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Targeting Muscle “Stamina”

muscle strength training May 13, 2024


By Dr Carla DiGirolamo MD, CFL1


Pressing Stamina


Last week we focused on isometric holds and tempo repetitions to increase the amount of time that muscles spend under tension or resistance (TUT). This week we are building on this foundation to target muscle “stamina” which is the ability to sustain a movement for a period of time. We train this skill through high repetition volume at low resistance. Volume training should not be overdone as this can lead to injury but rather integrated as just one component of an overall muscle health training program.

This week’s workout begins with a strength component to activate the muscle groups that are the target of the volume training. As written, we use the bench press (dumbbell or barbell) as the strength component. If you have no access to a bench or a barbell, the dumbbell shoulder press can be substituted.


Warm Up


Part 1: I love this quick “Joint Prep” sequence from Train FTW. Perform 10 repetitions on each side for each movement.

Part 2: TABATA: 20 seconds of work: 10 seconds of rest. Alternate between each movement for a total of 4 minutes ( 4 rounds of the two movements )


Movement Practice


Take 5-10 minutes to select your options/weights for the workout.

  •  Strength segment – Select a weight that you can do 3 repetitions unbroken, but where the last repetition is very challenging.
  •  Stamina segment – select 2 heights of push-up elevation that feel easy. Select a plate or dumbbell that you can perform the plate floor press for 15-20 repetitions confidently (Suggested weight range: 10-25#).

** When performing volume work it is CRITICALLY IMPORTANT that your movement options and weights are PAIN FREE.




Every 3:00 on the minute perform 3 repetitions of the bench press (or shoulder press) x 5 sets. Use the movement practice to find the weight that you will use for all 5 sets.

Rest for 5 minutes before starting the Stamina segment.


TIP: Set up your 3 movement areas in close proximity so that you can move quickly between movements

Set a timer with the following 3 intervals: 10 seconds, 10 seconds, 45 seconds. Perform 5 rounds of all three intervals without rest.

5 rounds for total repetitions (Can you get to 100 repetitions?)

  •  10 seconds – high elevation push up
  •  10 seconds – low elevation push up
  •  45 seconds – plate floor press


Cool Down

The importance of stretching and cooling down after volume training cannot be overstated. Please do not skip this segment! This is the start of your recovery.

15 min Yoga for Chest and Shoulders 

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