Strength Training Does a Body Good

Last week recap: 29.2 miles

Women Runners

  • Monday was 1 hour of strength training.
  • Wednesday was 8 miles with 6 steep short hill repeats in the middle.
  • Thursday was 1 hour of strength training in the morning and 2 miles of a monster hill with no shade in the Texas sun in the evening.
  • Saturday was a long run of 12.6 miles on a VERY hilly route with a lovely group of 8 ladies, followed with 1 hour of strength training with my trainer.
  • I ended the week on Sunday with a 6 mile trail run with 7 friends where I ended up being a meal for mosquitos – I have about 20 bites.

You Gotta Work Hard

So last week I talked about how in 4 weeks, I had dropped 5% body fat and lost 8 pounds, which translated into 12 pounds of just fat while gaining 4 pounds of lean muscle and blood volume!

While I have recently started focusing on smarter food choices (note: NOT dieting), I attribute a lot of the success to the strength training regimen I started. I had kicked my butt into shape with the help of hiring a personal trainer, Jeff, and we’ve been consistently doing 3 1-hour strength training workouts every week. It’s not in pencil in my calendar – it’s in marker!

And I’ve had people who seem surprised at the transformation I’ve had because they say they’re doing strength training. I thought it might be great to see a “day in the life” in regards to my workouts with Trainer Jeff! So here’s the workout from this Monday’s 1 hour session…

2 sets of 15-20 reps for all of the following:

  • Bosu Squats (Squatting on a Bosu balance ball) with 30 lb bar
  • Step-ups (Stepping up on an 18-inch box, balance on leg, extend other leg & squeeze glute) with 10 lbs dumbbells
  • Walking Lunges with Shoulder Press & Leg Extension with 10 lbs dumbbells
  • Standing Calf Raise on Smith Press Machine with bar’s weight + 50 lbs plates
  • Adduction with 155 lbs
  • Abduction with 125 lbs
  • Squat Rows with 37.5 lbs – it’s a squat, it’s a row, it’s both!
  • Chest Press Lunge with 12.5 lbs
  • Bosu Standing Lateral Raises (balancing on a Bosu ball) with 5 lb dumbbells
  • Bosu Standing Hammer Curls with 10 lbs dumbbells
  • Tricep Press with 50 lbs
  • Planks on the exercise ball (good core work) for 40 seconds
  • Abdominal curls on the ball with 20 pound plates
  • Opposite arm and leg extensions – core work, balancing activity

As you can see, with two sets and high reps of all of this, it’s a very busy and full hour, and I’ll frankly say I sweat like crazy during the workout and my heartrate definitely rises!

I’ve never spent much time at gyms so going there and seeing how people behave while there is so interesting to me. It appears it’s easy to go there and spend an hour physically at the gym, although not actually working out for an hour. And those that are working out, there are many who just do a little here and a little there and call it a day. So this was a major reason why I thought it would be good to show the intense hard work I’ve been doing to change my body composition as I get ready for this first marathon.

Next week: Mo’ slow miles! Just maintaining and not getting injured before I go for that last 18-20 miler the weekend of July 9-10 before the 3 week taper to race day!

Libby Jones has been running for 5 years, is a self-described “serial half-marathoner”, but has never attempted the marathon distance. She is also an active part of the Dallas-Fort Worth running community. She is the Founder and Race Director of theNew Year’s Day Half Marathon in Allen, Texas; the Executive Race Director for Heels and Hills, a non-profit geared towards getting women fit and active; the North Texas State Representative for the Road Runners Club of America; past Dallas Running Club President & 2008 RRCA Scott Hamilton National Outstanding Club President Award Winner; and an RRCA-certified running coach. She’s also a wife to Steve and a mother to Marissa (3 yrs) and Sophie (3 1/2 months). Read her blog “The Active Joe” and follow her on Twitter @libbyruns

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