7 Reasons Your Endurance Isn’t Changing No Matter How Much You Work Out

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Your workout schedule is no joke. Between the sunrise runs, lunchtime spin classes, and evening yoga practice, the only thing more packed than your fitness routine is your laundry basket. Your Instagram feed is a steady stream of #fitspiration, and your abs are the envy of your squad. So why is it that when you hit the road for your regular five-mile loop around the neighborhood, it still feels hard AF every single time?

“This is a common theme with athletes of all ages and abilities,” says Anthony Baugh, a NASM-certified personal train at Independent Training Spot in NYC. “And it nearly always comes back to workoutintensity and rest.” Here are seven reasons you may not be seeing endurance gains—even if you’re working out ‘round the clock. 

“Most people run intervals to mix up their routine, which is great,” says Baugh. “But you need to make sure you’re doing them with the right amount of intensity.” In other words, it should hurt a little or leave you gasping for air—and that’s a good thing! Without adequate intensity, the body doesn’t experience enough stress to illicit a physiological change. “If you’re not pushing yourself past your comfort zone, you’re unlikely to see many changes,” says Baugh. Having a hard time making it happen on your own? “Consider getting uncomfortable in a group setting,” says Baugh. “Join a local running group where the workouts will be structured and you’ll be surrounded by friends—or strangers!—who can help you push yourself the bit harder that will make a difference.”

More isn’t necessarily better. “Going hard all the time, in every workout, can prevent you from seeing the fitness gains you’re working toward because you don’t have enough variety in your workouts,” says Caroline Varriale, physical therapist at Finish Line Physical Therapy in New York City. “It’s important to balance the hard efforts with workouts that are easier in order to build endurance and strength.” Instead of hitting up all your favorite classes every week, plan your weekly workouts in advance so you can ensure there’s a purpose for each sweat session. Each workout should vary in intensity and duration in order to achieve the maximum benefits. 

If you do a hard boot-camp class on Monday night and then wake up early to take a tough spin class on Tuesday morning, your body is probably still tired from the previous night’s workout. “Follow that schedule for a few days in a row, and it isn’t surprising that a short run on Friday feels hard,” says Varriale. “Balance your workouts by spacing out those that are higher intensity and heavy on strength, power, and speed. Build in easy workouts for variety, and make sure to give yourself one or two days off during the week to allow your body to rebuild and recover.”

By Allison Feller. Source: Women's Health