I have a confession to make: I haven’t lifted in three months.
Yup, you heard me.
Although I know how good for me is, although I know how good lifting makes me feel … I’ve been painfully negligent of this portion of my workout routine.
And it’s showing. On the scale, how my clothes fit, the little bit of chub that has made its appearance on my hips. I don’t have a muffin top yet … but I’ll be on my way if I’m not careful!
The reasoning for my lack of lifting is simple: I know I can sweat out 400-500 calories in my cardio sessions (my Polar F6 heart rate monitor serves as a personal trainer) and then by the time I’m done, I’m spent.
The thought of pumping iron at that point is just “eh” and then I say, “Oh, I’ll do it tomorrow … ” I used to spend 90 min. or more at the gym back in the day, and I just don’t want to go back there, where I was obsessed with gym-time.
I still do my cardio 6-7 days a week, even less if I am not feeling good (and not beating myself up for it — huzzah!) but I’ve definitely slacked on the weights front.
To compensate, I have been doing some ab work at home with 10 lb. weights, but nothing like I was accustomed to (my 3-days-a-week strength sessions that left me feeling tough and buff and non-jiggly).
So this weekend I felt inspired at the gym. Saturday after my cardio session, I had a little extra time and just had to do it.
The moment I sat down at the lat pull-down machine, I zeroed in one the sensations of muscles pulling, tensing, pulsing, releasing. It just came back to me, as though no time had passed.
And as I watched my body move in the mirror, it reminded me of my love of dancing: something you never forget, even when you haven’t done it in a while. (If someone now called out ballet steps, I’m pretty sure I’d be able to do them with my eyes closed).
I didn’t do my full routine I used to do (which only takes 20 min. and is a total body strength session) because I did need to hurry home for my shopping date with my girlfriends, but I did a modified version and let me tell you, I was SORE the next day!!
Lifting always reminds me of the beautiful caloric afterburn that occurs post-lifting … and somehow thinking about stoking my metabolism got me rared up to do it again on Sunday, even though I was mega-sore.
Unfortunately, I was only able to eke out a little more after my intense cardio session but I was glistening with pride, having gone “back to basics” two days in a row.
And the soreness felt so damn good. More importantly, it reminded me that I just need to maximize my gym time a little better these days. Instead of an hour of cardio, maybe 45 and 15 lifting or some such combo on lifting days.
Truthfully, that’s what worked when I first started WW 4.5 years ago. And I know lifting is what helped me be a size 6 without necessarily looking like one. And my 6s are snug now … there’s no hiding it. I was firmer back then, and need to get back there.
For me, feeling strong on the outside translates into feeling strong on the inside, and vice versa.
So do you know where I’ll be tonight while my husband takes his last final of the semester? I’ll be at the gym, lifting weights. Not obsessively … I definitely don’t want to go back to those days … but I do know what’s good for me, and lifting is certainly part of the overall equation.
I just love feeling inspired like this! Here’s to a good week, my last full work-week (and full blogging week) of the year!!
How about you? Does strength training give you the same high it gives me?