Muscular endurance measures the muscles ability to repetitively perform concentric, eccentric or isokinetic contractions for a prolonged period of time, or sustain an isometric contraction for a sustained period of time.Local muscular endurance is a term often replacing muscular endurance and is used to make reference to the focus area of specific muscular contractions. Cyclist for example are primarily concerned with local muscular endurance of the legs.
Factors affecting muscular endurance
Fatigue: Muscular endurance is the ability to undertake repeated muscular contractions without a decrease in performance. Identifying a lack of fatigue as the sole principle behind a high level of muscular endurance. Muscular fatigue can result from fuel depletion, a build-up of metabolic by-products and ineffective thermoregulation.
Fibre Type: An individual’s ability to demonstrate high levels of muscular endurance can be determined by their muscular fibre make-up. Fast twitch muscle fibres are most effective for high-intensity anaerobic activity, whilst slow twitch muscle fibres are most effective for endurance activity and can delay fatigue. Therefore, the greater percentage of slow twitch muscle fibres the lower the associated fatigue. Slow twitch muscle fibres are initially activated during lower intensity activity. As exercise intensity increases more fast twitch fibre will be recruited.
(Malpeli, Telford, Whittle, Corrie, 2010)
TESTING MUSCULAR ENDURANCE
Timed push ups
Procedure: Place a chair against a wall facing outwards. Lie the subject face up with the soles of their feet in line with the front of the chair and Mark a line at the level of the elbow. Stand the subject up, place feet behind the line and assume a push up position on the edge of the chair. Complete as many push-ups as possible in 60 seconds. Push-ups must be completed with a straight back and to a point where the chest touches the chair. Pull-ups test
Procedure: Begin hanging from pull-up bar. Complete a pull up to the point where you chin clears the bar and then lower yourself back down to the starting position. Repeat this motion as many times as you can until you can no longer complete a pull-up. Record the number of completed pull-ups and compare to following table.