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Endurance training - methods, effects, tips

In recent years, endurance training has undergone a veritable boom. Whether you are in the Tiergarten in Berlin, the English Garden in Munich, Central Park in New York or any other major urban park, you will see joggers and cyclists getting fit and training their endurance. Even exercising at home is gaining more and more popularity. With your own fitness equipment, e.g. a treadmill, crosstrainer or ergometer, you can do your personal cardio workout anytime, day or night. The independence, efficiency and convenience of exercising at home is even winning over those who have typically gone to fitness studios for many years. But is endurance training really worth it? What effects can be achieved through endurance training? And how do you train correctly? We would like to give you a few tips that will make your introduction to endurance training easier so that you can find the fitness equipment you need to implement your training goals in the best possible way. A quick glance at the science of exercising - What exactly does "endurance" mean? In order to understand the history of endurance training, we should first take a look at the training and exercise philosophy of sports science. In sports science, general endurance is understood to be psychophysical (i.e. physical and mental) resilience under strain and the fastest possible ability to regenerate afterward (according to Grosser, 1989). There are three aspects that can be used to define endurance:

  • Resistance to fatigue
  • Fatigue tolerance
  • Ability to regenerate and recover

Endurance cannot be viewed from a single perspective. It can be subdivided using various criteria, depending on the method of approach. The most important approach is the energy supply approach, which makes a distinction between anaerobic endurance and aerobic endurance. For fitness and hobby athletes, aerobic endurance is the most important form of endurance. This field is characterized by the fact that free fatty acids and glycogen (the form the sugar is stored in) are given preference as an energy source and burned with the help of oxygen. This is crucial to achieving the most valuable health effects. Essentially, the goal of endurance training should be to improve one's individual aerobic endurance.

Means and methods of endurance training

How does endurance training work?

There are many types of endurance training, and each method has advantages and disadvantages that vary based on the individual and his or her plans and goals. Probably the most well-known and utilized forms of endurance training are the so-called duration methods. These methods utilize long, uniform endurance exercises that are done without a break. The exercises emphasize endurance, so intensity is consciously kept low. This helps you avoid early fatigue and undesired interruptions during your workout session. The most common duration method is the extensive, continuous form. It offers optimal prerequisites for increasing aerobic endurance and reducing body fat.

Example of effective endurance training:

If you follow the extensive duration method, a 45-minute exercise session on a HAMMER fitness machine (e.g. treadmill or ergometer) is long enough. Fitness equipment from HAMMER allows for very precise settings, guaranteeing a continuous strain at a constant level of intensity. Other forms of endurance training include the interval method, the repetition method and the competition method. These regimes are primarily used in performance-oriented sports, making them less suitable for beginners. If you are a novice to endurance training, your workout sessions shouldn't be longer than about 30 minutes when you first get started. Make sure the intensity is set to a level that allows you to complete the entire workout without any problems. Bit by bit you can increase your training program, first in terms of extent, then in terms of frequency and finally in terms of intensity. Remember to avoid increasing the strain too quickly and to give your body sufficient time to recover and regenerate—after all, your workout gets the ball rolling, but the break between workouts is what causes the desired effect. You can get advice from our competent training experts either by visiting our HAMMER stores or by calling the number for our "hammer-fitness.co.uk" online shop. With the help of our experts, you will find fitness equipment that suits your needs, and your first steps into the world of endurance training will be a great success.

How do I train my endurance? - Which fitness equipment is suitable for endurance training?

Multiple fitness devices can be used for effective endurance training, so your choice in fitness devices depends on your individual preferences and plans. Walkers and joggers will primarily train their endurance on a treadmill, as it comes closest to Nordic walking and jogging. Cyclists can exercise in a realistic manner with an ergometer or an indoor bike—even when the weather is poor. Alternatively, you can also use a rowing machine, a crosstrainer, or a so-called recumbent bike, which is an ergometer where you lie or sit down. The advantage of rowing machines is that many large muscle groups are simultaneously strained. Endurance training on the rowing machine therefore has a corresponding full-body effect, which translates into a greater number of calories burned. However, exercising with the rowing machine not only trains your cardiovascular system; it also simultaneously strengthens your entire body musculature by up to 90%. This means that exercising with a rowing machine optimally combines both the endurance and strength components—and it achieves this in just one workout. A crosstrainer works according to a similar principle. The arms are integrated into the endurance training, which increases the resulting energy consumption and the effectiveness of the workout. Crosstrainers from FINNLO by HAMMER and HAMMER are designed with low footplate distance. This means our crosstrainer are easy on the joints and facilitate comfortable and ergonomically correct endurance training. A recumbent bike is particularly recommended for overweight individuals. The recumbent bike relieves the spine and bears body weight so that you can go easy on joints, tendons and ligaments. The number of calories burned is significantly higher because the muscles activated in the leg are part of a very large muscle group. This makes endurance training with a recumbent bike a great solution for gentle weight reduction.

Effects and impact of endurance training

- What does the cardio workout do for me?

You can add a lot to your health and your own wellness with well-dosed endurance training. Running or exercising on an ergometer will prove just how worthwhile it is to follow through with your exercise goals and finally overcome your inner couch potato (which we all have!). Here are some of the benefits of regular endurance training:

  • Your heart is optimized and works more efficiently. Your resting heart rate and blood pressure values improve.
  • New blood vessels are formed, and a better oxygen and nutrient supply is achieved. Furthermore, your vessels become more elastic, which significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Blood values are optimized. This is reflected in particular in an increase in protective HDL cholesterol and a reduction in harmful LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels (= neutral fat in blood).
  • Happy hormones such as endorphin and serotonin are released, and stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol are inhibited. This ensures joy and a sense of relaxation in day-to-day life.
  • The musculature is strengthened and tissue is tightened. In this way, you can convert your problems areas into a lean and well-formed body.
  • Increased calorie burning helps you lose excess weight and reduce body fat.
  • Bone density and stability is improved.
  • Susceptibility to infection is reduced and your immune system is strengthened. This means you effectively harden yourself against colds and influenza infections.

However, the effects of endurance training are highly dependent on the intensity and duration of your workout. The best results, in terms of fitness and health, are achieved by a workout of at least 30 minutes. After approx. 30 minutes, at least 50% of the energy consumed during endurance training comes from fat reserves. In this way, love handles can be reduced in a straightforward fashion!

Correct training regulation - Why is it so important to check the heart rate? Endurance training can also be regulated through heart rate measurement, which is even more effective than only taking the duration of the workout into consideration. One of the practical things about all HAMMER fitness machines is that they have various methods for measuring the pulse (ear clip, hand heart rate sensors, or telemetric recording via a chest strap). This means you can check whether you are exercising with the right heart rate and if you are in the optimal metabolism range at any time during your workout. Your individual optimal metabolism range depends on your desired exercise effects, but it is approx. 60-70% of your so-called maximum heart rate in terms of fitness and health training; this is primarily concerned with fat reduction, body toning and cardiovascular improvement. You can calculate a relatively precise definition of your maximum heart rate using the formula HFmax = 208 – 0.7*age. Then you can set your personal upper heart rate limit using the HAMMER home trainers' sophisticated fitness programs.

Tips and tricks for endurance training

- How can I make my endurance training more efficient?

Every year new methods of training optimization options come to the fore in the world of endurance training. But which tricks work? We present two effective training tips that can make your endurance training even more efficient:

  • Exercise on an empty stomach

Many athletes exercise on an empty stomach—in particular in the morning after waking up—and swear that it works. The theory behind this sounds logical: your blood sugar level is particularly low when you wake up in the morning. This means that when you exercise on an empty stomach your body cannot use glucose obtained quickly from the blood stream because you still haven't had breakfast, and your body consumes the glucose stored in your musculature relatively quickly. This, in turn, means that energy needs must be covered by another source—fat reserves. This makes exercising on an empty stomach an effective form of endurance training that improves lipid metabolism in a targeted manner. However, the workout session should not be too intense or long. Approximately 20 - 30 minutes is plenty of time when you first start exercising. You can drink before exercising on an empty stomach, but the drinks should not contain any sugar. This means that water and tea are the drinks of choice.

  • Coffee prior to endurance training

The caffeine contained in coffee has an excellent lipolytic effect. This means that the free fatty acids you want to reduce are released at an increased rate. Furthermore, you can suppress or delay your hunger by consuming coffee. That being said, caffeine only supplies free fatty acids for energy generation. But the enzymes needed to convert them can only be increased through controlled endurance training in the aerobic metabolism range (Hottenrott & Sommer, 2001).

The first step is always... easy!

You can organize your time in whatever way best suits you when you have the right endurance equipment at home, which allows you to take time just for you, for your fitness and for your health. After just three weeks of consistent cardio training your sessions will be an essential part of your week. And once the joy of feeling healthy takes hold, your "inner couch potato" will not have a chance. Your HAMMER training team hopes you have a lot of fun!

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