When it comes to being able to do what you want in life, having a body that can do more than you are asking of it is a big deal. In particular, having muscles that can do more than you are asking of them can be a game-changer if you feel like you aren’t able to do everything you want.

The difference between what your muscles are capable of and what is being required of them to do the things you want is what we call the margin of your muscles, and building this margin is a key component to living a long, healthy, and strong life.

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the first aspect of building the margin of your muscles, which is to improve their function. At Muscle Activation Schaumburg, we do this through using Muscle Activation Techniques® to figure out where our clients’ muscles are not working as well as they should and systematically get them working better.

In Part 2 of this series, we discussed why building your strength is such a vital part of building the margin of your muscles. In particular, we highlighted why it is necessary to follow the 4 Exercise For Life Principles every time you workout to make sure you are building your strength and health in a way that leaves your body functioning better and not broken down.

Today, we have Part 3, where we will be discussing the final component of building the margin of your muscles–building their endurance.

It is often thought that doing cardio exercise is the most effective way to build the endurance of your muscles and your body. While cardio definitely has its place in making sure you stay healthy and functioning well long-term, it is not the only way to build the endurance of your muscles.

To put it simply, endurance is how long your muscles are able to do an activity for. You may associate a certain level of fatigue with it–for example, feeling exhausted after walking for three minutes may indicate low endurance–but it doesn’t necessarily have to be fatigue-related.

In general, as endurance improves, fatigue at a given workload lessons, but not always. You can still feel really fatigued doing an activity, but be able to do the activity at that level of fatigue for longer, and that could be considered an improvement in endurance.

Why this matters is because one of the primary determinants of how much endurance your muscles have is how much and how healthy their mitochondria are. Mitochondria are the primary energy producers for your cells, and the more mitochondria you have and the healthier they are, the more easily you will be able to do activities for longer periods of time, i.e. the more endurance you will have.

Many forms of exercise have been shown to improve the density and health of mitochondria, from walking to sprinting to lifting weights. It turns out that it is less about the activity itself and more about how the activity is being done. Specifically, the more challenging the activity is, the more opportunity there will be for mitochondria to be produced in response to it.

What this means is forms of exercise like walking are only really good at producing mitochondria if walking is a very challenging activity for you. If you are walking at a comfortable pace that doesn’t have you breathing particularly heavy, it is unlikely that you will be able to continue to build your endurance doing that activity long-term.

Instead, look for opportunities during your workouts to move faster or push harder, both of which can challenge your muscles more and ultimately lead to more endurance as a result.

When lifting weights to build mitochondria, the name of the game is challenge. Following the 4 Exercise For Life Principles is key to making sure the workouts are safe and effective, which will allow you to continue to do the workouts long-term without injury.

At the end of the day, the more endurance your muscles have, the more margin you will have throughout your day and life to do all the things you enjoy doing the most. Making sure your muscles are functioning properly using Muscle Activation Techniques® and making sure your muscles are staying strong using the 4 Exercise For Life Principles will be massively beneficial to building the margin of your muscles as well.

When you get all three of these aspects worked into your regular workout routine, your ability to Get Strong and Live Limitless will be unlike anything you have experienced before.

If you are in the Chicagoland and would like our personal guidance implementing any of this within your workouts, we would love to work with you! You can schedule your initial consultation and assessment with us online by clicking here.

And if you would like our guidance while working out in your home, you will love the Exercise For Life Membership. Right now you can get a 30-day free trial when you click here to sign up.

You don’t have to be limited in what you can do throughout your day because of feeling weak, tired, or dysfunctional. Building the margin of your muscles through improving their function, strength, and endurance can completely change how you operate in your life. Adding in Muscle Activation Techniques®, strength training with the 4 Exercise For Life Principles, and doing cardio that feels highly challenging will go a long way towards building the margin of your muscles and helping you Live Limitless.

In strength and health,

Julie & Charlie

Team MAS

Muscle Activation Schaumburg is an exercise facility located in Schaumburg, IL with a goal to help you keep your health for as long as possible. We know that it is your health that allows you to do the things you love in life. This is why we promote a lifestyle that includes exercise, rather than exercise that is a burden to your life. Muscle Activation Schaumburg provides Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT®) and personal training services to its clients. We use MAT® and exercise to increase the function of your body. A well-functioning body is what allows you to stay healthy and do the things you love. We value helping the members of our community of Schaumburg as well as surrounding communities of the Northwest Suburbs improve their health.