I recently decided to add strength and conditioning workouts to the end of my workout routine in order to increase stamina and endurance. Essentially, while my strength training routine was challenging, I wanted to push my body’s limit and get that nice “HGH flush.” For me, the best way to accomplish this has been to perform a full body workout routine utilizing kickboxing, bodyweight exercises, circuit training, and plyometrics.
Why would I push myself even if I’m performing an effective strength training routine? The answer is that I want to make sure I’m mentally and physically exhausted after each workout. The challenge is that I don’t necessarily want to train my muscles to failure as tighter, denser muscles are formed by not training to failure. So the challenge is that I want to get my heart and lungs racing without fatiguing my muscles.
The goal in exercising intensely is so that my body increases HGH (human growth hormone) levels. HGH is a hormone that burns fat while preserving muscle mass. You’ve probably heard of illegal HGH supplements as some high profile athletes and celebrities have been caught using them in the past. However, your body can naturally increase HGH through intense exercise. You can read more about this here.
Generally I use cardio to really get my heart racing and increase HGH levels. I still perform a HIIT workout routine as part of my morning cardio 3 days per week. I just want to ramp up my fat burning potential even further by adding intense exercise after my strength training routine as well.
Floyd Mayweather certainly knows something about intense training…a boxing routine is one of my favorite ways to get the HGH flush after heavy weight strength training.
Strength and Conditioning Workouts
The other reason I turned toward strength and conditioning workouts is that they’re something I always enjoyed at the end of sports practices. I use the word “enjoyed” lightly, but it’s true. After a grueling practice, only the mentally and physically strong can survive and endure further conditioning. It’s really a test of what your body can accomplish if you put your mind to it.
There are a number of ways to increase stamina and endurance, but some of my favorite strength and conditioning workouts include:
- Kickboxing (heavy bag): I used to perform 3 rounds of 5 minutes on the heavy bag utilizing a variety of kicking and punching combinations. The goal is nearly continuous movement.
- Punches and Kicks (no bag): because I generally exercise when my son sleeps, pounding the heavy bag in my basement is not currently an option. Instead, I perform a punching and kicking routine utilizing dumbbells and ankle weights. You don’t even need weights and could still get an intense workout just by punching and kicking air. Create your own version of Billy Blanks Tae Bo.
- Bodyweight Exercises: when I perform heavy, low rep strength training, I like to conclude by doing bodyweight exercises. I perform a circuit with 30-45 seconds rest between exercises. I like to include burpees, one-arm pushups, one-legged squats, pull ups, dips, inverted row, and decline closed-grip pushups amongst others. This is a great way to improve muscular endurance.
- Circuit Training: on days that I do bodyweight strength training, I like to conclude by doing circuit training using a 65lb barbell, 35lb dumbbells, and 15lb dumbbells. I piece together a variety of full body exercises, such as clean and press, that really get my heart pumping.
- Plyometrics: while I incorporate plyometrics as part of my cardio routine, you can easily do these after a strength training routine to really work up a sweat and increase leg strength and conditioning.
Full Body Workout Routine
In my opinion, the best strength and conditioning workouts will include compound exercises that work your entire body. It’s only natural that these will get your heart and lungs racing. You’ll sweat, and your body will increase HGH levels with these types of movements. By incorporating some of the ideas above, you should be able to design a full body workout routine that complements your strength training routine and helps you increase stamina and endurance.
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