Posted on 19 March 2013.
Muscular endurance describes the ability of a muscle of muscle group to continue working without fatigue. Muscular endurance is affected by the blood supply to your muscles, the amount of carbohydrate stored within your muscles-called muscle glycogen, your tolerance to lactic acid and the ratio of fast twitch to slow twitch fibers that make up your muscles. Muscular endurance can be significantly improved with training and there are a variety of tests that you can perform to assess your current levels of muscular endurance.
The push up test is used to assess your upper body muscular endurance. To perform the push-up test, adopt the push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart, your legs straight and your body in good alignment. Perform as many push-ups as you can in 60 seconds. Your chest must touch the floor for a rep to count and you must fully extend your elbows at the top of the movement. Repetitions that fail to meet these criteria will not be counted. Scores for this test can be compared to the American College of Sports Medicines norm tables by using the calculator linked below.
This test is designed to assess the muscular endurance of your abdominals. Lie on the floor with your legs bent to 90 degrees and your feet anchored firmly. With your hands clasped behind your neck, sit up until your elbows touch your knees and then lower your body back to the floor until your back touches the floor. Perform as many reps as possible in 60 seconds and compare your results using the calculator linked below.
Sub-maximal Bench Press Test
An alternative to the push-up test, the sub-maximal bench press test assess upper body muscular endurance. Men performing this test should use 80lbs whereas women should use 35lbs. You will require a metronome set to 60 beats per minute for this test. Lie on a flat bench with arms extended over your chest and your hands shoulder-width apart. Taking two seconds to lower the weight and two seconds to raise it, perform as many repetitions as you can. The test is completed when you can no longer continue to keep time with the metronome. Enter your score on the calculator linked below.
The battery test is a selection of exercises that can be performed to assess muscular endurance. The aim is to perform as many repetitions of each exercise as you can using the prescribed percentage of your bodyweight. The total number of reps you perform for all of the exercises is then added up and compared to the norm results provided.
The exercises and bodyweight percentages are:
Bench press 66% for men, 50% for women
Lat pull down 66% for men, 50% for women
Leg extension 50% for men, 50% for women
Leg curl 33% for men, 33% for women
Barbell Biceps Curl 33% for men, 33% for women
Triceps extension 33% for men, 33% for women
Bent knee sit-ups
91-105 = excellent
77-90 = very good
63-76 = good
49-62 = fair
35-48 = poor
Below 35 = very poor