Frank Mikulka's Weekly Fitness Tip
How to Improve Muscle Endurance
June 6, 2006

Free Subscription to Debbie Mandel's Acclaimed Wellness Newsletter


Iím thinking about doing a small Triathelon. I was told I needed muscle endurance. What is it and how do I develop it? (James, Hempstead).

Muscle endurance is part of any sport. It is the ability of muscle groups to respond to prolonged activity. This response is dramatically improved by training, especially aerobic training. This type of training strengthens the heart muscle to pump a greater volume of blood with each beat and:

  • Enlarges the arteries, so more blood can flow through them.
  • Increases the number of red blood cells which increases the bloodís oxygen-carrying capacity
  • Increases the rate at which enzymes in the muscles suck up oxygen from the blood.
The limiting factors of muscular endurance include:
  • Loss of muscle sugar. When you run out of sugar, your muscle becomes uncoordinated like a car running out of gas. Also, there is a lack of oxygen to burn the muscle sugar.
  • Buildup of lactic acid which diminishes the ability of the muscle to respond.
  • Heat buildup in the muscles called hyperthermia
In conclusion the best training for a sport is to practice that sport. And for those of you not training for a Triathelon, try cross training to strengthen different muscles for various benefits. Train hard; train smart.

Listen to Frank Mikulka’s Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandel’s Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Tuesday evening from 7:00 to 7:30 pm on WGBB 1240AM. Also available on