Hustle for Muscle

by Khushboo on June 21, 2011

Who am I and what have I done with my former self?  I actually look forward to strength training workouts and shockingly sometimes rather do it than cardio.  Yes, that’s coming from a self-professed cardio junkie 🙄 . 

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I made theconscious decision to get my weight training on. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m still in the ‘honeymoon phase’ but I am loving it!  Both the soreness and my upcoming holiday are motivation for me to stick to it.  My arms feel like murder right now, don’t even get me started on my quads but it hurts SO GOOD!

Is it working? Appearance-wise, it’s too soon to tell.  However I physically feel stronger and my run speeds have certainly improved.  If you struggle to stick to regular weight training, here’s what has worked for me:

1) Limit your cardio and/or do it afterwards: I always thought that a ‘good’ workout included a minimum of 30 minutes cardio.  On days I’m lifting, my cardio merely consists of the 8-minute walk to and from the gym and a 10 minute warm-up on the cross-trainer.  Anything more unnecessarily wipes me out even before I’ve started lifting.   

2) Go in with a plan:  I’ve made a memo on my Blackberry with 4 or so different total body routines and I pick one at the gym.  One of my main reasons for avoiding the weights section in the past is because I had no idea what to do.

3) Leave at least 30-45 seconds between each set, otherwise the 2nd/3rd set will be subpar!

4) Go big or go home: I rather lift 10-12 reps at maximum intensity rather than 20 reps with a lighter load.  We (sorry if you’re a male reader ;)) don’t have enough testosterone to bulk up.  Studies actually show that high weights/low reps burn more calories in the hours after training, which is key!

5) Leave a day in between weight training, unless you are training different body parts

6) Superset: I’m all about efficiency in the morning and this helps reduce my overall workout time.  For example, rather than wait a minute between squats sets, I’ll do a set of dumbbell bench presses in between.  

7) Don’t succumb to muscle soreness! Yes, the first few sessions will leave you screaming ‘bloody mercy’. You’ll vow to never do it again! But man up- a little bit of light cardio will get your blood circulating and relieve the pain :).

8 ) Always eat after: Many people find their appetite through the roof (ahem  ;)) when they start weight lifting!  Eating a combination of carbs & protein like yogurt & cereal or eggs on toast definitely helps reduce the hanger hunger pangs.

What motivates you to stick to a new workout program?

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

movesnmunchies June 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm

LOVED THIS!! ima get into lifting!!

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Palan June 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm

If you have access to them, Kettlebells are an awesome wat to weight train and each move targets multiple muscle groups – ViPR is another awesome workout! I mix these in with my regular weights circuits – nothing quite like it!

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Parita June 22, 2011 at 1:31 am

AWESOME post! I love strength training, but I still needed to read this today…thanks, K!

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Priyanka June 22, 2011 at 2:16 am

You know my biggest problem is boredom, so I like to make two to three different plans and just pick up what I am feeling on that day. Such great tips. Honestly I have dropped on my ST, since I concentrating on running better after the dip in energies I had last week. But after the race in two weeks I will be back to ST, baby!

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The Teenage Taste June 22, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Great post! As a cardio junkie, I’ve been looking to switch up my routine for a while now to include more strength. I’ve already noticed a difference in my arms after only 2 months of lifting. I love it!
Thanks for the advice. I’ll make sure to use it! 🙂

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Uzma June 22, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Hey.
Have a question about a recumbent stationary cycle. Am worried if I increase the level of the intensity, I will muscle up. My aim in to loose weight on my lower body. Will increasing the level, turn my weight to muscle and make me look big or will I be infact able to loose weight. Would be very grateful if you could let me know please.

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Khushboo Thadani June 23, 2011 at 10:06 am

Hi Uzma! The way I see it is that if you increase the intensity level, you will have to work harder and therefore burn more calories. As long as you’re expending more calories than you are eating, you will lose weight! Fortunately, we don’t have enough testosterone to ‘muscle’ up! The muscle will replace fat tissues and therefore give you a more toned appearance. It will also increase your metabolism and daily calorie burn! Hope that helps.

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