I made it through the training of my 7th half marathon & loved it... actually am looking & thinking about my next half marathon. Even if my knee is still hurting. Running just does something for me mind, body & soul.
But right now, I am trying to give my knee a break & let my meniscus heal up... & in the mean time, try to make my body better by weight lifting more.
I actually bought the Hammer & Chisel program when it came out because I knew it would come in handy & I am actually excited about gaining muscle & getting some definition in this old body.
I think when we think of weight lifting, it gets confusing especially because most of the time, women don't really focus on that. We want to lean out, get slim, shed weight, not necessary gain it.
& I'll admit. My first week of NOT running & doing this program, I was nervous for my weigh-in day. I mean, I'm a cardio girl at heart - no pun intended, I guess. But I feel like my heart has to be pumping to shed the lbs.... well, lo & behold, I lost 2.2 lbs the first week of doing this program.
I'm learning so much about picking up weights....
So here's some top things I've leaned about resistance training in researching more about it
1. GAIN to LOOSE
The average woman who strength trains 2-3 times a week for 2 months will gain nearly 2 lbs of muscle (YIKES - I dont want to gain) but will lost 3.5 lbs of fat!! (WHEW! OK then)
As your lean muscles increases, so does your resting metabolism & you burn more calories all day long.
Basically, its saying for each pound of muscle you GAIN, you burn 35 to 50 more calories each day.
Who knew GAINING could be a good thing?
2. No bulking up!
We think that if we start lifting weights, we'll bulk up. Not so. Women typically don't gain size from strength training, because compared to men, woman have 10-30 times less of the hormones that cause muscles to POP like that. You will however develop muscle tone & definition. Yes please - I'll take some of that.
3. You decrease your risk of osteoporosis
This to me is huge - especially because I've never been a milk fan my entire life. & my posture bites on top of it. Research has found that weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density by 13 percent in 6 months. WHAATTTT? Add in calcium (which I'm starting to take in thanks for vitamins) & you'll have that good spine you're whole life!
|I love this tank!!!|
4. Your 'sport' only gets better
I really noticed that when I was training for my half marathon, doing cross training really made a difference in my knees & legs. Strength training does the same in everything you do. Golfers experienced increase in their driving power. Cyclists are able to go longer periods of time without fatigue. Skiers reduced injury. It all works out for the best in any other sport you dabble in. Strength is strength in every arena.
5. You will be physical stronger.
Increasing your strength will make you far less dependent upon others in daily living. Chores are easier, lifting kids & grocery & laundry won't push you to the max anymore.
Research shows that even moderate weight training can increase a woman's strength by 30 to 50 percent. That's crazy. & the cool thing on this one? Woman can develop their strength as the same rate as men. Just goes to show that women don't need the muscles to pop out to show our inner strength.
|No more of this!|
6. Reduce your risk of injury, back pain & arthritis
Strength training not only builds stronger muscles, but also builds stronger connective tissues & increases joint stability.
If you ever have a back injury, you'll see that they give you exercises to strengthen muscles all around that back... or around any injury really.
There was a 12 year study (that's dedication right there) that showed that strengthening the low-back muscles had an 80% success rate in eliminating or alleviating low back pain. Protect that body by surrounding it with muscle!
7. You will keep that ticker stronger.
Weight training will improve your heart - even if it doesn't seem like its that cardio workout - you're still getting cardiovascular benefits. Including lowering the bad cholesterol, increasing the good & lowering blood pressure. If you DID add in cardio - you're going to maximize the benefits even more.
8. Reduce the risk of diabetes.
My eyes have been opened to diabetes ever since my niece was diagnosed with it. I know its a different kind she has (Type 1) but I just never paid attention to what it does to a body & how your life style has to change with diabetes before. Let me pump some weights to keep it away in a type of diabetes that is controllable.
Weight training can increase glucose utilization in the body by 23 percent in 4 months. In a world where diabetes is a huge growing problem, we need to improve the way the body processes sugar. In a world where things happen that you can't control, if there is a small part where you can keep it away, then let's get to it.
9. NEVER TOO LATE!
I love that there are pictures & videos of women in their 'upper' or golden years lifting weights. You are never too old for it. You won't snap under a few hand weights or bar bells. Women in their 70's & even 80's have built up significant strength that shows that it is possible to start pumping it up at any time in your life.
|77 years old... heck, I want arms like this NOW!|
10. All about the attitude.
I love this one - a study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling did. Women report feeling more confident & capable as a result of training. Who doesn't want more confidence? I guess that's why there are so many selfies in a gym.
All of this is just to remind myself - as well as you - that lifting those weights can do some amazing things for your body!!!
Week 2 of Hammer & Chisel
I've learned this week that I have to be careful with my Bicep Tendonitis, but saying that, I can already see strength building in my arms. My push ups are becoming stronger & I can do more!
Yes yes yes yes!
& also this week? I saw a small quad cut starting to appear.
You would have thought I found the pot of gold at the bottom of a rainbow!
I'll keep PRESSING ON!!!!