8 months of lifting

I have been meaning to finish this post for a while! When I started writing it, it was actually called “6 months of lifting.”

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in running (besides just generally sucking at it) was not balancing the miles with any kind of a strength/conditioning routine. I was just kind of getting by on infrequent and/or once-weekly cross-training (cycling or swimming) and/or half-ass lifting but whenever I’d start doing longer runs or any kind of speed work whatsoever, I’d start feeling beat-up all the time. I was icing my knees every night, and a shin or a butt cheek or ham string always felt tweaked.

I’m pretty lazy when it comes to any kind of non-running activity so I’m not sure what finally convinced me to commit to an actual 3x weekly routine but now that I’ve been doing it a while, I’m finally starting to see results and enjoying the work instead of viewing it as a chore.

I haven’t taken measurements or anything like that (sorry no before/after pics!) but I am definitely stronger. I don’t feel wrecked after long runs. I have not needed to ice my knees in a while, and I don’t feel like I’m always on the verge of an injury. That said, I am still a total baby lifter and I’m still adjusting my routine so pleeeeease don’t laugh at me or take this as me offering guidance. If anything, I’m putting it out there so you people can tell me what’s missing, or what’s redundant, or just, oh my god Marie what are you doing.

Floor exercises (3 sets):
Burpee with a pushup) Actually, fuck burpees. I did them for a few weeks and then I decided I hate burpees WITH A PASSION so I went back to just doing pushups.

Ankle touch
Single leg bridge with a butt-raise (I don’t even know what you really call this, I swiped the move from Jillian Michaels.)
Scissors (vertical)
Scissors (horizontal)

With dumbbells (3 sets): 
Tricep pushbacks in a lunge
Tricep extensions
Seated overhead arm raise
Lateral arm raise
Bicep curls

Floor with dumbbells (3 sets):
Chest press
Chest fly with double-leg raise (one of my favorite steals from Jillian Michaels!)

More fun for leg day (3 sets):
Box jumps or sumo squat jumps
Single-legged calf raises with a kettle bell OR both legs with dumbbells
Deadlifts (standard with barbell). I honestly had to watch some videos on YouTube to refresh my memory on deadlifts because it had been forfuckingever since I did a deadlift. I found this one the most helpful. (I don’t like the over/under grip though. I probably don’t lift enough weight for it to be necessary.)

And I recently discovered (THE HARD WAY) that box jumps and sumo squat jumps are NO SUBSTITUTE for a good ol’ fashioned conventional barbell squat. So I started doing those again too and I swear to god, my quads looked mightier after just two days.

So, discussion questions? What is your favorite lifting/conditioning/strength move that makes you feel #SWOLEAF? I don’t think it gets much better than squats and deadlifts.

Also how the hell do you find the TIME? How do you balance strength/conditioning with running? I don’t do any swimming or cycling anymore. I’d have to give up a running or lifting day and I refuse to do that.

Keep it simple.

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10 thoughts on “8 months of lifting

  1. Ugh, finding time to lift is so hard for me, but my running definitely suffers if I don’t make the time. I try to schedule lifting sessions on my off days so I have no excuses. In a perfect week I’ll do one video (Jillian Michaels’ No More Trouble Zones or Bob Harper’s Pure Burn Super Strength) or a barre class, and one heavy routine of my own: chinups, pushups, shoulder presses, bicep curls, lunges, squats, deadlifts, abs, etc.

  2. When I was exercising I was doing strength twice a week and cut running down to only three days a week. I had yoga in there 1-2 a week too. I was running less but felt much better doing everything else too.

    • I miss yoga a lot! The studio I loved closed and the only other one nearby is at the YMCA and it just doesn’t have that yoga vibe. :/

      • Have you ever tried the app Down Dog? You can get free yoga. It’s not the same as a good yoga studio, but it’s something. Plus you can do shorter workouts.

  3. I started getting much more into strength when my Physical Therapist and Sports Med doc were all “your butt is weak, that’s why your knee hurts.” (I also got really into yoga because they also said “your hips are tight.”) I love deadlifts or anything that allows me to lift the heaviest weight I could possibly fathom. However, one of the HIIT studios I go to offers a strength-only class, and they sometimes throw in a station where they tie kettlebells to ropes (that you would climb) slung over a pull-up bar, and you have to pull the other end of the rope until the KB almost hits the bar. I feel really badass when I do that one. Here’s a video, because, Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/BR61FTWBds1/

    As for time, I only run 3x per week and aim for strength workouts 2x per week (lifting or megaformer [extreme pilates on a machine]) and yoga 2-3x. A lot of times I don’t hit that goal. Some days I double up and workout before and after work or during lunch and after work.

  4. I just decided to recommit myself to lifting again. Right now I just do 3 exercises at a time, alternating between overhead press/squats/lat pulldown and bench press/deadlift/cable row. I drag my boyfriend to the gym with me so he can watch my form. The upside of barely running right now (womp womp) is that I really have no excuse for not scheduling time to lift. Somehow I made it through marathon training injury free by just doing yoga 2-3 times a week but the issues I’ve had in the subsequent four months made me realize I really need to also focus on strength.

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