Strength Training, Activate!

I’ve been spending so much time thinking about, shopping for, and recovering from running lately (oh, and you know, actually getting out there and sweating) that all of my cross training efforts have gotten totally left behind.  I used to make it a habit to do yoga or Pilates a few times a week, and I followed the lifting program in the book The New Rules of Lifting for Women to build up muscle.  The last time I did any weight lifting was August, and I’m pretty sure I had finally finished Stage 1 and was in the middle of Stage 2 when I dropped the ball.

Well, there’s something really…unsatisfying about picking up where I left off, right in the middle of a stage, so I made the decision to jump ahead to Stage 3 when I go lift later on today.  Part of me knows this may not be the smartest thing to do, but the thought of beginning again and re-doing Stage 1 makes me want to scream.  So I’m going to take it nice and easy, go lighter on the weights than I normally would, and just ease into it like a super-hot bath.   I just know myself well enough to realize that if I don’t start with something new I’m going to get bored and non-committal, and nobody wants that.

Stage 3 should take me about 3 weeks to finish, and I’m doing all the lifting at home in my workout habitat (aka the basement).   Via the ever-useful craigslist, I have something like this for all my weight lifting needs:

Minus the guy.  And the gigantic weights.  Although large weights like that would be nice, since I’m dealing with tons of little 5 and 10 pounders to reach a deadlift weight of 85 pounds or so.  It gets tedious, especially when you’re swapping them on and off from the barbell to the dumbbells over and over again!

Anyway, in stage 3 there are different kinds of bent over rows, squats, swiss ball crunches, plank and cobra holds, bench presses and the like.  I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of result this will have on the running – I remember during the summer I could really tell a difference from doing squats and lunges – and hopefully this training will help me reach the 6.2 mile mark I need to be at for the Polar dash in a few weeks (without being totally wiped out!).

Today, these pictures are inspiring.

I really like this last one.  A lot.

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