Crazy Sore, Crazy Good

weight-liftingI 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?

17 thoughts on “Crazy Sore, Crazy Good

  1. I definitely get that “high” lifting weights. Of course, there are days where it’s the LAST thing I want to do, but most of the time, I love how it makes me feel strong and healthy. And muscle memory is the best, I love just getting back into a move without having to think about it!

  2. I love how lunges and even simple moves with the dumbbells make my body feel. I definitely can feel a difference and it makes me feel “tighter.” I can’t wait to have gym access again though, as it is easier to get a full workout with all the equipment available!

  3. Confession: I havent really lifted anything at all besides our 3 lb pups in over a couple months either. Im the same, I prefer to bust out hard on the cardio then by the time I am done I might do some abs but that is it.

    *angel face*

  4. Let’s make a group pledge to lift more regularly!! Of course, I will be out of town next week with no gym in sight but I do plan to still walk/run when I can!

  5. LOVE lifting. Just a comment–It is not ideal to cardio and lift on the same days. If you must, lift first. I think you would find that cutting back on cardio and increasing lifting (alternating cardio/lifting on different days) would help you achieve your goals faster. And I say this as a former cardio-queen. Cardio really is not what it is cracked up to be when it comes to weight loss even when you see those calories burned add up on your HRM. It really isn’t at rue calorie burn count and lots of cardio can actually blunt your bodie’s fat burning ability (why so many over-cardioers wind up skinny fat).

    I have found over time that an appropriate diet and lifting does so much more towards weight/fat loss and a better looking, more firm body! I highly recommend the book New Rules of Lifting for Women.

  6. I am also guilty of this! I have been so involved in my “outdoor” sports of running and snowboarding that I have left lifting largely to the side.

    I would be interested to hear more about what Lara had to say btw – that bit about “skinny fat” cardiors struck a bone, so to speak!

    Oh, and LOL re the price tag dress btw.

    Enjoy your last week at work and the upcoming vacation!!


  7. I have been COMPLETELY negligent of weight lifting knowing that I can burn off so much more running. I am working out 5-6 days a week now usually doing 1.5-2 hours of running, sometimes doing a little elliptical with the running. I think I have done weights maybe once in the past two months? Yeah I should start, but it bores me. I don’t like running, but I feel like I have accomplished more after a 7 or 9 miles run than 30 minutes of weights.

  8. I agree Sheena that that’s why I have slacked off on lifting. I do know I feel stronger and, yes, leaner, when I lift. Maybe there’s another form of strength training you could do if lifting itself bores you?

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