Tuesday Workout of the Week: Strength training for people who don’t strength train enough.

Guilty as charged. I have neglected the strength-training portion of the program for a while now. Runners, by definition, are aerobic creatures. We like to have our hearts pounding and sweat pouring down our faces. It’s hard. It’s fun. And we feel kind of awesome afterwards.

So when my knee turned up sort of unhappy with the whole running situation, it meant there was some time to ruminate on what I might possibly have neglected while doing all of that running. Like, my arms. And core. And balance. And connective tissues. All of the things that a good, solid strength training routine is designed to address.

Repeat after me: weight training is your friend. (Image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Repeat after me: weight training is your friend. (Image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Here’s the strength-training workout I put together last Monday to get myself busy in the weight room. I chose ten exercises, mostly for the big muscle groups, and tried to pick a level of resistance that would make 12 repetitions pretty hard. After a set, I’d either go straight to another exercise for a different muscle group before repeating the first exercise, or take a small (30-45 second) break before doing a second set. I just tried to stay busy for 45 minutes, then rode a bike for 15 more minutes at 90 RPM’s at a decent resistance level to finish it all off.

Here’s the workout:

Flat-bench dumbbell presses (chest)
Incline dumbbell presses (chest)
TRX incline pull-ups (chest, arms)
Dumbbell front raise (shoulders)
Combination front/side raise (shoulders)
Dumbbell mlitary press (shoulders)
Assisted pull-ups (back)
Lat pulldowns (back)
Exercise ball crunches (abs/core)
Back extensions on exercise ball (core/lower back)

I try not to stress about the details of how I do my strength workouts. I get a gold star just for showing up in the weight room. (Image courtesy of Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
I try not to stress about the details of how I do my strength workouts. I get a gold star just for showing up in the weight room. (Image courtesy of Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

That is all. I try not to stress too much about working out opposite muscle groups or otherwise following a ton of bodybuilding-style rules. For me, I get the gold star just for showing up in the weight room and getting a routine done. If I’m sweaty and out of breath afterwards and I kept proper form throughout all of the exercises, then I’m good.

And if you’re new to all of this, there are far more detailed guides out there to help you figure out what “proper form” on all of these exercises really looks like. My favorite book is pretty old-school, but gets the job done: Getting Stronger by Bill Pearl and Gary T. Moran.

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