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16 January 2012

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Erin

I'm one of those people who love strength training. It really doesn't take much time to see the benefits. I alternate arms/core and legs during each workout and I usually spend no more than 10 - 15 minutes on weights. My standard routine is 5 minutes of stretching, 30 minutes cardio and 15 minutes on weights. If I don't have 50 minutes, then I cut back on cardio.

Jamie

Here, I am passing you a wet noodle for flagellation. Kettlebell sounds like a bad idea.

Salamander

You really should do at least a little strength training. It doesn't have to take a lot of time, especially if you do compound movements (squats, dead lifts, bench press, etc.) vs. wasting time with isolation exercises like bicep curls. Kettlebells are awesome, you can do a full body workout in 15 minutes. Not only will you increase your metabolic rate by increasing your muscle mass, you also strengthen your bones which is especially important for small- framed women like us who are at higher risk for osteoporosis. Doing compound exercises also builds up the important stabilizing muscles which will not only improve your performance in running and swimming, it also helps prevent overuse injuries. I had a major crash on my mountain bike and tore three ligaments in my knee - but thanks to years of strength training, my muscles were strong enough to stabilize my knee sufficiently for me to ride back to the trailhead instead of having to wait for paramedics to rescue me on an ATV. My recovery time was also much shorter than the doctors expected...I only needed crutches for 3 days which is an important consideration when you have a bunch of kids!

bearing

Salamander, I hear you about compound exercises. Barbell squats have always been my favorite, when I have lifted in the past.

I think the major obstacle to my taking on strength training right now is that I realistically would not do it more than once per week (I'm not going to swim and lift on the same day -- too complicated what with the clothes changes), and I wonder whether I would risk injury by lifting infrequently and/or erratically.

Adrienne

I started doing weight lifting again, after a ten year hiatus, and have found that most of my body and eating issues have cleared up pretty much overnight. Probably because I see my body differently now: we are on the same team, rather than me struggling to control "it". I had forgotten how much of a difference lifting makes for me. It might be similar with different sports, but I think lifting in particular is very well suited to my particular brain issues.

bearing

"We are on the same team" -- love that imagery, Adrienne!

JMB

Does your Y have "Bar Method" classes or Lotte Berk classes? I find the rotation of strength training, stretching, isometric exercises, pilates/yoga to be the perfect anecdote to boredom at the gym. It's the hardest workout that I've ever done - I've used muscles that I never thought existed and have never pushed myself harder - tricep pushups - bring it on! I also have a new found appreciation for ballerinas and wrestlers.

bearing

JMB, I've never heard of that one -- sounds interesting!

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