Because your muscles are working all day long, they need to be able support resistance for an extended length of time. Throughout most of your day, this resistance is your body weight. By improving your muscular endurance, you not only improve your muscles' capabilities to contend with your daily activities, but you also help your muscles get through longer workouts at the gym. Consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen.
Increasing your muscular endurance will make everyday chores and tasks easier. Training muscular endurance will increase your stamina as well -- you'll need less exertion in going from your job to playing with your kids, for example. You will find that performing repetitious physical activity -- such as gardening, raking leaves and washing your car -- will become less fatiguing, too. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, increasing muscular endurance will also limit injuries sustained from physical exertion and from the overuse of active muscles throughout the day.
Bone and Joint Integrity
Muscular endurance goes further than just improving the health of your muscles. Muscular endurance training has beneficial effects on bone and joint health, too. These effects may decrease the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures, reports Dr. Vivian H. Heyward, author of "Advanced Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription." This is because greater changes in bone density occur when you exercise muscles via repetitious compressional stress. For example, you affect the spine, hip and leg bones and joints when performing squats. Muscular endurance training also makes a continuous and lengthened impact on the muscles, so your bones will also be trained for continuous and lengthened resistance, too.
Muscular endurance will benefit your athletic and recreational activities. Developing muscular endurance will allow you to perform activities for longer before fatigue sets in. If you ever wanted to run a little farther, hike an incline a little longer or jump for that rebound in the last minutes of a basketball game but could not due to muscular fatigue, boosting your muscular endurance will benefit those types of situations. After muscular endurance training, your muscles will be able to sustain a load -- such as your body weight or a back pack -- for longer periods, and they will do so more efficiently.
How to Train Muscular Endurance
Perform resistance exercises — such as body weight, weightlifting or plyometrics — for 12 or more repetitions per exercise when training muscular endurance, the National Strength and Conditioning Association recommends. Perform two to three sets of each exercise, and rest 30 seconds or less between sets. Use 67 percent or less of your maximum one-repetition lift for exercises when lifting for muscular endurance.
- ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (8th edition); American College of Sports Medicine
- Advanced Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription (5th edition); Vivian H. Heyward
- Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning; Thomas R. Baechle, Roger W. Earle