It’s been a while. Oops.
The holidays happened. Then I moved. Now January is almost over and I feel like I don’t know where it went. Gah.
In all of this busy-ness, running has kind of fallen to the curb. I’ve run maybe twice since the Baltimore marathon in October. I’m signed up for a couple of races this spring, but honestly, I’m enjoying the break. From running at least.
What have I been doing in the meantime?
Lifting a lot of heavy things.
The boyfrannnd is a Marine and that means being in shape and PT tests and since we both like fitness (and beer and pizza), we find ways to workout together so we can eat and drink together, too. We’ve crafted a workout schedule that is mostly weight training, balanced with some cardio and I’ve really been feeling great. Physically and mentally. It’s a huge boost to my self esteem to see the numbers on the plates tick up week to week.
By no means are we preparing for any body building or bikini figure contests, but damn if my arms and traps and lats don’t look way better than they used to.
Weight lifting can be super intimidating – I get it – but with the right plan for you, it can be the best workout you’ve ever gotten.
Just to give you a taste, here’s a week in the life of my current training schedule:
- Pull-up pyramid(5-4-3-2-1-2-3-4-5)/push-ups (10) superset
- Military Press: 65#; 4×10
- Barbell Rows: 115#; 4×10
- Lat pull downs: 104#; 4×10
- Tricep pull-up pyramid (5-4-3-2-1-2-3-4-5)
- Squats: 165#; 4×12 (we opted for reps over weight here, whereas our last training cycle was focused more on heavy lifts and I was squatting 195#-200#)
- Deadlifts: 165#; 2×10
- Straight bench: 105#; 4×8
- Incline bench: 95#; 4×8
- Decline bench 105#; 4×8
- Standing curl (27.5#)/dips (10) superset: 4×10
- Reverse grip pull downs : 55#; 4×10
- EZ Bar Curls: 50#; 4×10
- Tricep pushdowns: 55#; 4×10
- Rope curls: 55#; 4×10
- Plate curl drop sets: 45#, 35#, 25#
I mean, one of the most frustrating things I hear from women is that they “don’t want to get big.” Now, I totally get the not wanting to look like some juiced-up East German Olympian with a lady ‘stache, but muscles are hot! And being strong is sexy. I love looking in the mirror and knowing that the reason my shirt is a little tighter or my jeans are filled out more is because I can squat more than what my boyfriend weighs.
Stringing together pull-ups, a thing I haven’t been able to do since I was a kid, is awesome. The day I finally put up 135# on my bench press? I felt like such a badass. Not to mention the fact that lifting weights is an incredible way to build core strength (without having to do a million crunches or other silly ab workouts) and is great cross training for running, biking or other cardio-based workouts.
If you’re at all intrigued by weight training – ask a trainer about it! When you’re at the gym, don’t be intimidated, just do some reading and research and give it a try. Make a plan, start light and get lifting!