What Are the Benefits of Muscular Endurance?

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  • Written By: Renee Booker
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 08 January 2018
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Muscular endurance is generally defined as the capability of either one muscle or group of muscles to contract multiple times under sub-maximal loads by means of energy reproduction within the cell in the presence of oxygen. Training to increase muscular endurance is fairly simple in both theory and application, and is often employed by athletes of all kinds. It is important to note the difference between cardiac, respiratory, and muscular endurance because, while all three are intimately related, they are very different systems.

Muscles possess the ability to use a a few different substances as energy, including adenosine triphosphate (ATP), glucose, fat, protein, and lactic acid. When a muscle is first called into action and begins to contract, it quickly converts stored glycogen into glucose, which provides a quick, powerful burst of energy that powers the muscle for roughly 30 seconds. At this point, if the muscle is still required to contract, it uses aerobic glycolysis to turn glycogen into ATP, which will fuel the muscle for the remainder of the exercise period. It is important to note, however, that after all of the creatine phosphate and glycogen stores have been used, the muscle will start metabolizing fat, and eventually muscle fiber itself for energy. Only the cardiac muscle fibers of the heart can readily and efficiently use lactic acid as a form of energy.

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Muscle endurance is beneficial on the most basic level because it allows skeletal muscle to contract for extended periods of time. Without muscular endurance, humans and animals would not be able to run or walk for more than about 30 seconds. The ability to quickly and efficiently create and use energy in individual cells is the only way that humans are able to survive, because even if we did not move for more than 30 seconds at a time, our heart and lungs have to continue beating and pumping 24 hours a day.

In order to increase muscular endurance, both the amount of ATP uptake and the rate of lactid acid removal must increase. In order to increase ATP uptake, one or both of the following must happen — either the muscle itself must grow bigger, or the mitochondria must supply more ATP to the smaller muscle fibers. In either case, the NAD+ carrier molecules must remove more lactic acid.

In order to increase the size of a muscle, a training regimen must be designed and implemented that forces the muscle to exert near maximal force for as many repetitions as possible to induce muscle hypertrophy, such as in weightlifting. In order to improve ATP synthesis, both an increase in mitochondria count and efficiency must take place. These may both be achieved by forcing the muscle to contract for ever-extending periods of time, and simultaneously at an ever-increasing intensity, such as during marathon running.

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Viranty
Post 3

Not only is marathon running one the best ways to increase your muscular endurance, but generally speaking, all of it. Using an example, have you ever had a time where you didn't work out that much, and when went for a run or jog, you became tired really fast? However, compare that to someone who jogs everyday. It takes a lot longer for them to get fatigued because they've built up a resistance of sorts, which obviously comes through much training and practicing.

Krunchyman
Post 2

@RoyalSpyder - You make some very good points, especially when using the examples of your left and right hand. Overall, it's very important that when building our muscles, whether through workouts or daily walks, we keep up with every aspect. I mean, just because more people are right handed than left handed, that doesn't mean we shouldn't give our other muscles a shot.

RoyalSpyder
Post 1

Overall, when it comes down to muscular endurance, one thing that we need to remember is that how much endurance someone has can depend on how much they use said muscle. As an example, this happens to be the case for many people who use their right hand instead of their left, and vice versa. For example, because I am right handed, I tend to use it quite often. When I attempt to pick up things, I noticed that I have little to no trouble. However, there's a lot more strain when I use my left hand, since it never gets a work out, per se. And to think that this is only one of the few example of muscular endurance.

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