Muscular Endurance Risks
Strength training is often prescribed by personal trainers and even health-care providers to test and reinforce your muscular endurance. While gaining muscle and being able to train for longer periods of time has its health benefits, there can be risks when lifters don't use proper techniques, overtrain, or don't allow proper amounts of time for recovery or rest. Lifting weights has many benefits, such as enhanced bone density, toned muscles and reduced risk of chronic illness, but it pays to be safe and always use proper form.
Muscular fatigue has many causes, but it’s usually associated with the task being performed, such as lifting weights. When you lift too much weight or perform too many reps, your muscles will fatigue. The result is that glycogen stores are reduced, energy is not as readily transferred to working muscles, and energy phosphates become depeleted. You can’t build muscular endurance if your muscles are fatigued; what's more, you risk injury or worsening of existing injuries.
Injuries can occur with improper lifting techniques, and you can further injure yourself if you try to train through “pesky” injuries. If you do not take care of small injuries right away, they may progress into major injuries down the road, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Common injuries for lifters include back pain, knee pain and shoulder pain. Many times these injuries occur due to improper training, such as overarching of the back during overhead lifting, swinging a weight for added momentum, or even bouncing a weight or bar off of your chest during a press exercise.
In order for your muscles to build endurance, they need to have time to rest between intense lifting sessions. Give your muscles 24 to 48 hours of rest between sessions. When you do not allow enough time for the muscle fibers to heal and strengthen, you lose the potential of building your muscle’s strength and endurance. Overtraining can also lead to burnout, muscle breakdown and injuries, which could sideline you for weeks.
Always pay attention to proper form, and don't skip your warm-up exercises. Muscles that are cold are more prone to injury than those muscles that have received five to 10 minutes of walking or aerobic exercise, according to MayoClinic.com. Don’t hurry your lifting exercises. Maintain control during exercises, and isolate those muscles you want to engage, rather than relying on the momentum of the exercise. Dress properly when training: Wear comfortable clothing that doesn’t scratch or chafe your body and shoes that have good traction and support for your feet.
- Cleveland Clinic: Weight Training: Common Mistakes
- Mayoclinic.com: Weight Training: Do’s and Don’ts of Proper Technique
- National Posture Institute: Muscular Strength & Endurance Assessments: Worth the Risk?
- The Journal of Physiology: Muscle Fatigue: What, Why and How it Influences Muscle Function; Roger M Enoka and Jacques Duchateau; January 2008
Danielle Clark has been a writer since 2009, specializing in environmental and health and fitness topics. She has contributed to magazines and several online publications. Clark holds a Bachelor of Science in ecology and environmental science.