Okay, so being a runner, it’s pretty
important essential to incorporate cross training and weight lifting into my routines. I am still working on the cross training bit (hellooooo yoga, Pilates and spinning!), but I think I have weight training nailed pretty well.
Let’s take a further look.
I personally love working out after work. Actually, let me rephrase that. I love weight training after work. Finding the drive to go on a long run or do a cardio sesh after my work day is over? Not so much. This seems to be a challenge for me, so I tend to do my cardio in the mornings (usually a run around my neighborhood). I know myself, and I know if I don’t get a work out in first thing (cardio wise, weights is a different story) then it ain’t gonna happen. Last year when I worked a normal 9-5, I’d wake up at 6:30 and get a nice run in. It was so relaxing, and peaceful, at that hour. And I loved being one of a handful who got to experience the sunrise every morning. Anyway, for me, weight training is done after work.
I’m lucky. I don’t have to leave my building, weave my way in and out of traffic and then fight the crazy people circling the Y in their cars outside like eager sharks, vying for the one parking spot that opens every 8 minutes or so.
Sidenote: My YMCA branch is huuuge. Huge as in…the number of members we have (18,000 at just our branch), it’s one of the biggest branches in the nation, but you wouldn’t guess that from the size of our parking lot — and the fact that we’re located pretty much in uptown, Charlotte. All I have to do is close up the wellness center, clock out, and head to the women’s health center to get my workout on. Doesn’t take much thought.
So after work, I utilize the amazing weight machines our gym has to offer. Have y’all heard about the Roc-It line when it comes to weight machines? They are off the chain. Freakin’ amazing, I tell ya. In the 8 months or so that I have been training with them, I’ve gained a significant amount of muscle mass in my legs and arms, and my back and core muscles have gotten much stronger as well (hallelujah!) . Now don’t get me wrong, I love working with free weights and utilize the dumbbells at the Y (and at home) sometimes, and I’ve always weight trained in the past. But for some reason, these machines just get me so pumped up and excited to use them, every single time. No excuses to skip weights from this girl (unless of course, I’m physically tired… ha!)
What I love about these machines is that they use your own body weight in addition to the weight you select on the machine. The machine actually moves with you as you work through the range of motion on the machine, and this helps eliminate any room for user-error. To put it simply, these machines essentially force you into using correct posture. If you’re moving on the machine… then your body is 99% of the time not over/under extending itself. Talk about a revolution in weight training machines. (Anyone ever use those hammy machines that made your lower back twinge in pain? Horrible for you. But with the Roc-It hammy machine, it’s all smooth sailing!)
I’m usually in and outta the weights room in 15 minutes (25 tops…depending on how much people come up to talk with me), and I alternate between upper body and lower body workouts each day that I lift (I usually lift 3-4x a week). I can’t stress enough how badass these machines are. I love that my body has been continuously getting stronger. And just to reiterate, weight training is a must when you’re a runner. Actually, I think it’s a must for all people, as it helps slow down the aging process exponentially (ie. you retain your muscle mass, which causes your metabolism not to slow as much when you get older… etc, etc. )
Ryan hardly ever uses my beloved weight machines at the Y, as he has come up with this hardcore medicine ball routine that he loves to do (he even bought a medicine ball to workout with at home when he can’t make it to the gym, and let me tell you, this one little piece of exercise equipment works wonders for him!)