Muscular endurance workouts / zones

I realize almost all workouts effect muscular endurance. But what zones or workouts really target this trait ? Interested to hear everyone imput, cheers


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Table 2 in this link may help answer your question, if you can reconcile which changes relate to your “muscular endurance”.

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Yes. For an untrained recreational rider, even what TR users know as endurance riding will improve muscular endurance (i.e. adaptations taking place due to super-compensation). And at the upper end, as Table 2 from @mcneese.chad Training Peaks link shows, VO2Max efforts will result in the physiological improvements associated with improving muscular endurance.

It depends on the individual, but broadly amongst the large TR user base from 75 to 105 , , ,

The goal of workouts targeted at improving your muscular endurance is building resistance to fatigue (e.g. ability to hold power on a long hill climb OR ability to ride a century at a high intensity factor). Short term fatigue resistance is measured as Time-to-Exhaustion (TTE). Long term (multi-hour events), it is measured as Stamina.

The way to build fatigue resistance is through progressively increasing Time-in-Zone, that is the amount of time you spend in each of the training zones at FTP and below. For TR users new to resistance training, any power above aerobic endurance (e.g. Tempo at 75%+; see TP link), will do this. For TR users with a strong training base (e.g. CTL 60s and above), the 3 most effective zones for progressive interval training are:

  • Sweet Spot: 88-94
  • Threshold: 94-99
  • Lactate/FTP: 95-105 (over/unders)

For a deeper understanding of the topic of “muscular endurance”, I would suggest reading Joe Friel’s “The Cyclists Training Bible” 5th edition. Chapter 6, Preparing to Race, discusses the 6 training abilities for a cyclist to develop: Muscular Force, Muscular Endurance, Aerobic Endurance, Anaerobic Endurance, Speed Skills, and Sprint Power. There is a section on each.

And for a deeper understanding of training zones and the physiological changes associated with training in each of zones referenced by @mcneese.chad, I’d suggest reading Allen/Coggan/McGregor “Training + Racing with a Power Meter”, Chapter 3, Power-based Training: Where to Begin?.


Thanks! Zone 4 & 5 seem to be the money maker. They do have slightly different adaptations more mitochondrial enzyme induction & increased LT in zone 4. zone 5 hypertrophy of slow twitch fibers and increased capilirization of the muscle. Are the predominant local effects. I understand these adaptations well. However I don’t know it which ones lead to a greater muscle endurance adaptation. Obviously all are needed but is time better spent in 4 vs 5? Not sure we’re sweet spot fall in.

Thanks for the book recommends I’ll order it love geeked out science about training

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Both! And all the way up the stack! You are building a house with a wide foundation. I think the WK04 video on Fatigue Resistance training will give you further insight.

Building Fatigue Resistance Strategy Into Training

Both. You can spend more time in sweetspot than you can in Z5, and you will need more recovery time from Z5 workouts.