How I Started Strength Training

I have absolutely, totally, BEYOND recognition fallen in love with running this past fall. So much, in fact, that I began to entirely neglect strength training. But I didn’t really have any problems.

runners

For a while.

It’s like flossing though. Nobody gets away with only brushing for very long. And no runner can ONLY run forever without feeling some time of consequences, eventually.

Mine came in the form of my (poor) knees.

Let’s just preface this with saying I have ALWAYS had shit knees. 11 years of ski racing will do that to you, I suppose. Anyway, I’ve been plagued with knee issues for 5+ years, most of which stopped when I took a FULL YEAR off of ANY intense athletics. Yes, it was horrific, yes I survived.

I went into this year feeling fresh, good, and invincible. I ran, and ran, and ran,

And then my knees started to hurt. At first it was just a twinge here and there. Then it got worse. And I KNEW if I had ANY chance of running a half-marathon (my long-term goal) I had to make a change.

So back to the gym it was! I started off saying I HAD to do 30 minutes, once a week. I dreaded it. I did 10 minutes of legs, 10 minutes of arms, and 10 minutes of abs consisting of the most boring exercises ever invented. It’s no wonder I hated it.

Anyway, eventually I got sick of that BS and moved on to bigger and better things.

AKA I did a lot of:

1. Circuit workouts! Julie at PB Fingers has a lot of really good ones, combining both cardio + strength (<–key to maintaining my fitness when cutting back on running!)

10-to-6-workoutThis one is my favourite so far!

2. Nike Training Club: DISCLAIMER: Please pay attention to the intensity level that this app makes you choose before selecting a workout. I (obviously) ignored it and chose “advanced” because I was still in said feeling invincible stage.  The entire workout I did was a huge strugglefest and I ended up resting for close to half of the times I was supposed to be exercising. FAIL. However, I did learn from it and absolutely loved the “Drill Sergeant” workout from the Intermediate section! I did it following a 3.1 mile run, which would have otherwise felt like a wasted workout (incorrect, but my mentality). I left the gym feeling tired and satisfied! Definitely download this app if you have an iPhone and are looking for varied workouts. Muscles I didn’t even know I had hurt. Another bonus is that they have demos for all the exercises, so if you’re like me and only know how to lunge and squat, you don’t need to feel intimidated! nike-training-club-app-1024x512

3. Not overwhelming myself: I will admit it. When I FIRST started looking for strength workouts, I went to the bloggers I knew were super into weights and looked through the workouts they had posted. Not surprisingly, they were FAR too advanced for me, not to mention written in another language. I got really discouraged at first, when I realized I had no idea how to do a deadlift, WTF a “hang clean” was and absolutely no ability of hopping into a gym and busting out a great workout. HINT: If you’re a beginner, start at the beginning. It’s genius, I know. If I had let myself STAY intimidated, though, I would not have been a genius. No sir, I would still be either a) sitting on the couch or b) pounding away at my poor knees. Both of which suck equally, in my opinion.

snowman Far too accurate for words

So there you have it! If you’re looking to get into the gym but have no FREAKING CLUE where to start, I hope that this was (somewhat) helpful? Tell me please! –> Please also tell me how to get rid of 7,842 spam comments. Apparently disappearing for 4 months will cause that.

How often do you strength train?

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