Sometimes, a person’s strength doesn’t match their appearance. They may kill it at the gym, experiencing high gains all the time, but often times you’ll find them winded or struggling to complete a task outside of their fitness zone. There is a way though to not only experience the aesthetic benefits of training, but the benefits of true strength and endurance too, that will allow you to take on any challenge.

Endurance is what allows you to withstand any wear and tear, by allowing you to be active for a long period of time. One component you can focus on when it comes to your training regimen is shortening your rest periods. For example, when weight lifting, keep the weight on the heavy side and increase your repetitions and sets. You’ll exert maximum strength this way, training your body to recover faster. In order to build strength, you have to place heavier demands on your muscles. Remember that your body adapts quickly, so once you have proper form mastered don’t be afraid to add that extra weight – your body will only be as strong as you push it to be.

The guidelines detailed above apply to any workout. Once you’ve loaded up your bar with heavy weights, go for 15 sets of 2 repetitions each with no more than 60 seconds rest between each set. As time goes by and your body begins to adapt and get stronger, you can continue to tweak your workout by adding an extra 2 to 5 kilos, altering your rest periods between sets and slowly increasing your endurance. Another great way to improve your endurance is to incorporate HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) into your workout programs.

Studies have shown that there are a few natural foods that will also assist you with your endurance too. What you put in your body always has an effect on how you feel, how you perform, and how you recover. Here is a list of a few foods you’ll want more of in your diet to strengthen your body inside out.

Quinoa: One of the most affordable super foods with a complete profile of amino acids (all nine essential aminos) and carbohydrates. Quinoa does have the things your body needs to build muscle properly.

Beetroot: Due to it’s high nitrate levels, beetroot will reduce the amount of oxygen used during exercise and regulate your blood flow, reducing the stress placed on your muscles.

Kale: Packed with calcium, iron and fatty acids, vitamins such as A, C and B6, kale has the nutrients your body needs to keep pushing on.

Spinach: An iron powerhouse, spinach increases endurance levels by energizing your body to move harder, faster and stronger.

Banana: Packed with potassium and complex carbohydrates, bananas have made it to the top of the list with a lot of athletes helping to reduce cramping and giving your cardiovascular system the energy it needs to fully function.

With a few tweaks to your workout and maintaining a nutrient dense diet, you’ll perform as well as you look and feel. Adopt this lifestyle, put in the work, and experience your body activated at its fullest potential.