Stamina refers to your aerobic endurance, and its increase is the number one goal for every runner, biker, or cardio lover.

Aerobic exercises use the cardiorespiratory system, which is why these exercises depend on your cardiovascular fitness.

Cardiovascular fitness is the ability of your heart and lungs to supply oxygen-rich blood to the working muscles and the capacity of the muscles to use oxygen to produce energy.

Stamina vs. Endurance

While endurance has a broader meaning, stamina definition is tightly associated with cardiovascular endurance, which means that stamina is just one type of endurance.

There is also muscular, mental, and general endurance, but in this article, we are going to focus on aerobic endurance.

How to increase stamina through training

Training is the best way to increase your physical stamina, and there are different ways to do that.

No matter which approach you chose, the number one rule is to always push yourself a bit further on each workout.

If you want to expand your limits, you need to test them consistently.

It might sound difficult, but building aerobic endurance is a tough challenge, so you must be willing to put effort and stay dedicated to your goal.

Does this mean that you need to work out longer every time?

Admittedly, doing cardio a bit longer every time will contribute to increasing your stamina, but this is not the only way.  

The combination of long, moderate-intensity workouts with HIIT might have a faster positive impact on your cardiovascular fitness.

HIIT definition

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a form of interval training and is usually shorter than moderate-intensity workouts. HIIT’s length typically varies between 20 to 40 minutes.

HIIT alternates short, high-intensity periods of performing, where between 80-90% of the maximum performance capacity is used, followed by rest, or longer and less intense working periods, performing at a pace between 20% to 40% of the maximum capacity.

You can do HIIT with any exercise, but in order to bring more benefits to your stamina, aerobic exercises are the best choice.

How can such short workouts be so beneficial for the aerobic endurance?

As the popularity of HIIT has been increasing significantly for the past years, many interesting research studies are proving its efficiency.

These studies unanimously agree that there is a strong effect of HIIT improving VO 2 max. Results are showing such an impact in only two weeks, which is much faster compared to average training.

Top 9 exercises to improve stamina

You can be training for a triathlon, marathon, long bike rides, or just for yourself and personal satisfaction.

Whatever your reason is, there are beneficial aerobic exercises that can help you build aerobic endurance fast.

Perform them in HIIT or circuit workout to maximize their efficiency.

1.   Burpees - this full-body exercise works your explosiveness and muscles at the same time, while increasing your heart rate fast. It is a good idea to aim for several reps, because performing this movement for time might lead to poor technique.

2.   Mountain climbers – another exercise that works the whole body, promotes core stability and cardiovascular fitness. It is appropriate to perform it for a time at a fast pace while keeping the abdominal muscles engaged.

3.   Double-unders – aside from the coordination and conditioning benefits from jumping rope, double-unders take it a bit further. This style of jumping help you build speed and increase your rate so fast that a minute of double-unders might feel like five minutes of ordinary jump rope skipping.

4.   Box jumps – Strong and explosive legs are essential for running or cycling more miles, so make time for exercises that challenge your legs’ muscles. You can have a full training of different box jumps, or you can do a few sets after your workout as a finisher.

5.   Stair climbing – If you are looking for a way to increase your heart rate fast and strengthen your legs at the same time, all you need to do is to climb those stairs. Play with the intensity and switch between moderate stair climbing workouts and HIIT, for maximum efficiency.

6.   SprintsStudies show that sprint interval trainings improve indices of cardio-metabolic health in a similar way to moderate-intensity endurance training, despite the five-fold lower exercise volume and time commitment.

7.   Punching bag workout – A heavy bag workout helps you build muscle and enhance power, and speed, while working on your aerobic endurance as well.  This workout is excellent for building stamina in a more different way than the usual cardio sessions.

8.   Assault Air Bike – This cardio machine is probably the king of all devices. It is also called Fan Bike, because it uses a fan to generate wind resistance, so the harder you pedal, the harder pedaling gets. It engages the whole body and raises your heart rate fast.

9.   Incline running/cycling or walking – Running or cycling on inclined route levels up your average cardio session and makes you work harder. Even incline walking is challenging and strengthens your heart, lungs, and legs.

Breathing Training and Stamina

Part of improving your stamina includes reducing the amount of fatigue or breathlessness you feel at a given exercise intensity. In addition to the above exercises, you can improve your stamina by training the muscles used in breathing.

Respiratory muscle training can be performed in as little as a few minutes, with a training device such as the Airofit. This type of training improves the stamina of the muscles that help you breathe forcefully in and out during exercise, getting more oxygen into your body to deliver to the working muscles.
Make sure you take advantage of this training, as it has been shown to reduce the feeling of breathlessness and improve sports performance.

Bonus tip to increase stamina fast

Supplementing with the ancient herb Ashwagandha has many benefits for your body and brain, and improving your stamina is one of them. Research studies examined the effects of supplementation of Ashwagandha on cardiorespiratory endurance.

The results showed significant improvement in the experimental group in all parameters, namely, VO2 max, METS, and time for exhaustion on a treadmill. The conclusion is that Ashwagandha improves aerobic endurance in a short period.

Have you tried some of the exercises in your endurance trainings? Let us know in the comments below which one works best for you!

References

 Effect of high-intensity interval training on cardiovascular function, VO2max, and muscular force.
 Twelve Weeks of Sprint Interval Training Improves Indices of Cardiometabolic Health Similar to Traditional Endurance Training despite a Five-Fold Lower Exercise Volume and Time Commitment
 Effects of eight-week supplementation of Ashwagandha on cardiorespiratory endurance in elite Indian cyclists