Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fitness Week: Workin' the Weights

In my post on Monday, Jen asked in the comments what type of weight training I do. A couple weeks ago, my answer was none. I do none weight training. But with the encouragement of my husband, I have started to add weights into my routine and now find myself cutting into my cardio just so I'll have the energy and desire to hit the weights.

If there aren't a ton of dudes in the gym, I'll sit on a workout bench and lift some free weights until my arms hurt. I told my husband that I want to be sore and he suggested doing at least 20 reps. I usually do 12 so I've been trying to push myself, even if it means using a lower weight at first.

If the gym is full of meatheads (sorry, but it is true. They look like meatheads), I'll do a circuit on the stationary weight machines. They aren't so bad and easy to use. I took some crappy pictures with my phone the other day. I was working on my arms (so flabby!) so these pictures are all upper body machines.

 My view from the eliptical machine, which I'm stuck using until my stupid calf feels better.

Chest and biceps I think. I like this one the most because I can set it to 40 pounds. I be strong!

Bench press type machine. This thing really makes me feel weak. I can only lift 30 pounds. 

I use this attachment to work on my tricep so I don't get flappy bye bye arms. I set the machine to 20 or 30 pounds. I also do pull downs with this at about 40-50 pounds. 

I think this is for your back and biceps too. I also like this one because I can lift more. But when I use it, I make a grunting noise so that is a bit embarrassing. 

This is what I wear to the gym. An old tank top from H&M (it has holes and hair dye stains on it), cheap shorts from Sports Authority and a Nike sports bra that makes me look like I have fake boobs. When I'm on the treadmill at the gym, I can see my reflection in the tv and I'm almost ashamed. The sports bra gives me HUGE boobs. And this picture is taken in my skinny mirror. I love and hate that thing. My thighs are way bigger than that.

Other machines I love are any leg machine. I have really strong thighs (hence their tree trunk size) and I like to challenge myself to see how much I can leg press. I've started using to leg press machine where you add the weight discs and I use 45 lbs on each side. On the stationary machine, I can leg press 110 pounds. 

I have to say that now that I have started a weight training routine, I rather enjoy it. It gives me more to do at the gym than just cardio and I know that adding resistance training is so important, especially as I get older. If you need some help getting into weight training, my advice is to start small. Maybe even get some hand weights to have at home and use them while watching tv. Every little bit counts. Don't be afraid to try things at the gym. It feels SO GOOD to notice yourself getting stronger. I used to think that weight training was boring (I kind of still do) but I just force myself to do it because I know I'm getting a more complete workout that way. 

What are your keys to weight training? Any additional exercises you can share with the class?


The Jesse said...

I just started incorporating more strength training into my workouts recently in the past few months. I prefer/enjoy moves that use body weight so that I'm not too sore to run but I have started using more free weights lately and some of the machines at the gym. I'm not fond of the "meat heads" either so if I'm going to do any weights then I try to get to the gym between 5 and 6 am when its less crowded. I always use to mainly focus on strength training areas of my body that will benefit my running {quads, hamstrings, core} but my legs are pretty strong already {from running} so I've been focusing more on my arms/upper body the past few weeks. And my core. I'm always working on my core --- its sooooo weak :(

Erin and Darren said...

I love lifting weights, it's cardio I have to force myself to do! The key to using weights to burn fat is to do lighter weights with less reps. You're body will continue to burn fat long after you've stopped working out if you do it this way. I usually work with enough weight that I can easily do one set of reps, but by the end of the third I'm struggling to finish. I do 3 sets of 12 reps.