Should I Up My Strength Training

lifting book coverI missed my Tuesday session with my trainer due to a nasty ear infection and stomach bug. Thankfully I bounced back for today’s session.

I’m tired as hell, but feel great. How does that work?

It really is amazing how I feel after each session. Yes I’m drenched in sweat. My legs feel wobbly. My arms are jello. Yet, I am very relaxed and have an overwhelming desire to go for a long walk. I’ve heard about a runner’s high, perhaps this is something similar.

Right now I’m strength training twice a week and speed walking the other days. But I’m starting to wonder if I should up my strength training. I came across an article in Women’s Health about the value of strength training over cardio. Two stats jumped out at me:

1. Just 21% of women strength train two or more times a week.
2. Two strength training sessions per week can reduce overall body fat by 3 percent in a 10 week span.

The article isn’t about choosing between one or the other. I don’t think I have a choice. I need to do both. It’s about the clear benefits of strength training and encouraging women to take advantage of it. I think women don’t strength train because they fear bulking up too much. Sorry ladies, but we just are not built that way. I promise, you won’t turn into her.

But I’m wondering if my strength training and cardio are out of whack. Right now I’m split 70-30 in favor of cardio. Yes, I do believe that as long as I continue to eat the right foods and exercise, I’ll lose weight. The difference is that with cardio I’ll lose weight, but that can mean fat and muscle. With strength training, I can target my problem areas and lose fat, not muscle.

For the time being, I’ll stick with what I’m currently doing. I’ll re-evaluate around June 1. By that time I should be working again and can see how realistic it is to add another session.

In the meantime, I’ve ordered The New Rules of Lifting for Women. Since I’ve added strength training, I noticed I need to make some adjustments to what I’m eating. I have noticed that my metabolism plunges a few hours after these sessions. Clearly I’m not fueling my body properly. My last couple of sessions, I came home an ate an apple and that seemed to help, but I need to really work in more protein. Problem is, protein is a high point item on Weight Watchers. So I really need to figure out the most bank for the buck without going over my daily points allowance. I’m hopeful that this book can shed some light on the nutrition front.


What In The Sam Hill Is Going On With My Spilts?

April 12 WalkToday has been a bit stressful. So I decided I just needed to get out of the house for a nice 3 mile walk. My first 5K is tomorrow so I if I could average a 16:30 pace/mile I’d be happy.

I went fast right out the shoot. Stressful days require channeling that energy and walking fast was a better choice than punching. When I hit mile 2, I decided to slow the pace up a bit. I really wanted some gas in the tank for when I started going uphill on mile 3. I finally settled in on a really comfortable pace.

April 12 SpiltsFor my last mile, which was up hill, I got super hungry but otherwise I felt great.

When I checked my splits after the walk, I was surprised and shocked that mile 3 matched my mile 1 pace. And my average mile was 16:26 – 4 seconds under goal. I really didn’t feel as if I was going that fast. Maybe I needed to release the stress. Or perhaps my body is simply adjusting and soon, I’ll need to push myself again.

Either way, I am awesome!


Kicking My Plateau’s Arse

Dot to Trot's smooth yoga moves? Nope. An image courtesy of ponsuwan/ FreeDigitalImage.net

Dot to Trot’s smooth yoga moves? Nope. Image courtesy of ponsuwan/FreeDigitalImage.net

If you are trying to lose weight then at some point or another you will hit a plateau. Plateaus are my mortal enemies. The quickest way to spell the end of my diets – hitting that damn plateau. They are just so maddeningly frustrating to break through.

I experienced a hellish one back in January. For nearly 7 miserable weeks the scale seemed stuck at 280. Oh, it would tease me and dip to 278 only to sucker punch me the next week to 282. No matter what I did food wise, I was stuck.

My normal M.O. when a plateau crosses my path is to give up. Not this time. Why? Attitude.

My only thought was how bad I was going to kick this plateau’s ass. People were going to feel sorry for this plateau when they realized how far my foot was up its butt. I knew I was on the right path – my clothes were all loose, I had way more energy, I didn’t want to eat unhealthy foods. Nothing was going to stop me.

So how did I kick this plateau’s arse? Yoga.

Because of my injuries, I lost weight just by eating right. However, come January, my metabolism settled in and my body got use to what I was doing. I couldn’t cut back without feeling hungry all day – not good when you are a fat chick! Eating healthy was no longer enough. Thankfully my doctor give me the clear to do yoga. I started doing yoga 3 days a week. And then, like magic, the scale started to cooperate.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve added daily walks to my routine, kicking my metabolism up a few more notches.

Obviously, the closer I get to my goal weight, the slower the weight will come off. While I’ve been averaging a loss of 3.5 lbs the last few weeks, I don’t expect to keep that up. Also, I know my plateau will come back someday. So I plan to be better prepared to give it another ass-whupping.