How was the start to your week? Mine started out great with an amazing dinner - roast turkey breast, beets, and bacon brussels sprouts.
We also celebrated a KC Chiefs Monday night football win -
on Tuesday morning, because, let’s be real, we went to bed at halftime.
Let’s talk strength. For most of my exercising life, I have been a strictly cardio girl.
Every time I thought of ways I needed to improve, a New Year’s resolution, or any type of list, I would proclaim, “I need to start lifting weights.” Then I would continue on in my silly ways of only running (or biking, or swimming).
I think I did this for two reasons:
1. I didn’t want to waste my exercise time not burning the most calories I could. Even though I knew that if I built more muscle, my calorie burn would be higher overall, I still couldn’t get myself to invest that time in the moment. I think the WW mentality of “earning” activity points had a lot to do with this.
2. I was super intimidated. Intimated by machines. Intimidated by free weights. Intimidated by my inability to lift more than 5 pounds with anything other than my legs.
However, yesterday, as I finished my legs + core workout, during which my only “cardio” was a half a mile warm up run, I smiled to myself and thought, “I did it. I started”
So, how exactly did I start? Here are a few things that helped me:
-More efficient cardio. Really, I only need one ore two days of “long” runs. The rest can be 15 to 20 minute sprint / interval workouts. This leaves plenty of time to build some muscle.
-Start out with body weight only. There are so many moves you can do with just your body weight - push-ups, squats, lunges, plank, etc. Although these are by no means easy, they are less intimidating than having to learn how/where/when to hold free weights.
-Workout videos. I think doing T25 eased me into strength because it was a combo of strength and cardio. Instead of wondering what my next move is, or how I am going to do it, I just watch the video and soak in the info.
-Borrowing workouts from others. I usually find a workout from one of my favorite bloggers or use Pinterest. I could never think of this stuff on my own.
-Googling the exercise to learn how to do it. Oh my, I love Google. Yesterday I learned how to do 4 new moves just by typing the name in the search bar and within seconds there were pictures, videos, etc. for me to learn from.
-Printing out the workout list with ques. I am the cool girl who brings a piece of paper with me every day to the gym, which tells me what to do and sometimes has little notes I have written on how to do it.
-Getting over gym-timidation. I pretty much stopped caring what the other people at the gym thought of me. That helped a lot. Now I can use all of my mental capacity to focus on learning how to do a split squat instead of worrying if the guy next to me is making fun of me in his head.
I still have a long way to go, but I feel like I got over the “hump” and things can only improve from here.
How about you? How did you start adding in strength? If you don’t, what do you think would help you to start?