Getting stronger does not come naturally for me. I have to really set my mind to it to do it! A few years ago I was my strongest, and since having Birch weights have taken a backburner. I’m itching to lift heavier again, and need all the encouragement I can get!
When I think back to my body in 2006/2007 I was thin but I was not strong. In photos from that time era I look fragile! In the years that followed I started to do more strength training and put on what looked like a much healthier weight for me. (I haven’t weighed myself in years so I don’t actually know many numbers.) But my favorite version of my body was actually 2015/2016 when I was lifting weights on the regular. I started working with personal trainer Erin in 2014. Once I had a good foundation, I went to group ex and rarely missed a strength class, and I had increased to 20lbs for my upper body and a 35lb kettlebell for my lower. I will also say that back then I had one 3/4 year old and the time to devote to consistent workouts.
What changed? + Soccer + Birch
In the years that followed, I started playing more soccer, which led to the need for more rest days, and as a result, less strength training. And then I spent two years giving birth and caring for a baby. When time was tight, lifting weights really fell by the wayside in favor of the activities I really enjoyed most: soccer, walks + runs, and the occasional group ex class that mixed in some weights. While I never stopped lifting weights, strength training didn’t have the same focus as it once did. The weights I could lift in my favorite strength class dropped down to 10/15s dumbbells and 25/30s kettlebells.
Weight lifting is not my favorite way to exercise
I would take a run, walk, or soccer game over a strength class – any day. I find weight lifting on my own boring and either impossibly hard or too easy. Plus, it’s not the easiest activity to do with kids underfoot. I am very active with my kids, but most of the time that involves cardio (unless you count picking up my 25# toddler!) Since our gyms have been closed, I am doing so much walking and barely any strength. It’s so much easier and more enjoyable to stroller walk or run with a podcast than it is to focus on an intense weight lifting routine.
But I know how important getting stronger is!
Not just for body composition but for the long-term benefits of being strong. I want to be stronger than ever in my 40s!
Actual footage of me attempting to pick up a kettlebell after 4 weeks off of lifting:
My biggest hurdle is my all-or-nothing mentality
I’m of the mindset that if I can’t do a complete strength session with an even number of reps in a certain amount of time it’s not worth doing. FALSE!! I am working very hard to pick up my weights when I’m in the playroom with the boys. They even join me for squats and planks. My goal this summer is to do a full body workout every 2 to 3 days. My favorite program: Chris’s You Tube Flex class.
I do hope that we’ll be able to get back to group strength classes by the fall because I work best with a coach, but until then, please hold me to it. Can you guys check in on me every now and then with some encouraging words?
Tell me how strength training has changed your life!