Adventures in Cross Training: Seeking Guidance

I’ve been thinking about strength training, but then I read about how it’ll only work if you’re like, already thin and if you’re still fat you shouldn’t bother until you loose more weight, because then you won’t be toned. But then I’m told that this helps boost your metabolism so it can actually help you lose weight. Then I read things about how women should be lifting “heavier” weights (this is apparently the popular workout among feminists) and I can’t help but think, “but, I can’t even do a push up, how am I lifting really heavy weights?”

It is usually results in my being really confused, giving up, and just sitting on the couch watching TV because I can’t figure out what the hell anyone is saying. And I find strength training so boring. SO BORING.

I immediately discount anything that comes out of Fitness, Women’s Health, Shape, etc. because I feel these magazines are all bullshit and guess what? MAYBE I DON’T WANT A FUCKING THIGH GAP. Yeah, that’s right, you read me. NO THIGH GAP. HA.

So, does anyone strength train? What’s some good reading I can do that’s not just shaming me and yelling “PICK UP HEAVY WEIGHTS”?

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27 thoughts on “Adventures in Cross Training: Seeking Guidance

  1. The New Rules of Lifting for Women is really good. Some of the workouts in the back of the book require some equipment, but apart from that, the first 2/3 of the book has really good explanations about why certain things work and other things don’t work. The author has a sense of humor, too, which always helps. You can pick up a used copy from Amazon pretty cheap.

  2. Also, Joe Manganiello from True Blood has a book out on weightlifting called Evolution. I got it for Christmas, but haven’t sat down to read it yet, so I’m not sure if it might be more hard core than you’re looking for, but the pictures are good for licking…I mean…looking at.

  3. I don’t do weight training, but I attend a core class every week. It mostly uses your own body weight–sit ups, push ups, planks, that kind of thing. I’ve found they improving my core strength has made a big difference in my overall fitness, and my race times have dropped.

  4. I’m using the book Strong Curves: a women’s guide to building a better butt and body. It was recommended by a friend of mine who’s also a trainer. She’s going through the workouts too and seeing results. It approaches weight lifting specifically for women, and there are exercises that can be done at home and at the gym.

  5. Runners World has good strength training info and videos. I can’t believe how much more weight I lost once I started building some muscle. I did Body for Life which was awesome for me.

  6. I’ve worked with my trainer two days a week for nearly 2 years at this point. I’m definitely stronger, there is no doubt about it. And more toned. Well, my arms are more toned. My thighs are jerks.

  7. I hate lifting. I just HATE it. I have some free weights in my apartment but every time I use them I want to die. I really like swimming, but it’s basically impossible to swim in NYC unless you are a rich king or you want to be in a pool with about a hundred other people. I really should join a cheap gym again because I can’t run in this eternal winter situation we’re having here, but I’m worried about triggering my eating/obsessive exercising issues. So basically I AM NO HELP HERE I DON’T KNOW WHY I AM EVEN WRITING A COMMENT

    • YOU ARE ALWAYS HELPFUL! NEVER DOUBT THAT! and gyms are a total waste. Living Social has a deal for NYSC for 1 month for $24 but the last time I did that I went approximately 3 times so it was basically a total waste. I want to exercise but the gym was 1/2 a mile away and that was just too far. Go figure.

  8. Not a huge fan of strength training myself, but especially for women, it’s a good habit to get into. Helps prevent bone issues later in life, etc.

    Um NO on the thigh gap, thank you!

    I agree, there are lots of conflicting messages about fitness. I guess the question is, what are your goals for strength training? It’s a very good, healthy thing to add into your routine in general. If you’re a runner, balance and core work will help your running a lot. Plyometrics are good too. You don’t need to lift HUGE amounts or bust out 30 pushups the first time – just see what you can do and go from there.

    I like AMRAP (as many reps as possible, in a set time) and TABATA workouts (20 s work, 10 s rest) because you’re able to do what you can in the time given – no number to compare yourself to, except from the last time you did that workout. It can be a good place to start.

  9. I do CrossFit and LOVE it…there’s actually a group of people from my box who ran a marathon without doing more that 10K and nothing but CrossFit workouts. But, then again, given I look preggo apparently, you may not wanna go that route lol

  10. I just read something (I forget who’s blog it was…), but it was a fitness professional that said that we should actually be doing 3-5 strength workouts a week and 2-3 cardio workouts a week because more muscle mass burns more fat. Well. I’m WAAAAY off here and have this completely backwards! I’ve been trying to get in TWO strength workouts a week and I thought I was doing good! I’m with you though, I HATE strength training – alone. When I do it in a group class, it’s a LOT more fun! I will never give up my 3-5 cardio workouts a week though…and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that! haha

  11. Weight lifting has been my predominant exercise for more than 20 years. I can tell you that there is NO BETTER way to absolutely transform your body. I strength train 4-5 days a week and do cardio 1-2. I agree that The New Rules of Lifting for Women is a great book with sound advice. You many also want to try Body for Life. I also agree that the magazines you mention are shit when it comes to strength training advice.

    Just like running makes you feel like hell when you start, weight training is the same way. I would argue that, over time, when you get past the original “this sucks” and “my muscles hurt so bad the next day,” it is absolutely exhilarating. I honestly feel that the way my body looks is just the bonus – the mental and emotional benefits outweigh the kickass body that comes with weight training.

    If you want any specific advice (or encouragement), feel free to write to me: JoggingJeans@gmail.com

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