5 Reasons I’m Sticking With Strength Training

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Good Morning & Happy Easter to those who celebrate it!

I wanted to get a quick blog out to you all this morning, as it’s been a while and I really wanted to share my love of strength training.  Much of the time I focus on diet and food/recipes, but working out is just as big a part of my life.  To continue with the “Girls Gone Strong” and “Lift Like a Girl (Nia Shanks)” movement, here are 5 reasons why I will always strength train and never look back on my pure cardio days:

  1. FAT LOSS – it may have taken me a bit to realize this, but it really is the most effective for fat loss, next to managing your diet.  The anxiety I felt about not being exhausted and not soaked with sweat when leaving the gym made me almost stop training with weights in the first month.  I thought “There is no way I’m burning enough calories to lose any fat.  I’m not even sweaty.”  I was WRONG.  Oh and the late onset of deep muscle soreness the next day or two was a great indication that I was actually working my body VERY hard and the results do pay off.
  2. STRENGTH – I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy.  For a female, it was always important that I was a “tough girl.”  I wanted to THINK I was super strong.  34 years later, now I actually am.  It’s so rewarding to do movements with my body, with correct form that were never possible.  I can do “real” push ups, not girl ones…I can do chin ups.  I can squat 190 pounds and deadlift 210.  Even more important, I can carry all 15 bags of groceries on my arms from the car, up the steps and then swing them onto the counter top in one trip.  Now that’s strength success and an arm burn!
  3. LESS GYM ANXIETY – prior to meeting Matt, my guy and my personal trainer, I was going to the gym and doing cross-fit like conditioning workouts.  I was box jumping as many reps in 1 minute as possible, resting for 10 seconds, moving on to burpees for 1 minute, resting 10 seconds………..or doing 45 minute interval work on the spin bike……..or doing 10 sets of 500 meter row sprints.  Most of those exercises are fine for a conditioning day and they served their purpose but there were days I just didn’t go to the gym because I had anxiety about how bad it was going to hurt, or how much I didn’t think my lung capacity could handle it after the day I had a work, etc.  Lifting weights is hard work, but it’s a different kind of hard work.  And something I don’t have gym-anxiety about.  I relax, put on my headphones and get down to it.  I even rest between sets for 1 minute, not 10 seconds.
  4. COMPETITIVE DRIVE – my competitive spirit stays alive and burning with strength training.  I’m always looking to compete, even if it’s with myself.  I love to see if I can up my weight the next week in certain exercises, or if I can do more push ups with out maxing out.  It’s really fun to measure how far you have come.  I still remember when deadlifting 155# was successful for me.  Now I’ve broken the 200 pound mark.  Who knows how much I’ll end up doing a year from now.  I can’t wait to see!
  5. SMALL GOALS = FUN – last but not least, the newest “ah-ha” moment I’ve had with strength training is my chin-ups progress.  Matt put a chin up program into my 3 day strength training program.  It was more of a sub-goal to my overall goal of fat loss.  I didn’t totally get it at first, but focusing on that for 12 weeks and not just the big lifts was really fun.  I actually made great progress and stopped focusing on how I look constantly.  Plus I feel like a beast (a feminine beast).

So there you have it — just 5 of the many reasons why I really have learned to love strength training.  I don’t see how I’ll ever stop and the possibilities with programming are endless.  I’ll never get bored.

Have a Great Sunday!

~Melissa*

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