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6.3 Percent

Happy, happy, happy Friday. I am so very excited to see the arrival of the weekend although I still have a really tough CrossFit workout to complete and client to train before I can officially call it the weekend.

I bundled up and braved the pouring down cold rain last night to teach BodyPump 84 for the first time. Overall, I would say this release is more back to basics and less challenging than the other releases we’ve seen so far in the 80s. I do really like the music for this release although I am not a fan of “Welcome to the Jungle” for the chest track. The music was so chaotic that it was hard to feel in control, calm and like I was going to be able to teach and physically get through the track. Loved the Adele remix for squats and the heavy beats on biceps though.

BodyPumpers…what do you think about the new release? 

I came home after class and the only thing that sounded appetizing was bread and cheese. My stomach was way off yesterday but this grilled cheese hit the spot. Sourdough with cheddar, muenster and gouda grilled in a cast iron skillet with butter. I smooshed it flat by placing a heavy Les Cruset pot on top of it panini-style. Who said you need a panini press?

Remember all that snow we were supposed to get? Never happened. I didn’t care though because I got to practice yoga at 6:30 this morning and see the sun for the first time in FIVE days. It was the perfect start to my day.

I grabbed breakfast at Earth Fare on my way into the gym. They have a breakfast bar with fruit, yogurt and granola. Their granola is so delicious and addictive. Since it’s Friday I splurged and mixed in some peanut butter chocolate chip. Everyone can use some chocolate chips in their Friday breakfast, right Bess? (Happy birthday girl!!!!)

After getting to start my day by practicing yoga, I spent my morning teaching a yoga class and private. I always just remain so grateful that I am able to teach yoga as part of my job. I came home for lunch and made a salad with spinach, smoked salmon, avocado, carrots, tomatoes, candied pecans and feta with honey dijon balsamic.

I was paging through the latest issue of Shape while I was eating and was SHOCKED to read this statistic that only 6.3 percent of women lift weights. I admit that I didn’t start lifting weights until about five years ago but I haven’t looked back since I started incorporating it into my routine. For those of you who don’t know my story, I was one of those girls who pretty much exclusively ran for most of college and a couple of years after. No yoga, no weights, just running. Then I started taking BodyPump classes in preparation for my wedding and couldn’t believe how much it changed the appearance of my body. I have consistently lifted ever since. I now workout on my own and CrossFit a bit but I still love BodyPumping once a week too. It’s such an fun and crazy effective way to total body strength train.

The first thing that I tell women who ask me about working out/losing weight/toning/etc. is that they need to lift weights to really change the shape of their bodies. I can’t tell you how many times I have (as calmly as possible) explained to females, “NO, lifting weights (even heavy ones!) will NOT bulk you up.” I hate to break it to you but if you want a lean body and muscle tone, endless hours of cardio is not the answer. Lifting heavy things is.

I have endless strength training exercises and circuits to share with you that I promise won’t be intimidating and most you will be able to do at home with a set of dumbbells. Stay tuned! I’m gonna love this fitness Friday thing. Watch out y’all! 🙂

Are you one of the 6.3 percent? Do you want to be? What’s holding you back? 

{ 35 comments… add one }
  • Katherine January 18, 2013, 5:44 pm
  • ashley January 18, 2013, 5:50 pm

    I am “pumped” 🙂 about this Fitness Friday thing. I’m so bad about not making time for lifting and Body Pump is still so intimidating to me. One day I will overcome that fear! Look forward to these posts!

  • LeAnne January 18, 2013, 5:51 pm

    I look forward to seeing some of the strength training workouts/circuits you have! I weight lift fairly regularly now, but tend to get in a rut and am always looking for new ways to “spice up” my workout. Running is usually my “go to” workout…but that can get boring sometimes too!

  • Amber January 18, 2013, 6:11 pm

    The thing for me with weight lifting is I really, really struggle to motivate myself TO lift. Once I’m doing it, I usually enjoy it, but it’s the last thing I WANT to do especially if I am choosing between it, running and yoga. I tried crossfit for 3 months last year and LOVED it but unfortunately I would have to choose between a crossfit membership and the membership at my hot yoga studio (can’t afford both!) and I chose yoga. I’ve tried doing at-home workouts but as mentioned above I struggle with motivation.

    Starting at the beginning of this month I’ve been following the P90X strength training workouts with my husband so we’ve been lifting together three times a week doing that program and I’m enjoying that. Strength training definitely makes me feel strong and powerful!

  • Christina January 18, 2013, 6:13 pm

    Hi Jen! My daughter is almost one, and in the past year I have barely made it to the gym. Matter of fact I just quit my membership b/c I cannot find time to go (I work full time ). I am hoping to do some at home workouts after the baby is asleep so bring it on! 🙂

  • Joy January 18, 2013, 6:16 pm

    I am part of the 6.3% because of you!

    The look of your body is exactly what I’ve been striving for for so many years and I did try the running/cardio route and my body didn’t change…until I started lifting weights. Your advice on this has literally changed my body (and life, because I’m finally getting where I want to be body-wise). My body now craves strength training and I absolutely love it. So thank you (a million times Thank You)! I look forward to your Fitness Fridays.

  • Joanna January 18, 2013, 6:18 pm

    I have never been able to get into weight training but would love to! I need strength training tips/workouts to motivate me. Any thoughts/help?!

  • Stephanie January 18, 2013, 6:26 pm

    I’m trying to be one of the 6.3% in that I’m lifting on my own rather than relying on a class for the muscle conditioning. I put myself through my own paces last week and was sore in most of the places I worked so yay for my first foray into REALLY personal training. 🙂 I plan to keep it up at least once a week. I know weight lifting is good for me and can have a major impact, I just don’t enjoy it that much. But maybe once I see a little more muscle definition, I’ll be that much more motivated. Can’t wait to see your workouts!


  • Traci from Chocolate and Cardio January 18, 2013, 6:47 pm

    Sadly, I am not one of the 6.3% but it is something I know I need to work on. I can’t wait to see your workouts! I am a new reader to your blog, but I am hooked!

  • Erin January 18, 2013, 7:07 pm

    I am proud to be part of the 6.3%! I spent years doing only cardio and always figured I’d lose the weight doing cardio then add in some weight. A few years back I worked with a trainer, learned to lift heavy and fell in love with lifting, now I would take the weight room over cardio any day.

    I think women are intimidated by weights and also very misinformed. I see it all the time at my gym. All the women are on the elliptical machine and if they do weights it is a few bicep curls or tricep extensions with 5 lb weights.

  • Julie January 18, 2013, 8:27 pm

    Hi Jen! Did 84 for the second time tonight, i was able to increase on multiple tracks so I’m liking it! I was skeptical of the bicep track at first, but it’s growing on me!

  • Sunny January 18, 2013, 10:07 pm

    Hi Jen, I’m not the best at strength training. It kinda intimidates me. I LOVE running…its more therapy than exercise and I’m getting into yoga. So…question! I want to be able to devote time to it all and learn and excel in what I do. What do you think is an ideal week? I can’t really do a bodypump or crossfit at the gym right now. I’ve been trying to follow the P90x strength and do some of my own yoga stuff…but I just can’t find a good balance. I end up getting overwhelmed. Let me know if you have any suggestions on how to find a really good balance. Thanks!

  • Addy @ Six-Kick Switch January 18, 2013, 10:27 pm

    That’s amazing – I definitely thought more women would be in on the weightlifting things! I’m totally part of the 6.3%, yay! Though cardio work definitely outweighs strength sessions, because of my sport. Jen, it seems that general advice is to lift weights every other day, with a rest between. But I know some people, some CrossFitters especially, who lift a few days in a row. What are your thoughts on this?

  • Natalie Pyle January 18, 2013, 10:41 pm

    Unfortunately I fell into the trap of lots and lots of cardio. I’m now recovering from an eating disorder and I’m doing less cardio and trying to build muscle. So far I’m only working with body weight and small (8 lb) dumbells. I look forward to your weight lifting posts!!

  • Marli January 19, 2013, 12:21 am

    Not part of the 6.3 and never have been. I so want pretty arms while I’m in my 20s. Im ready to start weight lifting but I just don’t know how. I can’t wait for Fridays.

  • Amy January 19, 2013, 6:32 am

    I am so excited to see and try your strength training exercises!! I am one of the 6.3%, but am always looking for new routines, especially ones I can do at home. So looking forward to Friday’s!!

  • Kristen Hill January 19, 2013, 8:14 am

    Hey Jen! I’m happy to say I am one of the 6.3 percent as of 13 months ago. It has completely changed my life! I was always just a runner too and after two babies I had about 10 pounds I just couldn’t get rid of. I ran two half marathons and didn’t lose one pound! So frustrating. So I finally started lifting (started out with Pump twice a week, now do team training at my gym which is kind of like Cross Fit). I lost 15 pounds and I still eat! 🙂 I absolutely love your blog. Thanks for being such an inspiration!

  • Laura January 19, 2013, 8:58 am

    I am trying to be in this 6.3 percent, but I confess to not knowing if I’m doing it right! I cannot wait for some guidance from you. Body Pump is so intimidating to me, and I’m not sure why. I’m hoping to find a time to get up the courage and try a class soon.

  • Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes January 19, 2013, 9:17 am

    Wow, that statistic is crazy! I lift weights regularly, and I know it’s because I was introduced to the importance of strength training when I was young–during 7th grade basketball, our coach had us lift once a week. Nothing too heavy or intense; it functioned as a way to introduce us to strength training. As I continued to play basketball in high school and college, I learned how important it was to be strong and lift consistently. And today, as a I triathlete, I strength train once or twice a week. It’s important ladies–pick up those dumbbells! 🙂

  • Erin January 19, 2013, 9:25 am

    I started lifting weights three months ago and it has made a huge change in my body! I only use at home DVDs because they are the most accessible to me right now, but they sure work.

  • Carly January 19, 2013, 10:12 am

    When I lived in FL I did Body Bump 2-3/wk! I love the Les Mills programs but I have not found any classes in NC. Where does one go for Body Pump? Love your blog!

  • Anne January 19, 2013, 10:41 am

    Could you recommand a good body pump video to do at home with simple weights ?

  • Katie @ running4cupcakes January 19, 2013, 10:58 am

    I just completed my body pump initial training so I am loving body pump 84! Especially the shoulder track!

  • Jacquelynn January 19, 2013, 11:48 am

    I have been wanting to get a cast iron skillet… Any place in particular that sells good ones?

  • Dayna January 19, 2013, 12:14 pm

    I’ve only just started lifting weights (itsy bitsy 3 pound hand weights!) but I’m already noticing a change in my body and my asanas. Would you say Body Pump is good for beginners… where should I start?

  • kb January 19, 2013, 1:22 pm

    I’m not surprised by that statistic. I only lift weights once a week in a body pump class. First off, I find lifting weights to be intimidating. I never know what exercises I should be doing or how many reps, etc. Its also intimidating to lift weights in the free weight section with all the “muscleheads”. Secondly, lifting weights is hard!! Every week in body pump I’m reminded at how weak my upper body is. Its like torture to work on the triceps and shoulders. I’d rather the instructor tell me to run hills than to lift the bar or the elastic band again.
    Looking forward to hearing from you on this and getting a few workouts to try on my own.

  • Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin January 19, 2013, 2:26 pm

    I am not part of the 6.3 percent. I have a hard time motivating myself in the strength department and think I would need someone else to give me that initial push. Hopefully someday I can start cross fit or body pump classes to give me that little kick I need.

  • Katie January 19, 2013, 3:41 pm

    Just did weights at the gym because of this

  • Lisa P January 19, 2013, 7:20 pm

    I was addicted to body pump for 3 yrs until I couldn’t wear any of my t-shirts or pants because of bulked up muscles! It took me 1yr to get rid of the muscle and fit into my clothes again….so..only running, spinning and yoga for me!

  • RACHEL January 20, 2013, 11:42 am

    I beg to differ on the not-getting-bulky-from-weights issue. I too, strength train regularly. For almost a year I’ve been doing kettle bell classes which involve heavy weights and are quite intense. For the past month I took a break from KB because I WAS getting bulky! I am only 5’3″ so long and lean is a lifetime goal of mine and the KB intensity (which involves TONS of squats) was not putting me in the long and lean direction. And the gals who do tons of Crossfit? And the ones who compete professionally? Those girls are huge.

    Anyway, I am all for strength training and will continue to do it. However, I do believe you can bulk up. Just like any other activity, everyone’s body responds differently so you have to find what works for your fitness goals.

  • Lauren January 20, 2013, 11:47 am

    I am an avid weight lifter! It transformed my body! Once you start there is no going back!! 🙂

  • Caitlin January 21, 2013, 10:53 am

    I just can’t believe it’s only 6.3% of women who lift! I feel like the last couple of years more than ever have been all about strength training in the world of fitness “trends”. And that’s a trend I support! I wonder what kind of sample that stat comes from? Though maybe I am just being biased toward the community I spend a lot of time with – the blogging community!
    Mmm that salad looks amzing! Salmon rocks!

  • Kasey January 22, 2013, 9:49 am

    I LOVE Bodypump! Sadly, when I graduated from AU and moved back home, our small town gym didn’t (and still doesn’t) offer it. I miss it dearly and I attend Pump classes at Gold’s in Birmingham when I go visit my main squeeze — just one more year of law school and then Pump may be out of my life even more :(. I have been contemplating getting certified and teaching at my hometown gym but I’m pretty intimidated; maybe I will gain some courage in 2013 to do it!

  • Liz Lovett January 22, 2013, 11:47 am

    Hi Jen, this post inspired me to ask you two questions that I’ve been meaning to ask for ages. Firstly, where I live the options for exercise classes are very limited, as my local leisure centre, where I used to do Body Combat, Body Balance and Body Pump closed last year. The alternative offers Body Tone, which is a basically resistance exercises e.g. squats, lunges, arm exercises using resistance bands, push-ups, sit-ups, planks etc. etc. which I’ve started doing twice a week (as well as cycling to work and back when weather permits). Will the resistance exercises tone me up in the same way as lifting weights would? Secondly, I have lost nearly two stone, and I am starting to look a bit bony in places, so I don’t really want to lose any more weight. I do, however, still have a bit of a pot belly which is driving me mad! What’s the best way to get rid of it without getting too bony elsewhere?! Thank you for allowing me to pick your brains! xxx

  • Joanna January 25, 2013, 11:29 am

    So true! I have this conversation with people all the time! Lifting is so rewarding too and I wish more women would get into it!!

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