Endurance Building Workout: Week 1

Feeling the need for speed? Condition and train your body by increasing your stamina and endurance with movements that will step up your athletic game and help your body achieve great overall results in the process.


Endurance training is the ability to perform exercise or an activity for an extended period of time by withstanding fatigue, stress, or pain. You may think of endurance training as a cardiovascular event such as long-distance running, biking, or swimming. While these are all activities that require endurance, your muscles need the strength development and stamina to produce the power for the long haul!


Muscular endurance includes any strengthening activity that involves high repetitions and works the muscle to fatigue. Regardless of the sport, activity, or daily duties you perform, developing a solid base of cardiovascular and muscular endurance are the key elements to producing overall excellent results at optimal levels.


Endurance Training Benefits

Endurance training not only develops your muscle mass, strength, and stamina, but it also provides a list of positive benefits that coincide with the way your body looks, feels, and performs. Here’s what you have to look forward to with training:

  • Builds cardiovascular and muscular stamina
  • Weight Control
  • Increased Energy
  • Improved Mood
  • Decrease Stress
  • Improved Muscle Definition
  • Prevents Disease
  • Anti-Aging Effects


These are just a few of the many benefits you can expect to achieve following an endurance-training program.


Week 1 Goals and Actions

I’ve developed a solid 3-week program that enhances your current fitness program. The routines progress over a 3-week period to build muscular strength, endurance, stamina and ultimately develop more power output and speed.


Program Goal: Develop muscular endurance and stamina.

Week 1 Training Goal: Perform each exercise continually for 45 seconds and for 2 sets.

Plan: Perform this strength endurance workout on three nonconsecutive days in conjunction with a solid cardio based program over three days, and flexibility training following each workout.


Each week will build on the previous week with different exercises and time performed.



  • Three nonconsecutive days per week, perform the Total Gym Strength Endurance Workout
  • Three to four days of cardiovascular training for 20-30 minutes. Vary your routine based on your schedule (ex: Power walking, running, biking, rollerblading, etc.)
  • Include flexibility training following each workout (ex: relevant stretches, foam rolling, yoga, Pilates)
  • Over Achiever: If you have one more workout day in you, perform the ‘Strength Endurance Workout’ on the fourth day by performing one set of each exercise for as many reps as you can until the muscles fatigue and ‘burn out’. Remember to listen to your body.
  • Bonus Treat: A weekly massage!


Week 1 Instructions

  • Week 1 focuses on “range of motion variations” by performing basic total body strength exercises to develop a muscular endurance base.
  • Perform each exercise for 45 seconds then immediately proceed to the next exercise with no rest.
  • Perform five minutes of full range of motion exercises that prepare your body for the workout ahead. (ex: Jumping jacks, squats, lunges, push-ups, mountain climbers, planks)
  • Complete the six exercises in the circuit and then repeat it again for two sets in total.
  • Feel free to vary the range of motion by adding “pulses” to challenge the muscles under different tension. (ex: Full range of motion vs. shorter)
  • Set the incline to accommodate your strength level for each exercise. You can always adjust it for more or less of a challenge.
  • Set a timer for 45 seconds to keep track of your intervals.
  • Conclude your sweat session with a series of stretches that lengthen your muscles and recover them for your next workout. (ex: Basic stretches, foam rolling, yoga)


Strength Endurance Circuit


Single Leg Squats

Targets: Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, inner/outer thighs, calves

Set Up: Squat stand connected

Perform: Lie supine on the glide board with the feet positioned at the top of the squat stand. Extend one leg and perform a single leg squat. Keep the knees in line with the toes and press the weight through the heel as you extend. Perform the same time on both legs.


Chest Press

Targets: Chest, triceps, core

Set Up: Remove the squat stand and connect the cables

Perform: Sit or kneel facing away from the tower with the cables in each hand. Perform a chest press with the elbows and wrists in the same line. Vary the angle to target different muscles angles.



Targets: Upper/middle/lower back, rear deltoids, core

Perform: Sit or kneel facing the tower with the cables in each hand. Perform a row keeping the elbows and wrists in the same line. Vary the positioning of the elbows to target the back muscles at different ranges of motion.


Pull Over Crunch

Targets: Shoulders, arms, abdominals, spinal stabilization

Perform: Lie supine on the glide board facing away from the tower with the cables in each hand. Extend the arms out from the chest, bend the knees, and place the feet on the glide board to begin. Lower the arms straight to the hips while simultaneously lifting the upper torso into a ‘crunch’. Change up the workout by keeping arms front or at your sides.


For an added core challenge, lift the knees to 90 degrees, and then progress to straight legs. Be sure to keep the lower spine in contact with the glide board at all times.


Torso Rotation

Targets: Obliques, core power, isometric upper body strength

Perform: Sit or kneel facing the side of the tower while holding the back cable in both hands. Rotate from the torso, not the arms, to perform the correct movement. Both cables can be used to increase the strength challenge, however the range of motion will be less. You can perform this exercise while seated, kneeling, or high kneeling.


Forearm Plank Hold

Targets: Builds isometric strength, abdominals, shoulder stabilizers, glutes, hamstrings, quads, & improves posture

Set Up: Remove the cables

Perform: Facing the tower, place the forearms onto the glide board with the shoulders directly on top of the elbows and extend the legs to create a diagonal line from the head to the heels. Keep the core engaged at all times to prevent ‘sinking’ or ‘piking’ of the hips. Modify the plank by either raising the incline or placing the knees at the bottom base. Keep the glide board closed to develop core stamina and proper form.


For an increased challenge, hold a full forearm plank at a low incline with the glide board open.


Be sure to check out the video to see how these exercises are performed. Please ‘like’ and ‘share’ so that others can join in the program!


This workout is definitely a challenge. It will push you physically and mentally, especially since you are working with a set period of time to perform each exercise. Take your time and focus on learning proper form first. As you build muscular strength and speed, sustaining longer duration movement periods will become easier.


Stay tuned for week 2 of the Endurance Training Program! You will be amazed at how quickly your body adapts and develops strength, stamina, and endurance.







Maria Sollon

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. http://www.groovysweat.com http://www.groovysweatstore.com (purchasable workout videos) http://www.youtube.com/groovysweat (workout clips)

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