Physical fitness is about setting goals, kicking your own butt to accomplish them, and then setting even loftier ones. Whether you’re hoping to build muscle, run a marathon, or simply prove to yourself what you’re made of, it takes equal parts endurance, vigor, and verve to prove one’s mettle, even if it’s just to yourself.
But when you feel your ambition hitting a wall, you’re probably left wondering how to build stamina and keep going.
Well, as always, we have your back. Here are three tips for increasing stamina and pushing yourself as far as you can go at the gym.
#1 Consistency Breeds Champions
The best advice anyone can give you for how to build up stamina comes from MLB legend Hank Aaron, who reportedly once said, “Consistency is everything. You have to be able to do things again and again.”
Sure, Hank was talking about baseball, but his wise words are just as relevant to your endurance journey. Pushing yourself in your workouts means showing up for each one with unwavering determination, dedication, and commitment.
There will inevitably be days when simply lacing up for your long run or getting to your fitness class on time feels like a workout on its own. But whether you’re exhausted from your micro workouts, sluggish from a lack of sleep, or just not in the mood, you owe it to yourself to raise your energy level and follow through.
When you do, you won’t just gain the satisfaction of keeping your word to yourself. The fact is, the more consistently you participate in stamina training, the more you get out of exercising. And consistency may help increase stamina thanks to the following benefits:1
- Consistency helps you build an exercise habit more quickly than intermittent exercise
- It keeps your muscles loose, lithe, and performance-ready
- It trains the body to adapt to new challenges—and to overcome them
If you need help finding how to stay motivated to workout, we have the guide for you.
#2 Build In Rest Days
While you’re barreling past your old physical limits and setting your sights on new ones, it’s important to keep in mind that consistency isn’t strictly about hitting the gym six days a week or running eight miles each morning before the sun’s up. You also need to be consistent in giving yourself time away from your workout routine. Once you learn how to create a workout routine for yourself, it is important that you remember to include rest and recovery time.
If that seems like a contradiction to our first tip, it isn’t. It’s true that when it comes to building stamina, you have to constantly surpass it. But by building in rest and recovery time between breakthroughs, you could have a better shot at avoiding the type of burnout that tempts you to skip a workout here and there.
More than that, building in “rest days” is actually better for your body. Each workout does microscopic damage to your muscles (at least, if you’re working out correctly).2 And in the process of healing themselves, your muscles gain strength and mass.
Finally, rest days aren’t just an integral aspect of increasing stamina; they’re also a key to keeping your workout routine safe and productive. Rest days are beneficial because they help:3
- Improve your next workout
- Reduce your risk of injury
- Alleviate muscle fatigue
#3 Fuel Up With Foods That Energize
A well-rounded, balanced diet that leans into powerful proteins, energizing whole grains, and a colorful array of fruits and vegetables is non-negotiable if you’re building stamina.4
The food you eat needs to give you a high enough energy level to get through your workout and leave enough nutrients to help your muscles, bones, and joints recover. That means knowing what to eat before a workout and after as well.
Tips for a meal plan that builds good stamina include:5
- Embrace breakfast – Sleep may be restful for you, but it’s a lot of work for your body. In the morning, be sure to rejuvenate it with a healthy breakfast that features nourishing food and drinks like juice, fresh fruit, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.
- Be smart about snacks – Snacking throughout the day is okay, especially if those snacks are filling your tank for your stamina training. That means ditching the candy bar for a granola bar, protein bar, fresh fruit smoothie, or peanuts.
- Enjoy a post-workout treat – It’s a good idea to enjoy a meal within two hours of a workout session, ideally one that’s rich in carbs and proteins.
And of course, be sure to drink plenty of water and other fluids to stay hydrated. Take extra special care to drink a healthy amount of water while you’re working out and hydrate right before and after your session to ensure that dehydration doesn’t sour your stamina.
Push Yourself Further With Chuze Fitness
One final insight into how to build stamina is to join a gym where you feel encouraged to pursue all of your physical fitness goals. For more and more people, that gym is Chuze Fitness.
At Chuze, we’re proving that fatigue and burnout are no match for the support that comes from a gym with friendly, talented instructors, an innovative iChuze app to keep you motivated, and fellow fitness freaks who check their egos at the door.
Ready to choose a different kind of gym? Just search “Chuze gyms near me” for a convenient location, then come say hi. We’ll be here when you do.
Ani is the Vice President of Fitness at Chuze Fitness and oversees the group fitness and team training departments. She’s had a 25+ year career in club management, personal training, group exercise and instructor training. Ani lives with her husband and son in San Diego, CA and loves hot yoga, snowboarding and all things wellness.
- National Institute for Fitness and Sport. In Training, Consistency Is the Key To Your Fitness Goals. https://www.nifs.org/blog/in-training-consistency-is-the-key-to-your-fitness-goals
- UC Health. Rest and recovery are critical for an athlete’s physiological and psychological well-being. https://www.uchealth.org/today/rest-and-recovery-for-athletes-physiological-psychological-well-being/
- Healthline. Are Rest Days Important for Exercise? https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/rest-day#benefits
- United States Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/fitness/pdfs/nnm_tipsheet.pdf
- MayoClinic. Eating and exercise: 5 tips to maximize your workouts. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20045506
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