I hope everyone had a great weekend. I’ve got my weekly workout recap for you today but first I want to talk about a subject I feel passionately about…why women should lift weights. I want to start out these weekly workout posts by discussing some sort of fitness topic. Let me know if you have requests, questions or suggestions.
This week I had conversations with multiple women who are in their 30s with children about their bodies and their workout routines. My #1 piece of advice to each of them was to incorporate 2-3 days of strength training into their weekly routine in order to see measurable and noticeable results. There are SO MANY REASONS why women should strength train ranging from weight management to bone health to overall appearance.
WEIGHT MANAGEMENT & METABOLISM
From Women’s Health….
“A study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that women who completed an hour-long strength-training workout burned an average of 100 more calories in the 24 hours afterward than they did when they hadn’t lifted weights. At three sessions a week, that’s 15,600 calories a year, or about four and a half pounds of fat—without having to move a muscle.”
“If you think cardio is the key to blasting belly fat, keep reading: When Penn State researchers put dieters into three groups—no exercise, aerobic exercise only, or aerobic exercise and weight training—they all lost around 21 pounds, but the lifters shed six more pounds of fat than those who didn’t pump iron. Why? The lifters’ loss was almost pure fat; the others lost fat and muscle.”
“Two sessions a week can reduce overall body fat by about 3 percentage points in just 10 weeks, even if you don’t cut a single calorie.”
BONE HEALTH & LONGEVITY
From the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)…
Until the age of about 30 to 35 years, our bones are in a constant state of building. Osteoporotic symptoms can occur earlier and last longer in women (40-65 years) than men (from 65 years). Osteoporosis is prevalent in America. Eight million women experience it.
As the human body inevitably advances toward old age it is becoming more evident that strength training and weight-bearing activity are providing the answers to slowing age-related changes in our muscles, bones and hormones.
Physical inactivity has been shown as a contributing factor to the loss of bone, muscle mass and other health risks. The ideal exercise regime for maintaing or promoting bone, muscle and hormone health is strength training.
I will give personal examples from two of my personal training clients.
Client 1 – Physician in her early 30s in a high-stress job where she is on her feet all day. Family history of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
When I started working with this client she was doing minimal physical activity on her own and was very deconditioned. She recognized the importance of improving her physical fitness given her profession and family history. After one year of 2-3 days per week strength/circuit training (1 with me, 1-2 on her own), she lost 5 percent body fat and 10.75 inches overall. Her overall appearance and muscle tone has completely transformed. She now LOVES working out and lifting and uses it to control stress from her demanding job.
Client 2 – New mom in her early 30s in a sedentary desk job. Ran and worked with a trainer through her pregnancy.
When I started working with this client she was almost three months postpartum after having her first child. She was very active before the baby and looking to get back to her pre-baby weight and body. After six months of working together (usually two 30-minute sessions per week or one 60 minute session) she lost one percent body fat and eight inches overall. Again, her body totally transformed. She is lean and muscular.
There are many reasons why women don’t strength train. Some common ones I hear are no access to a gym, not wanting look bulky and no time to fit in any other workouts into their busy workout schedule. My response to this is…buy some dumbbells and train at home (there is SO MUCH you can do with minimal equipment and your own bodyweight), YOU ARE NOT GOING GET BULKY (I will write a separate post on that at another time) and that you can spend hours and hours in yoga classes, on the elliptical and on a spin bike but if you want to SEE fast and real results, PICK UP A WEIGHT.
Stepping off my soap box for now but this is a topic that I am so passionate about and will continue to address as long as I write this blog!
Now, here’s a look at my week of workouts.
Short workout but holy crap…it burned! My chest was burning for like 30 minutes after finishing this workout. I blame it on RXing the double unders. I am mega focusing on them and they are so hard. They drive my heart rate through the roof! The wall balls felt easy compared to the DU and that’s saying something because wall balls have long been a nemesis of mine.
This is me in Marichyasana D…a crazy lotus, twisting, binding pose that requires every ounce of surrender and breath that I have. I always thank god every time I’m able to maneuver my way into it.
Strength + Double Hot Yoga
I rarely double up on yoga classes (ain’t nobody got time for that!) but my heart (not my body) needed in on Wednesday. Yoga is good for the soul. I did a morning and late evening class and had two great practices. Before evening yoga I knocked out a quick strength circuit after teaching two CrossFit classes. 5 rounds of 10 barbell back squats (at 75#), 10 underhand pull ups (band assisted) and 10 GHD sit ups.
3 mile run
The sun finally came out after five days of rain and cold so Sullie and I hit the road for an easy three-miler. We lounged on the lawn after because someone was feeling a little pooped after our run.
Non-heated yoga + Circuit training
I only had one student for my Friday AM class at Metro so I practiced with her. It was a wonderful way to start the day. Later that evening I came in for a 20 minute circuit workout with dumbbells, kettlebells, double unders and prowler pushes. It was a good one.
6 mile run
I set out for 3…then decided to take a turn to the four mile route…then kept going for the five mile route…then wound my way through my neighborhood to make it six. I doubled my original planned distance. I haven’t run six miles in a very long time and it felt effortless and amazing. I credit great weather (low 70s and overcast) and the audio book Cleopatra. It’s a straight up soap opera of money, power and sex. My mouth was hanging open for half the run.
I try to squat, deadlift and clean at least once a week and so far this week I was lacking on the deadlift and clean so I did a CrossFit workout that combines both of them, the Hero WOD “DT.” It’s five rounds of 12 deadlifts, 9 hang power cleans and 6 push jerks. I used a 75# bar for all three movements and boy did it feel heavy on those push press (subbed push press for push jerk). It took me 14:25 to get through this. I went pretty slow to focus on form. I did a cash in of push ups and GHD sit ups and a cash out of 100 double unders. I am working so hard on my doubles and strung 24 together today. It’s a record for me!
Solid week of workouts and no soreness or fatigue. I did a good job with spacing out strength workouts (a full day in between each) and sprinkling in running and yoga. Body feeling great!
Talk to me about your strength training routine? What works for you? Any questions on strength training?
CrossFitters – double unders…love ’em or hate ’em?