New Lily

Strength Training

woman lifting I used to really hate strength training! Or more accurately, I hated what I thought was strength training. I could do a cardio workout all day long (not really, just saying) but a weight workout…that was torture! Now, I’ve come to enjoy strength training, and I’ve broadened my understanding of what “strength” means. Part of the problem was that to me, the word strength meant primarily weights. I wasn’t interested in becoming bulky, and lifting weights was burdensome, so it seemed impractical to me.  At the end of a run or after a swim workout, I would try to fit in a few upper and lower body weights to “tone” up and to gain some strength, mostly to avoid injury. But one day, I tagged along with one of my kids to a personal trainer (we had given her some sessions and the trainer let me come for free)  I was amazed at the intensity of the hour long workout, especially at how my heart rate increased and stayed fairly high throughout. The idea that strength and cardio could be done at the same time was a new concept for me.  Still, a personal trainer is expensive and took a lot of time.  For me it wasn’t realistic.
My friend Alan Tyson is a nationally known physical therapist and the owner of Architech Sports in Charlotte, NC.  Alan has worked with my kids and their various swimming related injuries over the last ten years (not to mention my running ones too), and he showed me that strength training does not always even involve weights. In fact, some of the hardest exercises that I’ve ever done are ones Alan has showed me using only my own body (or maybe adding a medicine ball). Doubtful at first, I started incorporating some of his ideas into my weekly routine at home, and was amazed. What could be more practical and challenging at the same time, than to use your own body weight to increase strength? So I added and even substituted this new “strength” workout for some of my other days of exercise. I saw the results almost immediately. I felt stronger and certainly more versatile in terms of what I could include in my own workout routine. Finally, I’ve opened up my mind to other forms of “strength” workouts, including pilates.
I’m excited about my new found appreciation of strength training. I think we can easily get stuck in a rut when we exercise. Bringing in other forms of exercise to mix things up, including strength routines that can be done at home in no more than 30 -40 minutes, is one way to avoid this rut.

Speak Your Mind