Before I tell you about this new thing I did, I have to show you two things:
1. I went to Razzy Fresh last night and my cup looked like this.
See that colorful stuff? That’s FRUIT. In my frozen yogurt. I don’t even know who I am anymore.
2. New workout clothes are the best. There is no better new item of clothing. Unless it’s shoes and then I might have to argue with you. Behold the blue:
Let me first bring to your attention the fact that these shorts were in fact on clearance. In my mom’s humble opinion they were “on sale for a reason” but I decided that reason was because they are so awesome they want everyone to be able to afford them. 😉 $4 at Marshall’s can’t be beat! They also made leg day yesterday much more entertaining.
On to the title of this post! Two months ago, I decided to try something new. I decided to seriously focus on strength training. Some might even call it lifting but I don’t think I’m intense enough for such a word just yet! As a distance runner, there are mixed reviews about the pros and cons of weight lifting. Some say that muscle can help improve your form and speed as you run; others say that the weight room is for sprinters. Basically, what we can take away from this is that you should do what feels good for your body! I want to be a well-rounded athlete so I decided to try strength training. But where to start?
For a very long time, I would simply do about ten minutes of “strength” training at the end of my cardio workouts. I would work my abs, I would use a few dumbbells, I might hit up a few leg machines. That was perfectly okay with me. In fact, this is how I felt when people told me that I should pick things up and put them down. Aka lift.
Give me headphones, my running shoes, and a nice path or sidewalk and I’m good to go! What’s this business with spending time with weights? It doesn’t make me sweat as much as my cardio! It doesn’t burn like my cardio! Oh, but wait, my friends. It does.
Jump squats? Ouch.
Dead lifts? Burn.
I started looking around the Bodybuilding.com website and I was at first overwhelmed! However, I found many options. You can choose programs based on your gender and current athletic ability. There are also many FREE options! This is what appealed to me, especially since I didn’t entirely know what I was getting into. I ended up choosing Jamie Eason’s Live Fit 12 week trainer.
*There are 3 phases: one for each month. The first focuses on weights and diet (for muscle growth), the second starts to incorporate cardio with weights, and the third focuses on diet, weights, AND cardio.
*Every week, I receive an email with the next six days’ workouts. Every week!
If you notice, that says “Welcome to Week 10!” I love that I receive emails every week because it keeps me accountable even if I miss a day here or there.
*Every day is different — one day targets arms, then back and shoulders, then legs, etc. The exercises on each day vary and there ARE rest days.
*Another thing I LOVE is that every work out explains terminology (i.e. superset vs. active set) and they all come with pictures. So basically I have a list of what I’m supposed to do, but I also have a picture, the name of the exercise, and how many sets to perform. AND if I click on the name of the exercise, I can watch a 30 second video about how to do it correctly. (Except I can’t do that because the YMCA has turtle speed internet connection…merp.) HOW CAN I GO WRONG!?
Let’s talk progress:
The reason that I’m sharing this with you now is that I have just finished the first week of the third phase. I can’t believe I have been doing this already for two months! I have definitely noticed a difference in how “toned” I feel when I look in the mirror. Dare I say I have some arm muscle?
Judge me for the above photo. I am judging myself. But I’m pretty proud too, so the fact that I am one of those weird people who takes pictures like so doesn’t count. 😉
One thing that I cannot speak for is the diet portion of this program. I eat a fairly clean and healthy diet as is, so that’s what I have been working with. I do read the suggested diet plan and try to incorporate it within my own diet as much as I can, but that is the extent of it. I don’t know what my results would be like if I followed it to a T!
So…to go back to the beginning…remember when I said, “It’s fine. I ran today.” Well, on Thursday, I did something ridiculous. Totally out of Kylie character. You won’t even believe this to read it. I went to the gym and did not touch one cardio machine. I went to lift and lift I did! And I left feeling sweaty and exhausted, just how I like it! My motto might have to change…
– Have you tried any new fitness endeavors lately?
– Cardio or weights? Or both?