Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Phases and Crazes.

Just a quick check-in posts of sorts. Sadly (or happily?), I don't have much to report this week. I was out of town over Mother's Day weekend and seem to have hit the ground running this week with miscellaneous chores, errands, exercise and of course, work.

I'm almost done with French Women Don't Get Fat and will be sharing my highlighted notes hopefully later this week. I know, I can sense some eye-rolls out there in cyberspace, but as I stated before, it was just one of those books that made me oh-so-curious, not necessarily some new fad I was looking to throw my life into. I know it has probably been cast into that typical-trendy-bullshit-diet category, but after reading the majority of it, I feel comfortable saying that it's not. That doesn't mean I haven't come across parts that made me say "Psh!" out loud, but I have enjoyed it for the most part. Anywho, details to come soon!

I'm going through another strength training phase. After trying to add more running into my routine the last couple of weeks (and more cardio overall), I was honestly disappointed with my appearance and general heavy feeling, even though it seemed like I sweated like crazy every day and managed a stable diet most days. The past few days I've focused a bit more on weights and resistance and hey, guess what? I'm back to toning up and feeling like a fit bad-ass again.

I know balancing both types of exercise is important, but some weeks I'm just more motivated to do one or the other (and more times than not, that motivation goes to cardio). I went to spin class this morning (and signed up for another class on Saturday because I'm a sadist), but plan on mixing up some Jari Love and Jackie Warner DVDs in between. Might throw in a day of yoga or a custom at-home lifting circuit somewhere too. I've got the weight set at home, begging me to do some squats, lunges, shoulder presses, deadlifts and more.

While I know that I benefit from all types of exercise, I think my body type benefits from strength training the most. I've always leaned toward cardio year after year, week after week, day after day, but I need to work at adjusting that ratio and try keeping strength at the top of the list. My body speaks for itself when I stick to lifting on a regular basis.

I've read in a few different articles that weight and resistance training boosts self-image and y'know what? It's true. That's not to suggest that I don't feel good about myself when I run or spin or stair climb, but there's something about lifting weights and/or working with my own body weight that causes me to be a bit more aware of what's going on with these muscles of mine. I certainly can't speak for others, but I require significantly more concentration when I strength train because I'm paranoid about my form and preventing injuries. And when I manage to perform [heavy] reps successfully, well, I don't know... I just feel like this:

On the inside, anyway. Heh. Notice I didn't throw a picture of The Incredible Hulk up there; although I sometimes push strength training to the side, I'm glad I no longer believe the myth that lifting makes women bulky. Because it totally doesn't (unless you get testosterone injections and live off of a steady diet of steak, eggs and tuna). I certainly feel buff 'n' tough afterward, but I also feel incredibly lean and sexy. And that's not so bad, eh?

That's all I have time for today, but fret not; I have some new recipes floating around in my head that I wanna try this week, so I'll definitely be sharing those, along with pics. Hope everyone's having a great week!


Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) said...

I've been thinking about this lately too. I enjoy cardio but I really think my body responds better to HIIT weight training workouts. I see results almost instantly. (they are minor but definitely there.) My biceps are coming in and I love it!

Tamara said...

@Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat)

Yep, same here! I think I default to cardio because in terms of sweat output and calorie burn, there's definitely instant gratification, but it's only when I strength train that I quickly notice definition and loss in inches. No use it fighting it anymore!

Michelle said...

I love strength training so much more than cardio, however, if the sun is shining, nothing can keep me from going on a run. Just let your body choose what makes it feel the best everyday. Some days, you might just want to sweat it out, others you might want to feel like an inner Jillian. :)