Post # 1
I’m looking for suggestions on how to incorporate strength training into my workouts.
I slowly gained about 30-35 pounds in my late 20’s (I’m 28 now) and in the past year decided to get moving and get back in shape. I lost 5 pounds in the first 6 months (I wasn’t really committed yet) and then since January I have lost around 20 more, leaving me with about 10 pounds to go until I hit my pre-college weight (YAY!).
I’m in constant cardio mode – I do Zumba 2 or 3 times a week, supplement off days with the treadmill/bike, and use the Hoopnotica system just to keep moving and for fun. But being more than halfway to my goal, I think it’s time to start some strength training.
Problem is, I have no idea where to start. I was/am thinking of hiring a personal trainer for a few sessions, just to have someone help me come up with a routine, but I figured I’d ask here first.
I have sensitive knees, so I have to be careful there. Primarily I’d like to focus on my core and on making my flat butt ROUNDER! Certainly wouldn’t mind working on my arms a bit too but they’re less of a focus.
Anybody have any suggestions for certain exercises? What’s your routine? How many days a week do you do strength vs cardio? Do you like free weights or machines? Any input is really appreciated.
Post # 3
Does your gym offer group fitness classes that incorporate weights? Like a “strictly strength” or “Tabata boot camp”. I think a few sessions with a trainer would be good too. They can show you some moves. You can always pick up a Women’s Health or Shape magazine. A lot of them have workout routines laid out. However I find the group fitness classes work best for me because some one else laid it out for me, they tell me the number of reps, it’s always a different routine (so no boring same old same old) and I won’t cheat myself (vs when I’m on my own I can just walk away).
Post # 4
As for core… the best exercise is Plank! And all the variations that come with it. For the rounder booty do squats and lunges. Try the stair climber, the one with the revolving stairs.
As for my workout, I do yoga 3+x a week, group fitness (tabata boot camp, INSANITY, and FIT- functional integrated training) 3x a week, and I run on my own. Yoga has really helped me see the biggest gains. Probably because I love it so much. I do a hot power yoga. So it is cardio, strength, and stretching all in one. Yoga will give you killer arms and core and lean you out.
Post # 5
@LilySarah: I use illustrated workouts that I put together myself from workoutlabs.com
Post # 6
@CocoLoco523: Thanks so much for all your ideas!
My gym has a few of those, I think an Abs, Butt & Thigh class and a oconditioning class. Maybe that is a good place to start, I’ve just been a little intimidated to try them out. Guess I should just suck it up, lol.
I’m worried about taking a routine straight out of a magazine because I’m afraid my form won’t be right and I’ll wind up injuring myself (especially with my PITA knees).
My old gym had the revolving stair climber, and it’s the one thing my current gym is missing that I WISH I still had access to. I loved that thing.
I’ve done some yoga classes before but the times they’re offered at my gym are never convenient. There’s a place by my office that does a lunchtime yoga class, maybe I’ll give that a shot.
Post # 7
@suburbian: Thanks for the website suggestion, I’ll definitely check that out.
Post # 8
@LilySarah: Don’t be intimidated by the classes! Most people are concerned with themselves and don’t care what you are doing. Make sure to introduce yourself to the instructor. Your knee sensitivities will give you a nice place to start. They can help you modify accordingly, as will any good yoga instructor.
If you are worried about your form from a magazine, def seek out a trainer then. Once you get the basic form down you will be able to modify and find fun ways to keep it interesting.
I know you said it’s tough to get to a yoga class at the gym, but I’m such a huge proponent of it. Especially for someone with knee issues. I used to have a lot due to running, but yoga has helped me immensely.
I think you are definitely on the right track!
Post # 9
I am a competitive olympic weightlifter and powerlifter (don’t think “omg huge” – I compete in the 57kg class – about 125 pounds). I am an enormous advocate of strength training, and specifically weight training for women.
The best training for anyone is the one you will actually do.
My advice is to try out a few different varieties – try a personal trainer (most have great rates for a sample session), try a “boot camp” or “pump” class, and try crossfit (a great all-around and structured workout). I am a big crossfit advocate for newbie lifters – it has the elements of circuit and interval training, but challenges you with structured workouts and goals. Crossfit studios focus on teamwork and learning proper technique. No pink rubber weights there – you will learn functional full body exercises like pullups, cleans, snatches, squats and deadlifts. When it comes to building and maintaining muscle and bone strength, nothing beats these full body lifts. I am not personally a huge fan of most commercial gym classes because oftentimes the focus is not on form, but just to a bazillion reps with little weight, but some people really enjoy them.
That’s my 2 cents – but like I said – you have to like it. The only workout that will work for you is the one you will actually do. If you like it, even the less “efficient” workouts are going to work better for you.
Good luck 🙂