Have You Checked Your Muscle Endurance Lately?

As 2020 draws to a close, I would like to encourage all of us to look back on our fitness successes. If you’ve trained in any way, it’s a victory. If you take a break because it supports your mental health best, that’s a win, too.

Last December, we set ourselves the goal of doing some fitness tests that I called “a gift to myself in the future.” We had flexibility tests, pull-ups , push-ups and cardio fitness tests. If you’ve continued exercising, be sure to come back to them and see how much you’ve improved.

But it’s also good to look ahead. We’re going to take a look at a different set of tests this month, and you can again use them as a basis for measuring your improvement in 2020.

Let’s tackle muscle endurance this week. As you get stronger, you can usually do the exercise more times in a row, but strength and repetition are not the same thing. For example, a person who has a large bench press may not do 100 push-ups. And someone who often does fancy hairstyles can keep their arms up for 15 minutes, even if they can’t press hard above their head at all.

Try these tests:

  • Make a plank (or another plank of your choice). How long can you hold the position?
  • Choose a push-up option that is not too difficult for you (push-ups from the wall, push-ups from the floor, etc.). How much can you do without interruption?

Muscle endurance is something that depends on specific training. If you can do 10 or 20 push-ups and dream of doing 100, you may not have to get too strong; you just need to learn how to do it for longer.

On the other hand, high rep workouts do not require a lot of weight, so this is an ideal project if your gym is closed again. You can also move on to other exercises, such as curls in soup cans or sitting against a wall for a set time. How many reps can you do – or how long can you hold that position – by the end of the month?

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