I have always gone in fits and starts with working out. I do well in the winter and spring, but barely ever make it to the gym when the kids are home in the summer. You know, when I’m actually wearing a bathing suit in public on a regular basis. Good planning, me.
I’ve done so many different kinds of workouts and fitness plans in my life: yoga, running, boot camp, HIIT, spinning. You name it, and I think I’ve probably tried it. I’ve been in good shape, but I’ve never really been “strong”.
This winter though, I’ve been doing something new that I never really tried before and I’m totally addicted: I’ve actually been lifting weights.
Like, in the man-section of the gym. Using the bench press and the squat rack and free weights and all the other things I’ve always been scared of using. I was always completely intimidated by that section of the gym, but now that I’ve tried it, I can’t imagine going back.
It. Is. Awesome.
And I’m strong now. Actually strong. Way stronger than I was when I started. I love it.
(I have not, however, been doing almost any cardio at all. So I’m not skinnier/smaller. Just stronger. One step at a time, I guess.)
This is the weight-training program we’ve (mostly) followed. Spoiler alert: if you click on the link, just know that I don’t look even remotely like any of the crazy shredded chicks in the photos. But I actually don’t want to, so it’s okay.
We increased weight as needed for the first four weeks. Then after 4 weeks, we decreased the reps (to 6-8 per exercise) and (fairly dramatically) increased the weight. I am already lifting more than twice what I started with on most of the exercises. It’s measurable progress and it’s amazing.
I even got to the point where I had such gross callouses on my hands that Matt went and bought me weight-lifting gloves so I didn’t tear up my skin so badly. I mean, I don’t know who the hell I think I am that I need weight-lifting gloves, but I use them now. And actually need them. I am both mortified and excited by that fact.
Women are almost never told that weight-lifting is the right workout, but I’m a believer. Strong is the new skinny.