Jul 012014
 

Back in the early days of this blog, I used to write a lot about the workouts I did. I was focusing on running and I used to run the waterfront loop during my lunch hour (man, I have so many fond memories of that). On the weekends Michael and I used to ride our bikes on the 40 mile Springwater Loop around Portland. These were the focuses of my blog. Weight lifting was pretty non-existent on 110pounds.com. I just didn’t like it. I didn’t really spend much time on it and didn’t see any changes in my body as a result. I thought it was a waste of time. Boy was I wrong. Several injuries that sidelined me from biking or running meant I had to find SOMETHING I could do. That’s when I started lifting weights.

Funny, when you lift weights FOR REAL, like it’s your main focus, several times a week for months on end–you DO see results! Who knew? That started the love affair with weight lifting. Once I saw a change and felt a change, I was convinced. I haven’t done a post in a long time about what kind of work I’m doing in the gym. I wanted to share what my favorite workouts are lately in this post.

Kettlebell High Pull

This is one that I learned at The Warrior Room but with two kettlebells. At first it was hard and I didn’t quite get it. I kept dropping my elbows but once I practiced a bit and found my rhythm it was easy and FUN. Check out this video on how to do the High Pull. Fast-forward to about 45 seconds in to see a demonstration of the move. The video is only using one kettle bell and when I do it, I use two. Currently I’m using two 15 pound kettlebells. This isn’t a great picture, but it gives you an idea:

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Kettlebell Swing

This is the basic swing, one move you learn on day one with kettlebells. I’m currently using a 30 pound kettlebell. I could probably go up to 35 but I tend to air on the side of caution when it comes to increasing my weights. I know, I know, if I want to see progress I need to up the weight! I try my best but my history with injury has made me overly cautious and as such, I tend to get stuck in ruts for awhile before I go up in weight.

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One Leg Romanian Dead Lift

This one can be done with free weights or with kettlebells, whichever feels most comfortable with you. I love this exercise because it reminds me just how imbalanced my body is. One side is ALWAYS more wobbly than the other. I also notice that if I take a break from doing this exercise I lose whatever balance improvements I’ve gained pretty quickly. I am currently using two 15 pound weights for this exercise. I’d like to go up to 17.5 pounds soon but I keep having setbacks and have to start over again.

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Chest Press

There is nothing flashy or fancy about this exercise but it’s functional and I notice a difference when I do it consistently. I lay down on the bench and then do a few sets of presses with a 30 or 35 pound barbell. I could probably increase to 40 pounds any day now if I’d stop being so cautious. :) This is a move that helps me with day to day life. For example, Michael and I recently bought a new bookcase and had to move the old one into the office and then move the new one to the living room. These were very large, very heavy pieces and while there was no way I could life it all by myself, it was certainly easy with the both of us and I did not struggle with carrying the weight. Yay for weightlifting!

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Leg Abductions/Adductions

This exercise is something I’ve been doing for awhile, on and off depending on what kind of resources I have handy. My physical therapist suggested I do this to strengthen my glutes (when I was trying everything I could to fix my knees). It works. I can feel it! I use one of the machines at the gym and do both legs. If I don’t have access to the machine, or I’m at home, it can be done with those stretchy bands, but I like the machine better.

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Bird Dog

This one is a suggestion from my physical therapist, as well as a yoga move. It’s a funny name but it is so beneficial–for runners, for anyone with muscle imbalance or chronic injury. It works on the core as well as the glutes and hamstrings. I work this move into my abs workouts.

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The Result

A recent workout included all of the above moves, plus a few other various things (some balance exercises, ab exercises and weight machines), 15 minutes of the elliptical and 10 minutes of stretching. This was the calorie burn:

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Not bad, huh? I’m working on strengthening my core and still working on my glutes. I know they are a weak part of my body and if I’m going to be serious about getting back to running I need to focus on my weaknesses or this will never stick! I’m glad I’ve been sticking with the weight lifting. The focus may change (I go back and forth in focus between the glutes, triceps and abs) but the bottom line doesn’t: lifting weights makes me feel better and stronger. Read these two interesting articles I found:

7 Strength Training Myths Every Woman Should Know

Why Women Don’t (But Should) Lift Weights

If you’re on the fence about starting a strength training program, I recommend you give it a chance–at least for a few weeks. Give it four weeks of 2-3 sessions each week and you WILL see a change. It might be a change on the scale (most likely a loss!), you might notice you are stronger, you might feel better or you might notice some muscle definition you never had before. Sure you won’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger after just a month of lifting weights, but trust me. If you stick with it, you will see a difference. Ladies: don’t be intimidated! You have every right to be there with the guys and show them what you got! Don’t be shy! I let my shyness keep me away for far too long. I am so glad I learned to love weights!

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Jun 262014
 

I had a day off on Monday because I thought my parents were going to stay a few days but they ended up having to go back to Seattle that Sunday night. I decided to keep my day off and try and enjoy myself and relax. Yeah right. Sadly, when I take time off I end up doing a bunch of stuff that’s not usually that fun. I wish I could say “the laundry, etc can wait for another day” but I can’t. :(

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I did get to go to the Warrior Room and that was good. It was a morning class and one I hadn’t attended in a long time so that was good. We did a bunch of burpees, two kettle bell swings, high pulls, lots and lots of squats and upright rows. (I was very sore the next day!!)

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The Warrior Room is doing something new–Boot Camp! I signed up for a Boot Camp class in a few weeks and I’m excited to check it out. I will review it after I give it a try. After class, iced coffee from The Painted Lady (it was salted caramel!) was a must. It was going to be a hot day! On a side note, our roses are so pretty and in full bloom right now:

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I was glad I went to the class first thing. The day was going to be really nice and I wanted to get outside to enjoy it. Unfortunately, I had a really bad headache all day so it kind of put me in a bad mood. I got started with some gardening after my workout and at least I got rid of most of the blackberry bushes in the yard! Check out the calorie burn:

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So with the Warrior Room and gardening, I burned over 800 calories for the day! I got cleaned up and had lunch outside on the deck while I read my book and listened to some music. That part was nice. I got to relax and enjoy it a little bit. But then of course my mind starts listing all the things I had to get done and couldn’t enjoy just sitting there anymore.

I ended up running a bunch of errands and doing not very fun stuff. SIGH. It put me in a bad mood and on top of my horrible headache that wouldn’t go away I was just grumpy! I did treat myself to something that improved my mood a little bit:

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I stopped at McDonald’s for an ice cream cone! 150 calories and it was worth it. It was a nice, cool treat and something I don’t get very often. That did cheer me up a teeny bit. I went home and relaxed with Bella for the rest of the afternoon.

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She is so funny. She was having puppy dreams and would twitch and flex and it is so hilarious to watch! Michael and his dad were out for the day golfing (poor Michael could only tag along because his back is still in bad shape) but when they got home Michael and I made dinner.

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I picked up some fresh cod and Michael blackened them in the skillet. I baked asparagus with some fresh parmesan cheese on top and we put the cod on top of a bed of lettuce. On top of the cod I put some peach mango salsa, which is a great combo! Dinner was really tasty. Michael’s dad loves to eat seafood when he’s visiting and I was happy to oblige. It’s been ages since I had cod.

My day wasn’t really what I wanted it to be and I wish I had forced myself to skip the chores and errands and just relax. I have such a hard time doing that. :( Even though I was grumpy I’m still glad I took the day off. At least now I can relax a little this weekend and not have a TON of things to do…right? Right. Pffft!

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