase. However, the phase should not be extended too long, as hardly any muscles are built up during strength endurance training. However, due to the positive effects mentioned here, it is always worth pushing in cycles of strength endurance training, because strength endurance training makes the muscles more powerful, improves the supply of nutrients and increases the ability to recover. This supports normal muscle training and prevents stagnation.

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