A part of almost all workouts, strength training and strength conditioning to a lesser extent, will help you to get stronger and increase your stamina. This of course then helps all your workouts.
Whether you choose to run, swim, take a step class, or do Pilates, certain muscles will get stronger depending on the degree of workout they receive. However, there are some activities for which specific strength training will greatly improve your overall performance.
For the athlete for whom getting stronger is a major goal, specific strength training is a must. To make significant gains there are certain key elements that must be adhered to. If you violate the basic principles of strength training, you will waste a lot of time and effort. Why not check out our strength training books and videos.
The first key to getting stronger is that exercises must be performed with a weight close to your maximum possible lift. Repetitions are kept low, typically 4 to 6 repetitions per set, and should be performed slowly and carefully, with good rest periods between each set. Another important factor is to limit the amount of cardiovascular work you are doing. While cardiovascular exercise is an essential part of overall health and fitness, it needs to be reduced during times of intense muscle workouts in order to give your body the energy it needs to grow stronger.
The need to reduce CV workouts is closely tied to another requirement - proper rest. In order to have the time to grow, you have to allow adequate time between workouts, and get plenty of sleep. It is an old maxim, but nonetheless true, that your gains are actually made while you are resting, not when you are working out.
Finally it is essential that you eat properly. Without good nutrition, you are not giving your body the fuel it needs in order to grow, and therefore wasting much of the time you spend working out.