September is just around the corner and to me that can only mean one thing: Fall is almost here! The summer months of travel, sun, and fun are coming to a close and it’s time to get back into a routine.
One routine I’ve never been successful getting into and staying in is strength training. There’s more than one aspect of fitness: cardiovascular, flexibility, and strength. I love to run, which is great cardio, and do yoga, which pushes my flexibility, but I don’t do anything to really improve my strength and build muscle.
As a woman strength training and resistance training is important because it builds and maintains healthy bones, putting you less at risk for osteoporosissomething we should all consider.
So here’s my fall goal:
Okay, so there’s no guarantee I’ll fall in love with strength training, but I do know from my previous experiences that there’s a good chance I’ll fall in love with the way it makes me feel and look.
If you’re interested please leave a comment and feel free to join in.If there’s enough interest, maybe I’ll make a badge or something you can display on your blog and a page on CTN where we can check in and keep each other motivated. If you’re new to strength training don’t be shy!
I started off my ST challenge this morning after breakfast. I fueled up with some coffee, cereal (mix of Kashi Go Lean and raw oatmeal), and grapes.
I got a little sidetracked before working out (more on that later), but eventually made it upstairs to lift some weights. GARRRR!
Before I tell you about my routine I want to share a little bit about heart rate monitors. If you’re looking to lose weight and you’re tracking your calories in, it’s sometimes useful to also track your calories out. A heart rate monitor is a great way to do this, especially when doing cardiovascular exercise.
There are A LOT of different heart rate monitors on the market and they all have different features and range from very basic to crazy expensive with all the bells and whistles. I’ve had the same one from Wal-Mart for over two years now and it still works great. I don’t remember exactly how much I paid for it, but it was less than $50. The brand is Sportline
I compared many brands before deciding to purchase this HRM, mostly because I was adamant about buying one without the chest strap, at first. After reading online that chest straps weren’t as uncomfortable or in-the-way as they look, and that HRMs with chest straps are more effective, I changed my mind. I’m so glad I went with this one because it’s been a great fitness tool and it’s pretty accurate!
And yes, I promise you learn to just ignore that you are even wearing the chest strap, which if you are a girl you can just tuck underneath your sports bra anyway. Bonus if you are a sweaty girl because the sensors on the back of the strap usually need a little bit of water to detect your heart rate.
Okay! Now to the actual workout. I only used two pieces of equipment+my HRM for my workout.
An exercise ball and 5lb dumbbells
I’m no expert on fitness, and strength training is an area I’m weakest. I bought the Women’s Home Workout Bible in January, but the truth is I’ve barely cracked it open. I’ve flipped through it a few times and I think it’s a great place to start, especially if you plan on working out at home, like me.
The book is divided based on the area of the body you want to work and also the equipment needed, such as upper body/body weight, core/dumbbells, upper body/machines. It’s well organized and finding the exact exercise you need is easy. That’s handy if you need the color photos to show you proper form.
To get myself into a ST groove I’m going to dedicate two days a week to training. One day will be upper body and the other will focus on some lower body and the core. I scribbled these upper body moves down while eating breakfast:
The number in parenthesis is the page number the exercise can be found on, so I could look it over and keep my form as close to perfect as possible. Form is very important when strength training, if you aren’t doing an exercise with proper form and timing you are only cheating yourselfyour results won’t be as good and you could injure yourself.
Today’s upper body strength training only took about 15 minutes; I did two sets of each exercise for 12 repetitions. First, I warmed up with two sets of 25 jumping jacks, then did a set of each move. I did another two sets of jumping jacks (to keep my heart rate up) before finishing up with another set of each move. Two more sets of jumping jacks before stretching.
I’m excited to see where strength training takes me. I know the results I’ve seen before, and I’d love to get back to feeling strong again. After my body adjusts to the exercises I’ll ramp them up to three sets and eventually change the moves.
What are you fall goals? Are you interested in my ST challenge?