Local muscular endurance is a more specific style of training compared with the general concept of muscular endurance. When you train specific body regions with body weight or resistance-type weighted exercises, you are training those specific body parts' muscular endurance. This is localizing your training efforts to these certain muscles. In essence, local muscular endurance is the endurance capacity in a specific body motion in a specific muscle group.
Local Muscular Endurance
Local muscular endurance is the ability of certain muscles or muscle groups to perform repeated contractions against a submaximal resistance, according to the National Strength and Conditioning Association. A submaximal resistance is anything under your one-rep maximum for an exercise. Performing bicep curls for a continuous amount of reps would be training the local muscular endurance for your biceps, for example.
Testing Local Muscular Endurance
When testing a client's, patient's or your own muscular endurance, engage in exercise in a continuous manner for several seconds to several minutes, suggests the American College of Sports Medicine. You should have limited rest periods and assistance from non-engaged muscle groups, such as kicking or jerking upward when performing situps. Examples of tests would be performing as many number of repetitions as possible in one set of dips, pushups or weighted exercises as a prescribed weight.
Training Local Muscular Endurance
The National Strength and Conditioning Association suggests training active muscle groups for six to 10 exercises at two to three sets per exercise in a session. Intensity of each set should be 67 percent or less of your one-rep max for that exercise, and you should perform 12 or more repetitions in each set. The rest periods should be no greater than 30 seconds in between sets. This mode of training will increase your muscular endurance for the muscles being trained.
Benefits of Local Muscular Endurance
Training your local muscular endurance allows for a variety of benefits. Your muscles become capable of performing less than maximal activity for longer sustained periods of time, and your muscles can recover at faster rates. This aids in sport and recreational activities as well as increases the ease of performing laborious chores or tasks at work or at home. Muscular fatigue is delayed and lean tissue percentages within the body also will increase. This increases the metabolic activity in your body, which allows for more calories to be burned at rest and creates higher energy levels.
- ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 8th edition; American College of Sports Medicine; 2009
- Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning; Thomas R. Baechle and Roger W. Earle; 2008