Thursday, April 30, 2009

How Do You Get Excited About Strength Training?

So I'm all over the cardio. I love to swim and love to challenge myself and feel myself getting faster and stronger in the pool.

Where I fall down is with the strength training. I have several pilates DVDs and I do them occasionally. Now that I've done them all a couple of times, I'm not really that excited by them. I don't really care for weight machines, even though I've done them a lot. I'm just having a really hard time feeling excited at all about strength training. I know it's important and I should do it. But, frankly, my time is limited and if I'm going to spend time exercising, I'd rather be in the pool, swimming laps.

Anyone have any ideas about ways to liven up the strength training aspect of your workout?


Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

I never used to do much strength training either (about 2 or 3 upper body machines about twice a week). Instead, I used to do lots of cardio. I actually started to lift more weights because I got bored with the cardio (and my weak ankle can't take too many high intensity workouts) and because hubby lifted weights. I just did all the machines he did one day. I didn't love it at first, but it slowly became part of my routine.

Now I LOVE it. I love the actual lifting part (it makes me feel strong and powerful... :o)), and lifting weights has really changed my body like nothing else. Nothing motivates me more to lift weights than looking at my arms and legs that have more definition now than when I was a rower in high school! :o)

Fat[free]Me said...

I use strength training as a bit of a rest from the cardio workouts - so that some part of me gets a bit of a rest, lol!

I love doing weights - it feels so empowering - you get to see the increase in ability in numbers. I like numbers.

I got a great dvd by Gin Miller that uses resistance bands, giant balls (who doesn't want to be bouncing on giant balls, right?), plus smaller weight balls and dumbbells. Believe me, it is a tough workout and there are 4 different 1-hour ones on this one dvd. I got it here in the UK, but Gin is from the US, so you should be able to get them over there.

Anyhoo, more muscles mean a better metabolic rate, a more toned body, more stamina and helps protect the body from injury.

You excited yet?

Rachel said...

Oooo... I really like lifting. Here's my recipe for loving it:

a) Learn how to adjust the machines and use the weights so you don't feel dumb. That keeps lots of people out of the weight room unnecessarily.

b) Personally, I advise most people to stick to free weights more than machines-- more functional and you don't have to worry about pivot points not matching your joint construction (causing injury).

c) Put together a basic program so you have an order to what you do. (And of course you know I'd love to help!)

d) You, since you already love cardio, might have a lot of fun doing cardio intervals (jumping jacks, jump roping, bike, etc.) in between sets. It keeps you from having to sit awkwardly in between sets and keeps your heart pumping harder. :) It definitely takes the intensity up a notch!

And I do have to agree what with Andrea... feeling powerful is a super big plus. My fav is asking a guy if I can use his weights between sets. ;)

Kelly said...

Andrea, I know in the past when I've done weights, I have liked feeling myself getting stronger. My thighs are kind of obscenely strong already thanks to the swimming and it's kind of fun to keep loading on the weights for the leg weight machines.

FFM, I've actually wanted to get a giant ball because they are pretty fun. I'll have to Netflix a Gin Miller DVD and see what I think.

Rachel, we should definitely plan to go to the gym together sometime - to swim and to lift weights. I did a weight lifting class in high school and also had a trainer set me up with a circuit when I was in DC. In college I used to go to the gym with a friend all the time and I think I would probably like weights better if I had a buddy.