Getting Super Strong

It’s a beautiful morning (bah dah dah)!

Be glad you read that and didn’t actually have to hear me sing it. I’m not exactly a gifted singer.

I finally ran outside yesterday. It was amazing. Eight miles of outdoor bliss. My foot still isn’t 100%, and I am NOT doing my long run on the treadmill tomorrow, so I did today’s seven-miler inside just to make sure that my foot could handle the outdoors tomorrow.

I also did some strength training yesterday. In the gym, for once. I usually just do some basic squats, push-ups, etc., but yesterday I decided to go lift some real weights. I went at 3:30, thinking the gym would be empty and I should enjoy these last couple of weeks of being able to work out whenever the heck I want. Wrong. Apparently 3:30 is 19-year-old boy weight-lifting time. It wasn’t a problem, just more crowded than I had hoped. And it was a little amusing listening to them complain about not being able to gain any weight. Enjoy it now, metabolism-blessed boys. It will pass.

(He used to be a skinny kitten.)

Since I was actually going to the gym, I re-read the strength training piece of Kara Goucher’s Running for Women (terrific book. Read it). She includes a two-days-a-week lifting plan designed by her strength coach, Tony Salazar. And since he coaches my best friend Kara, I decided to try it.

I met Kara Goucher(See? Best friends. We met at the expo for Rock ‘n Roll Denver in 2011. I’m sure she remembers it as fondly as I do. Move over, Shalane.)

Here was yesterday’s workout (which is supposed to be the first strength workout of the week, but will be my only one this week):

  1. Barbell squat
  2. Dumbell incline press
  3. One-leg dumbell Russian deadlifts
  4. Pull-ups (I used the pull-up machine. I am way too wimpy to do a real pull-up)
  5. Dumbell step-ups
  6. Tricep pushdowns on the cable machine
  7. Back extensions
  8. Crunches (I used a Swiss ball for these and the back extensions)

    And then I added some extra ab/core stuff.

Kara’s book says to do the program for five weeks, adding weight and decreasing reps each week and taking the fifth off. Then start the cycle again with heavier weights.

I need to get more serious about strength training, so I’m planning to follow this program on Wednesdays and Fridays and keep going to my favorite muscle class on Mondays.  Maybe having a training program for strength will help keep me on track like running training plans do. And I will get super strong.

Are you an in-the-gym lifter or an at-home exerciser?

What do you do during the “rest” part of lifting workouts? I feel like a fool just standing around between sets.

12 thoughts on “Getting Super Strong”

  1. Strength training has changed my world, and kept me injury free! Good luck! I really think it’s the key to healthy running 🙂

  2. I used to be alllll about cardio, then i started doing strength training and i havent looked back (although now im trying to pick my cardio back up a bit, i dont do enough) but im the most awkward person at the gym- i wont even try to give advice on what to do between sets because it will only lead you down the wrong path 🙂

    1. Hahaha. I think it was extra awkward yesterday because all the 19-year-olds were staring at me like, “Get offa my machine!” Maybe if I go when normal (old) people are there it will be less awkward.

  3. I really need to get back to strength training. I’ve been slacking lately, but I agree with Natalie that it definitely keeps me healthy and injury free!

    I usually make up my own workouts and do sets (or groupings) or different muscle groups…so for instance, I will do one set of lunges, then immediately do tricep dips, then do a set of back extensions. Then I usually repeat the circuit 1 or 2 more times before moving on to the next grouping. That way I never have to “rest” since each muscle group is resting while I lift the other ones. Its a time maximizer.

    1. Thanks for the advice! That’s what I usually do (and by usually, I mean the rare weeks when I’m loyally strength training), but the book really emphasized 60 seconds of rest between sets. But I think it could be turned into a circuit — there’s enough of both upper and lower-body stuff.

  4. I def. need to start weight training!!!
    I exercise at home, run around my town.
    Currently, I can’t afford a gym membership but there are other ways to get fit 🙂
    I think I have to add that book to my list!

  5. I am so lucky in that I can choose whether I want to strength train at home or at the gym. It depends on how I am feeling (mainly how heavy I want to go). I obviously don’t have some of the machines that the gym has, so if I want to use those, I go to the gym. Some days, I just want to be home, so I workout at home. Also, the gym tends to motivate me to work harder because there are other people working out as well.

    During the rest period, I usually just fool around on my phone. Don’t worry about feeling like a fool, everyone rests between sets!

  6. It took me such along time to get consistent with weight training, but I do think it’s helped my running! I haven’t looked at her book yet, but keep meaning too thanks for the reminder!

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