Paige Pucar

What is Muscular Endurance?

Muscular endurance is the ability of a single muscle or muscle group to work very hard for a limited period of time.

Factors that effect Muscular Endurance


  • Long Slow Distance Training: Most common type of endurance training and the foundation for endurance athletes.
  • Pace/Tempo Training: Training at a steady pace, but fairly high intensity, usually 20-30 minutes at a steady pace.
  • Interval Training: Short, repeated, but intense physical efforts (3-5 minutes followed by short rest periods).
  • Circuit Training: Series of specific exercises performed for a short duration and rotated through in quick in succession with little or no rest in between.
  • Fartlek Training: Combines some or all of the other training methods during a long, moderate training session.

If the athlete contributes in a few of the training methods listed above they would be classified as ‘well trained’. The more well trained the athlete is, the better their muscles respond to the activity allowing them to go for a longer duration at a higher intensity.


Muscle Fibre Types are broken down into two main types: slow twitch (Type 1) muscle fibers and fast twitch (Type 2) muscle fibres.

  • Slow twitch: Highly fatigue resistant and suited for extended periods of exercise or activity.
  • Fast Twitch: Are suited to high-intensity, anaerobic type activities.

Slow Twitch fibres are the preferred muscle fibre for endurance activities, as more slow twitch fibres in the muscle, creates lower levels of muscular fatigue.

Slow twitch fibres will be recruited for first for low intensity activities. However if exercise duration is extended, or intensity is increased, fast twitch fibres will then be recruited.

Muscular endurance activities generate ATP from both aerobic and anaerobic systems.


A muscle that has high levels of endurance must have reduced levels of fatigue.

The ability to sustain the contraction while fatigue increases is an important aspect of local muscular endurance.

Recognised Tests


Equipment: Stopwatch


  1. Performer lies on their back on a mat, with knees bent at a 90-degree angle, arms straight and fingers level. A partner places their forearm across the performer’s knees and counts and sit ups.
  2. A sit up is completed each time the performer slides their hands along the top of their thighs, touches their partners forearm and returns the back of the head to the mat.
  3. Sit ups must be completed at a rate of 20 per minute, to a maximum of 60 sit ups.
  4. If the performer is unable to perform 2 consecutive situps with the correct procedure, at the required rate, they withdraw from the test and record the number of correctly completed sit ups


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Equipment: Standard chair, stopwatch, chalk or masking tape


  1. Work with a partner. Place the chair against the wall. Lie face p, with the soles of both feet in line with the front of the chair seat. Mark a line on the floor at the level of the elbows. Stand up.
  2. Stand behind the line. Reach forward to place both hands one shoulder-width apart on the front edge of the chair. Make sure your body and legs are in a straight line, with your arms extended and at an angle of about 90 degrees to the body. Do as many push-ups as possible in a period of 60 seconds.
  3. For one push-up to be counted, you must lower yourself until your arms are bent and your chest touches the chair. It is important to keep your body in a straight line throughout. Count aloud. If a push-up is not completed satisfactorily, repeat the previous number until you have performed it correctly.


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Training Methods


  • Medium Interval training is where the work period is dominated by the anaerobic glycolysis system. This occurs either when the work period is between 10 and 60 seconds.

Medium-interval training:
- develops tolerance of lactic acid.
This is particularly important for team sports that regularly require performers to maintain high-intensity output in the presence of metabolic by-products.

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  • Resistance training is based on the principle that muscles of the body will work to overcome a resistance force when required to do so.

Resistance training:
- increases strength; allows an increase in force production which can be adapted for improvements in both power and speed
- improves body composition
- helps prevent osteoporosis
- forms the foundation for the development of speed, power and agility

EXAMPLE: Weight training

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  • Circuit training comprises a sequenced performance of exercises at different activity stations.

Circuit training:
-improves multiple fitness components (speed, muscular power, local muscular endurance, balance and agility)
-offers variety
-allows for specificity to be maintained

EXAMPLE: Circuit training - typically between 8 to 12 stations (bicep curls, triceps dips, sit ups, running on the spot, squats, lunges, push ups, plank)

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