Sweet Soreness

How often do you strength train?

We all know combined with cardio, it’s an integral part to keeping our bodies in tip-top form. All the experts recommend hitting the weights three days a week.

And I don’t know about you, but when I am running short on time at the gym, 99% of the time, I opt for cardio for the fast calorie-burn and drenched body over a slow, deliberate lifting session. I just don’t have the 90 min. a day I used to have to spend at the gym.

But I lifted on Sunday for the first time in weeks … and now I remember why I love it so much … the burn!

In addition to lifting, I biked Sunday and Monday, which actually uses a lot of upper-body strength. Even today, my arms, shoulders and upper body are hurting something fierce, and now I remember why I used to regularly lift 3 days a week. (As of late, it’s been three times a month! Tsk, tsk.)

In order to tighten and tone up again, I know I need to be strength training more often.

But I can’t get past the mental hurdle of my cardio obsession. From a (recovering) over-exerciser’s standpoint, it’s really hard for me to let go of the calorie-burn component of exercise.

And while weight lifting doesn’t burn nearly as many calories (for me, per my heart rate monitor) as cardio, the afterburn is what matters most. It makes the biggest difference in how my clothes fit, and how empowered I feel.

Plus, if I’m being completely honest … I don’t want to have to buy a new wardrobe this fall … that should be an incentive to get back to the weight room.

You’ll see me benching with the big boys.

How about you? What does your usual workout routine look like? Is strength training your main focus?

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6 thoughts on “Sweet Soreness

  1. I’m a cardio queen all the way if left to my own devices. I love that “runner’s high.” However, you are on the right track. I just finished doing an Experiment on my site with this very concept. I did a high cardio/minimal weights plan for one month… and gained 3 lbs. Despite running up to 23 miles at a time!

    My new experiment, using kettlebells to get my heart rate up but really focus on the weight lifting has already helped take some of that fat gain back off. I have a TON of research/anecdotal evidence on this subject if you need more convincing…

    Good luck with the new program!
    PS> I am in the exact same boat as you in regards to a fall wardrobe. None of my jeans fit. But i don’t want to buy new ones!

  2. I haven’t weight trained in ages! (okay, more like a few months) We’ve been riding our bikes more often and I try to spend as much time outside as possible when the weather is this beautiful. I need to get back to the gym and tone up a bit- it helps with endurance for cardio! I totally agree with you though, there’s nothing like feeling that burn the next two days, it’s a great reminder you’re doing something good for your body.

  3. I usually end up weight training once a week, although the goal is three times a week. I too will skip it when short on time, but I love it. I just feel so strong and powerful after weights (even though I’m lifting like 3 plates…baby steps!). Good luck sticking to your new routine!

  4. I definitely focus on cardio over strength training. I trained for a half-marathon last spring so I know that running gives me the best results. But I also know that strength training could really better my running and give me those nice toned arms that I would kill to have! I love the burn of strength training…but would rather spend my time getting in a good sweat! I’m trying to lift more….so we’ll see!

  5. Wow Charlotte, 23 miles!! Wow! What an interesting experiment! I have read up on kettleballs but still use free weights … my gym doesn’t have them but maybe I’ll get some! LOL — my clothes aren’t tight yet — but they will be if I don’t watch it!! That said, I started buying some 8s instead of 6s if the 6s were tight last year. I can still wear most of my 6s, but it’s not worth the agony. And the 8s are loose, but better that than tight 6s! 5 lbs and I’ll be back to “me”!
    So true, Kristen — and biking is a great form of resistance training; it slims my (big) thighs. But I do love the burn! 🙂 M&W will be my lifting days! (and one weekend day)
    Hi Emily, it’s always an issue of time. I used to have much more time in the mornings when I had to be at work at 9. Here … 8. Gym opens at 5:30 so I have about an hour to work out. And I tend to go all cardio.

    Krystyna, congrats on that 1/2!

    Let’s make a challenge to TRY to shoot for 2-3 GOOD lifting sessions a week. Who’s in?!

  6. if you do weights before your cardio..even 2-3 reps an exercize, you will bring your heart rate up much faster than if you go straight to cardio, which will then help you burn more calories while you do your cardio. and you’ll get toned arms 🙂

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