Monday, October 10, 2011

Fitness Monday: My strength experiment

I know "Fitness Friday" would have sounded better, but it's Monday, so there you go.

I generally like to workout and I like being fit. I don't feel so hot when I don't workout, and I've been consistent for a long time now, even though pregnancies and babies and all that. But since I started homeschooling, my workout time has taken a back seat. I used to schedule our days around my workouts. If there were classes or activities that were in the 9:30-10:30 hour - sorry kids, but Mama needs her gym time. When I decided to homeschool, I realized I was going to have to change things. I can't justify spending that much of our morning driving to the gym, checking kids into the childcare, working out, picking up kids, and driving home. It's nearly a two hour process, and back when we weren't doing school at home, it was a perfectly decent use of our morning. I can't afford that time now, so I'm relegated to working out in the wee hours of the morning before the rest of my zoo wakes up.

I'm not a morning person, but I'm willing to do it to make it work. It just isn't easy. And lately, my motivation has been low. That alarm goes off and my sleepy brain, which in that moment probably couldn't tell you the sum of 1 plus 1, could easily think of at least a dozen perfectly logical reasons why I should not get out of bed and how working out can certainly wait. As a result, I've been working out once or twice a week for about two months now. And that simply can't go on. I'm feeling it, physically and emotionally.

I realized I needed a goal. What brought fitness into my life as a permanent fixture was training for a triathlon. I had a race to train for, and goodness me, I wasn't going to slack off! It changed my focus from what my body looks like, to what my body can do. Since then I've always done well with that kind of a goal in mind - performance, not appearance.

But what sort of goal to work towards? I'm not feeling the running or triathlon thing at the moment. I'd love to do more (maybe even next year), but there aren't as many good races in the winter, and outdoor training in the winter here is... wet. Not super motivating.

Then I saw the post from Wellness Mama about her strength challenge. She designed a workout for herself to see how much strength she can gain in the next three months. I read her post over several times; I couldn't help but be intrigued. I've been reading about crossfit and other heavy-lifting, strength based type fitness for a while now, but I wasn't sure how to incorporate something like that into my routine.

I decided to go for it. I'm going to follow the same workout she is doing, and let me tell you, this is nothing like I've ever done before. I've always believed in strength training, but was in the "moderate weights, high reps" camp for years. I thought that was the best way for women to workout. What she's doing is totally different - heavy weights, low reps, and everything is designed to gain strength. Plus, they are very focused, efficient workouts that don't take much time.

I am so into this!

My goal is to be able to do pull ups - actual pull ups! And maybe even hand stand push ups. Oh my goodness, those seem impossible, but I'm going to try. I'm going out on a limb here, but I figure it will be fun to experiment and see what my body is capable of.

I took measurements this morning, so I'll see how my body changes along the way as well. But my goal is strength first and foremost - losing a little more fat along the way will just be an added bonus :).

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