Friday, May 31, 2013

Lifting Heavy or Hardly Lifting...?

Completed my lifting at the gym. I figured I'd talk a little bit about the New Rules of Lifting for Women book. It's a strength training program for women, and a comprehensive one at that!

It starts off with why women need to strength train and not solely do cardio. Then there's a section about nutrition, what all the micro-nutrients mean and do (such as protien, carbs, fat) and what your body actually needs instead of what fad diets tell you to eat. Included is a suggested meal plan that you can use religiously, as a guideline, or ignore (like I do...)  Finally the last section of the book talks about what types of workouts are best, areas that get neglected, and a detailed workout program with instructions and pictures demonstrating how to properly perform the moves. I can't rave enough about how informative this book is. The workout program and demonstrations taught me, a woman who'd only ever dabbled in the weight machines how to be a seasoned veteran in the free weights. It truly helps you understand how to do everything safely and effectively. And now I love seeing other women in the weights section!
I look depressed, but I was just trying to snap a picture quick without drawing any weird looks. Just me after my squats. I'm up to 95lbs, and hoping to increase again soon!

I know I keep mentioning my runner's knee, but I don't know if I've explained it at all. In the beginning of February or so I was on my college's track and field team. I think I upped my mileage too quickly and neglected strength training, but who knows what the actual cause was. Any-who, I got this intense, burning pain behind my left kneecap, but not in the actual joint. This debilitated me from running. I couldn't continue on the track team and went about two months doing minimum physical activity. It SUCKED. Majorly. I eventually got fed up with the fact that I had been running about 6 miles a day plus a long run and was now reduced to a half a mile before I was forced to stop, almost in tears from pain. It warranted a trip to the doctors. After weeks upon weeks of physical therapy, taking it easy, wearing a knee brace, and consuming 2 horse-sized anti-inflammatory pills a day, I'm as good as new (almost). Still on the road to recovery, but being on the road is way better than on the couch! And I started healing just in time to start training for my 15K on July 14th and my half marathon August 3rd :) Strength training and listening to your body is absolutely necessary in any workout program. I wish I hadn't waited so long to go to the doctors, when just a little stretching and flopping around on the floor (or what the doctors call exercises hehe) would fix my problem and make me much more tolerable to others. I was miserable without running.

So it leads me to wonder... Why do you think strength training is important? What do you do for strength training? Do you make your own program or do you use ones that others invented? Do you wing it?! Leave me a comment and help me gain insight into how you get stronger.

Safe and happy running,

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