A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Why don't you strength train?

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This post started out as something different, but then I started writing and it turned into something else! Has that ever happened to you!!??

ONWARD!

Quite the accusatory blog title, right!?


If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you hopefully have gathered that even though I love to run, I also love lifting and think every athlete/runner/woman/man/human should do it. And I don't mean picking up 5 lb dumbbells and doing bicep curls while watching The Real Housewives of Fill in the Blank. (Nothing against The Real Housewives- OR 5 lb dumb bells if that's all you can do.)



Why shoulder runners strength train?

1. Injury prevention
2. Develops Type II muscle fibers (Those are the fast twitch ones! You want to be faster, right?)
3. Helps you run more efficiently
4. Confidence
5. Stops/prevents muscle loss
6. Prevents diseases like osteoporosis
7. Changes your body composition- more muscle, less fat


I knew strength training was an important part of fitness, but it took me a long time to actually start doing it. One of my biggest regrets is not hitting the weight room sooner. Oh well, better late than never! I guess my point is, that even though most athletes recognize the importance of strength training, they still may not do it! Or they don't do it purposefully/consistently. And I understand that. I was there. I knew it would be beneficial but I still didn't do it!


Reasons I did not strength train:

1. It meant less running. (That turned out to be a good thing for me.)

2. I was scared I wouldn't burn as many calories and would get fat. (OMG just the OPPOSITE happened!)

3. I didn't think it would work. (But at the same time I knew it would work... weird...)

4. I thought lifting was boring. (My trainer found ways to make it more interesting by mixing lifting with plyos.)

5. I was afraid I wouldn't "feel" like I had worked out because I would not have my runners high. (Doing the plyos helped that.)


The good news is, once I found a trainer to help me start strength training, I went balls to the wall. I followed all of her advice and I am glad that I did! I wanted to do everything "properly" so I would get maximum results.


These are 3 rules I followed, no matter what....

1. Never skip a strength training workout. You can skip a run, but don't skip lifting. Unless you are injured or sick, of course.

2. Do not lift lower body on a running day. A lifting day is for lifting. All of your energy should be focused on your lifts.

3. Eat lots of protein and some carb within 1 hour of lifting. Your muscles need to rebuild.


As you can see, I was all about building muscle. In my brain, there was no point in lifting if I wasn't going to eat a huge chicken breast afterwards!

I am excited to finally be a personal trainer. I am hoping I can help clients get over their preconceived notions and fears of weight training... or help them do it more effectively. Because I know. I've been there. If you told me 3 years ago that very soon I'd be in the gym lifting 2-4 times a week and running a lot less, I would have laughed at you and told you to take a hike!

Why don't you strength train?
Why DO you strength train?

28 comments:

  1. I never really thought about why I do or don't do it. I don't do it regularly which I should!

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  2. Not doing it was pure laziness on my part actually, and maybe a bit of the boring factor you mentioned. I recently started doing some strength training again and I already feel stronger. When I was really into going to the gym in 2011-2012 I scored all of my PR's that year. And I actually had nearly 2 years injury free! I know strength training is good, I just don't always do it...lol.

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    1. That is so cool it helped you be injury free for so long! And I don't think you should say you are lazy because you are clearly not.

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  3. Yes, I always "kind of 1/2 way did it" before. This year, I decided to get serious about it and WOW, what a huge difference. I can't believe the transformation in my body and how much I am loving it. I do Body Pump or a workout I designed 2-3 days per week. Work my abs on the other (run or walk) days. Body Pump really keeps the heart rate up and keeps things interesting. You are right, the positive changes are so worth it and keep me coming back for more!!

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    1. It's addicting, especially when you see results, or someone comments on your arm muscles or something!

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    2. Yes, totally addicting for sure My husband started with T-25 this fall and it has a lot of body weight type strength training + cardio all in one (25 minute) workout. He had amazing results. I am glad we have each other to flex for because it wouldn't be appropriate if we walked around public doing that!!

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    3. Omg this makes me feel so much better because I flex for Paul all the time! He prob hates it but who else can I flex for????

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    4. Exactly...the mirror and Rick always are getting to see me flex and say "check out the gun show". LOL.

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  4. Honestly? Because I'm lazy. Haha! That and I do find it REALLY boring and I hate plyos so there's basically no saving me. I know it's good for me. I know I should. I just . . . don't. :/

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    1. The only thing I *don't* like about lifting is that it requires me to go to the gym- which takes up more time. I so wish I had enough weights here at home and could lift in my basement or something. I hate getting up before work in the winter and going out in the freezing cold dark to Planet Fitness.... and then when I'm done and have to drive to work it's STILL dark out. It would be fun to lift at home and watch The View :) Ps. You are not lazy!!

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  5. I strength train because I know it's good for me. Plus, I run slower than 99% of the people I know, but I can lift heavier than most of them which gives me an ego boost ;) It's okay to admit that, right? haha

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    1. lol absolutely! You mentioned before some of the weights you lift. I know never to get into a physical altercation with you because you would crush me!

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  6. I do strength train because I know it keeps me injury free and makes me be a better runner... but I don't love it. Like you, I'd like it more if I had a full gym in my basement, ha. I don't like going there, and feeling like I'm in someone's way or they're in mine, or listening to the meathead 19-year-olds talk about their effin' protein shakes. (Why, when you're a 19-year-old male, is EVERYTHING "effin'"?)

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    1. The "youngins" at the gym can be a little annoying! During the school year, I go super early and the only people there have an agenda, which I like. We stay at of each other's way, nod hello, and just git 'er done. In the summer, it is more of a teen zone for sure.

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  7. I strength train because I saw a picture of my arm flab and I was terribly traumatized. I had a very long break from any strength training while my left shoulder was messed up and the arm flab appeared. I have always strength trained in different degrees over the years but my diet was ineffective so I didn't build muscle like I could of...sad. Now i make an effort to lift and get protein in and I try to make protein choices all day because I know I still fall short so i am making progress. I wish I could say I am seeing huge changes in my body but I am not yet. I do see the increase in the amount of weights I am doing so it should pay off soon with some visuals.

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    1. "I strength train because I saw a picture of my arm flab and I was terribly traumatized." <---- SUCH AN HONEST ANSWER, KAREN!!! Not seeing visual results it's frustrating but at least you are getting the performance results! You would not be getting stronger if your muscles aren't getting bigger, so that is good!

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  8. I am sixty years old and, after not doing any exercise for about twenty years, I lift two to three times a week - not in the cutesy spa-gym, either - I love the weight room. Lifting in the same room as young athletes and very powerful bodies is encouraging and inspiring. Free weights, in addition to aiding metabolism and preventing bone loss, also help improve my balance. Strength training is good for every body.

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    1. That is awesome that you have the confidence (as you SHOULD!) to get in the same weight room as everyone else! I will admit, I was intimidated the first time I had to do it alone, but now I feel very confident.

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  9. Strength training and the fact that I should do it was always in the back of my mind but I never pushed myself to do it until recently. I'm excited to keep increasing my weight and get faster and stronger!

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    1. That is wonderful Courtney! Not to sound like a crotchety old 32 yr old, but I wish I had started weights when I was your age! :)

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  10. I think for me running has just been a priority with the time I have for exercise. I am not opposed to strength training but feel like at this point whatever I can get done at home in terms of bodyweight exercises I will do, but I want to do other things with my "free" time than be in a gym. I'm sure that will change at some point though and I'll need to switch things up. For now though running still has the most of me :)

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    1. It is true we must prioritize. There are a lot of great body weight exercises one can do at home (as you know!), or with just a few pieces of equipment like a medicine ball or kettle bell.

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  11. I never enjoyed strength training as much as cardio, but now that I can work out at this one gym for free, I'm glad I'm being "forced" into much more strength training and it's paid off. It even (I think) helped my shoulders heal. I do love the feeling of being strong. It's the best feeling in the world. Gives me a lot of confidence.

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    1. It is such a great feeling! I'm glad you were forced to do it. Having a nice gym is very helpful, I am sure.

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  12. I really need to get into strength training!!! My husband could write articles and essays about it as well! He loves "picking things up and putting them down." haha. He actually can't stand PF. They assume he is a typical meathead and he really isn't!

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    1. Yeah I don't understand why PF does that in their marketing... especially because at the PF I go to, there are all kinds of people and the staff has never targeted those so called "meat heads" or anything like that. The atmosphere at my PF is very positive. But I guess it could just be my particular franchise?

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  13. I strength train because now (at 44) I'm running stronger and faster than I did as a college athlete and I know it is because of lifting weights!!!

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