My exercise routine is pretty non-existent this winter. Between the bitter cold, high winds, snowstorms, and the rain (lots of frickin’ rain!!), I’ve chosen the comforts of a warm home over working up a winter sweat.
Snowzilla Uncovers My Weakness
During Winter Storm Jonas earlier this month, I discovered something that made me very unhappy. I’ve lost some strength and felt out of breath at times during the many rounds of snow shoveling. I can’t even begin to tell you how sore my legs, back, and arms were…but hey, shoveling more than 3 feet of snow does that to you.
Thankfully, we were smart enough to not wait for all of the snow to hit the ground before we broke out our shovel. Moving 3 feet of snow at one time just wasn’t appealing to either of us.
Before we started digging out, the hubby and I had the idea to shovel the snow into a trashcan and dump it into our complex’s common areas – the only spots that could hold that much snow. We took turns shoveling, but when it came to physically lifting the can to dump out the snow because I couldn’t do it. All I could muster was dragging it down to the common area (ruining the bottom in the process) with my husband doing the heavy lifting.
Was Leaving My Gym & Trainer A Smart Move After All?
Out of frustration that I wasn’t doing real strength training, I left my trainer and gym. Yes I got stronger while working with my trainers. Going to a gym on a regular basis using the machines will do that. The problem was I reached a point where I wasn’t progressing. My strength plateaued and the machines weren’t cutting it anymore. When I asked to work with free weights (barbells), I was told I could get hurt and wasn’t ready. Really???
So I said good-bye to the gym and took it upon myself to break out my resistance bands to do some DIY resistance training. Sure enough, I started off gangbusters (isn’t that always the case), but once Old Man Winter showed up, and the slacking commenced. After the storm, I saw the fruits of my folly.
I don’t regret leaving the gym or trainer. It was the right call. They just couldn’t deliver what I wanted – sort of odd, since the gym’s logo is a bodybuilder lifting a barbell.
There is a silver lining: my failure to lift that trashcan of snow reawakened my desire to build strength.
Starting Strength Training
Beginning March 1, twice a week, I’ll spend 30-45 minutes at our county’s rec gym, working out with weights.
The nice thing about using the rec center is I can do a pay-as-you-go rather than a full membership. That’s much more economical for us right now. I might turn that into a monthly pass come spring if I get the inkling to use the Olympic pool.
In the mean time, I’m re-reading Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength. The book isn’t an easy read, as it’s very technical. But if I want to know how to do the lifts right and safely, there isn’t a better source. The nice thing is that Rippetoe also has videos demonstrating proper technique. So after reading about the proper bench press form, I can watch how it’s done.
I’m hoping to convince the husband to hit the gym with me this weekend. He’s lifted before and it would be nice to get in some pointers.
We’ll see how this goes. A part of me wants to work with a trainer, but there isn’t a Starting Strength coach near me. I think my need for a trainer is driven by my fear of starting something new. I didn’t need a trainer for running. I used an app to help me run a 5k, and I’m doing something similar for strength training. Instead of an app, I’m using a book and videos.
My hunch is those butterflies will go away once I hit the gym.
No slacking this time. By this time next year, I’m going to kick that trashcan’s ass.