Monday, February 24, 2014

Smart Girls Use Dumbbells

As a "pedometer person" ... I really like cardio, as it usually gives me "steps" that strength training does not. I do feel weights are such an important part of any fitness routine though. Strength training has been a part of my plan almost from the start (about eight years ago).

I'm lucky. My husband has been interested in weight lifting since he was a teen. When we moved into our house (about 18 years ago) we had room for a gym. The hubs invested in a big weight rack, plates, and dumbbells. When I first lost the weight eight years ago, I had hubby show me some moves and help me set up a routine. I like a full-body routine that hits every body part.

I little bit back, I posted MY weight routine (Not Just A Weight Watcher). For the past several years, I've made sure I incorporated at least one weight workout in a week. When I was ambitious, I'd get in two or three (leaving a recovery day in between).  I've looked through some books and magazines and have tweaked things over the years as I know it is important to switch things up.

Last summer, I tried out Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. I aimed for five workouts a week (leaving weekends off, or available for a make-up day if I missed one during the week). During this time, I did stop MY weight workout (although I continued with additional cardio each day). In the fall, I tried "Ripped in 30" ( a couple times a week, with my weight workout once a week) and this month I've been doing "No More Trouble Zones" (again, two days a week, keeping my weight workout once a week).


It's been interesting. MY weight workout looks harder on paper. Heavier weights. More impressive moves (in my opinion). A full hour. Jillian's workouts use smaller weights and some of the exercises are deceptively easy (pelvic thrusts, toe taps) ... yet I find myself collapsing on the mat (as Jillian yells "don't you stop" almost like she can see me!) and sweating up a storm. Last Monday, I was dragging and was just NOT up to facing Jillian. I talked myself into doing a 30-min version of my weight workout instead. It wasn't as intimidating to me ... I'm not sure exactly what that means *Ü* I ended up doing the entire hour. I find that happens fairly often. I get myself started only committing to a partial workout, and then I get into it and do the whole thing.

I like mixing up my weight workouts.  Doing mine ... where I have on music or a tv program keeping me motivated while I work out. Picking up the heavier weights and only doing the exercises I feel are the most productive.  Then letting Jillian lead the way. Smaller weights, but enough repetitions that I do really feel it. Different moves than I'd do if left to my own devices.

I have NOT tried crossfit (totally intimidating) or free-weights (anything I would need a spotter for). I've never tried any strength training in a gym ... just in my home. Pilates and Yoga, resistance bands ... I've experimented a little, but they haven't really grabbed me either.

Linking up with Nikki, Kristy & Katie
And of course the Motivation Monday team
Tiffany/Morgan/Wendy/Alisha/Betty
JenB/Brandi/Jen/Gwen /Theresa







14 comments:

  1. I feel more of a workout using resistance bands than weights.

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    1. I know bands are a great alternative, less expensive, less space to store. I DO have a couple of resistance bands, I just haven't really put them to use. I guess I just need someone to SHOW me some of the moves (in person or a video) ... I can't quite grasp them by written description, even if there are step by step photos.

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  2. I admittedly struggle with weight training!!!! Bad, I know!

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  3. I've also been doing Jillian's No More Trouble Zones. I haven't used heavy weights, in fact I've only been using 2 pounds, but oddly I still feel sore after and feel like I am getting a good workout in. Even if I'm altering a few of the steps to fit my limitations right now. Like you I plan to eventually do a mix of cardio and strength training work outs in the future.

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    1. I have 3 and 5 pounds weights. I use the 5 pound for most things, but a couple of the moves get me too tired, so I switch to the 3s. Like you said, I do still feel it! In Jillian's "Ripped" I had to alter the most moves, there were just several in that series that I couldn't do at all!

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  4. I really think the older you get the more you need weights. You lose muscle as you get older and really need to work to keep it. I am pinning this to my fitness board.

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    1. I have read that you tend to lose muscle as you get older. I'm TRYING to prevent that from happening. It's nice to feel strong and toned, not just thin :)

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  5. Pilates is the only thing that leans out my core and gives me ab definition. I don't enjoy lifting weights but I do it because I like muscles.

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  6. Hi Jen, I think if you use dumbbells versus a barbell for weightlifting, you can avoid needing a spotter. Many barbell exercises, such as bench press, can be done with dumbbells. Then if you get overly tired, there is no chance of the bar falling on you. You can just drop the dumbbells to your sides, at the very worst. And mostly this is just a problem for those of us who do sets of reps at very heavy weights. As your husband. :-)

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    1. Yes, I think many of the moves I do are just dumbbell alternatives. Hubby still likes the bar moves, but it makes me a bit nervous (as he's in our home gym alone ... and he lifts so heavy I don't know that I COULD help). We have a full set of dumbbells, but so far I haven't needed anything over 30 pounds. That's where I top out.

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  7. I have to say, you’re amazing! It’s good to see that you’re trying out different things while working out, and you're even experimenting. In my opinion, it’s great since you were able to determine what kind of routine works best to you. There’s no doubt that you can get your weight goal in no time. Keep it up!

    John

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  8. I love dumbbell training and I'm loving those workout of Jillian. But the only problem is I'm having trouble staying consistent with exercise. I'm still working my best on that area. Thanks for sharing your story and for hosting such a great link party!

    herweightlossdiary.blogspot.com

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  9. Hi Jen! Your weight loss timeline seems very similar to mine! I love your posts, and if you'd like to stop by, I have a "Shaping Up For Summer" link-up, which will run every Saturday through May. I would LOVE it if you wanted to link up your fitness posts. Hope to see you there!

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    1. I remember you did a Sunday link-up for a while - I love link ups, I'll try to remember to join in!

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