Fitness/ Workouts

3 Reasons I’m Lifting Weights Again

Happy Friday!! This weekend should be a fun one. Here’s what’s on the agenda:

  • Pre-race shakeout run tonight (1. 5 mile warm-up, 2×800 at “push pace” with 400 jog in between, 1 mile cool down)
  • Running an interesting race tomorrow called Ultimate Runner. There are 5 events – four on the track and one cross-country 5K. You run a mile, 400m, 800m, 100m and then the 5K. I have no goals for it other than to have fun and not get hurt!
  • Foam rolling my left calf. It’s been spasming all week. NOT good the week of Ultimate Runner. ha!
  • Mani/pedi with my friend Liz on Sunday
  • The usual laundry, cleaning, etc.
Anyway, let’s get to the topic at hand! I recently added weight lifting to my training for a few reasons.

1. To improve my running. I have pretty weak glutes and hamstrings compared to my quads, and I think if I can strengthen them, it will help with my power and speed while running.

2. To improve my health and decrease injuries. I know weight training is good for me in general — increases metabolism as muscle mass increases, increases bone density — but I’m also hoping it can help with the injuries that are starting to creep up lately. My knee and my SI joint have been bothering me as I’ve increased my mileage (albeit, probably too quickly). I hope strengthening muscles around my joints will start to alleviate those problems.

3. To improve appearances. Yep, just that. I really like the look of toned muscles and I feel like I don’t have much tone. After just three weeks of weight training 1x a week, I can already see an improvement in muscle tone which I’m super happy about!

It’s a really simple set of moves, but targets all the biggies. The pull-ups target the biceps, triceps and back all at once. If you can’t do a pull-up (I can’t), use the assisted machine at your gym or resistance band wrapped around the bar that you kneel on to assist you.

Super Simple Full-Body Weight Lifting Workout

3 sets of each, 5-6 reps each

Use heavy weights. You should barely be able to eek out 6 reps. If you’re getting to 8, increase your weight. As always, be careful, listen to your body and don’t overdo it. Don’t get hurt! The weight I used for each move are listed below each move. For the squats and deadlifts, I used a standard 45 lb barbell and added on to that, so the weight listed includes that 45 lbs.

  • Squats
    • 95 lbs for the 1st set, 115 lbs for the 2nd and 3rd
  • Deadlifts
    • 95 lbs for the 1st set, 115 lbs for the 2nd and 3rd
  • Overhead shoulder press
    • 20 lb dumbbells
    • I also added one set of shoulder rotator raises with 15 lbs weights (Jen has a picture demo on her blog of shoulder rotator raises are if you aren’t sure — it’s one of my FAVORITE shoulder moves)
  • Bench press
    • 25 lb dumbbells
  • Assisted pull-up
    • offset 60-65 lbs. It’s hard to read it on the machine at my gym. :/

I’m going with heavy weight/low reps to kickstart building some muscle. I really don’t expect to bulk up but I may end up switching to lighter weights and higher reps down the road. I’m happy with the results of this so far, and it’s faster than doing double the reps! 🙂

What’s your approach to weight training? High reps/lighter weight? Heavier? No weight training? Group classes? I go through phases where I like all of those. 🙂

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun
    at

    I was doing really great with weight training and then we moved and don’t have a gym here yet, however I really need to get back on the train with weights! They keep me healthy!

  • Reply
    Annie
    at

    I did Ultimate Runner a few years ago…so much fun! Just make sure you bring a lot of water/hydration with you in a cooler and don’t go all out on the 100–I saw a few people pull hamstrings and watch their shirts get burned afterwards because of that.

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]
      at

      Thanks for the tips! I definitely took it easy on the 100, and brought a big cooler full of water and recovery drinks! It was a blast! My legs feel like they’re full of wet sand today. 😉

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    at

    I still just do moderate weights at high reps, but I am curious to try heavy weight with low reps soon!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    at

    I love doing pull ups, they are assisted ones but they still make me feel strong. My goal for the year is to do one without assistance. So far, I can do 2 with only 30 lbs of assistance. When I started, I had to go with 75 lbs assistance.

    I usually lift 40 minutes 3-4x a week. My arms have never been this defined. Especially my shoulders.

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]
      at

      I love them too since I’ve started! That’s AWESOME you only need 30 lbs of assistance! I want to do one without assistance by the end of the year too.

      That’s great you lift that often!! I’m jealous but I’m not willing to give up running days. 🙂

  • Reply
    Maryz
    at

    I love to lift heavy to see results fast. I discovered since lifting regularly I feel way better about how my body looks.LOVE LOVE LOVE to feel strong!

  • Reply
    Livi
    at

    Im just getting back into more strength training and I really love high weight//low reps!

  • Reply
    Amber
    at

    I started strength training again regularly back in November and I’ve noticed such a change in my body and how I feel. I’m 100% re-converted to it and try to fit it in at least 3 times per week. I really like HIIT though, so I like strength workouts that include burpees and squat jumps and box jumps so my heart rate is high! And I don’t like to strength train for longer than 40 minutes!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    at

    I’m so confused about the “bulking up” thing. I’ve read so much that says that’s a myth and heavy lifting will get you lean and burn fat, but when I started heavy lifting I really did feel a little bulkier (in the legs). Do you believe that happens? Now I’m doing higher reps and more functional body weight and HIIT workouts and I feel leaner. What gives?

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]
      at

      It probably just depends on the person. I found that I bulked up in my quads when I did body pump – so it seems like high reps aren’t a good thing for me, which is the opposite of everything I’ve read. So far I feel like my legs are leaner with the high weight/lower reps and doing some plyometric work. I would try something for 3-4 weeks to see how your body responds and then switch it up if you don’t like what you see!

  • Reply
    Eva
    at

    i started taking body pump classes at my university last year and that’s what got me into lifting! i love that class, but now i feel like i can go by my own routine with weights at the gym. before i was mostly toning/building strength, but now i really want to build more muscle definition so i’m transitioning to fewer reps with heavier weights. good stuff!

  • Reply
    jen
    at

    you know i love reading this! thanks for the shout out too!

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