About a week ago
Ren Man and I ran away I went to see Joel McHale.
(If you dont know J.McH I highly suggest you check out The Soup. If youre of a delicate ‘dont make innuendos around me’ nature I highly suggest you skip The Soup)
It was a fantastic evening and, to top it all off, we spent the night away from the Tornado & had the lovely opportunity to sleep past 530a on a Sunday morning.
That said, as anyone who’s a parent, nanny, aunt, uncle, babysitter etc. knows all too well, I was *still* wide awake by 6am.
I had coffee. I checked my email.
I tried to figure out precisely which room in our hotel The McHale was staying. I skimmed through Twitter and Facebook.
It was 6:20a.
I glanced over at a snoring Ren Man, resisted the urge to wake him & headed to check out the gym and lift.
The hotel gym was crowded (impressive for a Sunday morning).
The hotel gym was fancy (see photo above & that’s only half!).
The hotel gym was filled with women & they were all using the cardio machines (not pictured. I dared not ask. these women were sweating & serious.).
I happily lifted (enjoying both the empty weights area & being in no hurry) & when I finished four of the women approached me.
all exceedingly hungover friends in town for a wedding and, longstoryshort, wanted to know how I motivated myself to lift weights. They all lamented the same thing:
I want to lift weights. I plan to lift weights. When it comes time to lift weights I bail 95% of the time & just do more cardio.
I hear this frequently from blog readers & friends.
The simple answer is I LOVE RESISTANCE TRAINING. I enjoy the process of it. I love the results of it. Who wouldnt look forward to that?
The more comprehensive answer became clear as I early-morning chatted with my four new
good lord I felt old. I barely remember 25! friends.
Please to enjoy the fruits of our morning convo.
Four misfit tips for finding & maintaining your resistance training mojo:
- Plan. Plan. Plan. This is something we all know (I literally saw one woman roll her eyes when I said it) yet few of us do. Whether youre lifting at home while watching TV (dont knock it till youve BRAVOtried it!) or going to the gym—plan your workout. Get specific (sets, reps, rest periods etc). Have a Plan A & B. Yes the marriage of mind & muscle is important, but sometimes so is the opportunity to NOT to have to think once you begin a workout. PLAN. It gives you less of an opportunity for excuses.
- More muscle = higher metabolism. Now, I’m in no way saying we *shouldnt* do cardio, but this is DEFINITELY a way I keep myself motivated to hoist the iron. Im not willing to watch what I eat as I age. Im not willing to limit my portions & shift from mindful eating to calorie counting as the years creep on. Im *very* motivated to resistance train by the higher metabolism it gives me.
- It’s fast. I am not training for an event. My competition is LIFE. My workouts are short (some of this is the result of pre-planning some is they need to fit into my life) and focused. Twenty minutes. I can always find (& motivate for) twenty minutes in my day especially when the pay-off is lower stress and higher metabolism.
- It empowers me. When I finish cardio—I feel depleted. When I finish resistance training (be it a silly PLAYout with the Tornado or a traditional lift) I feel empowered. I feel strong. Im reminded I AM MY OWN SUPERHERO. Weight training helped my find my voice. It gave me the confidence to speak up, demand to be heard & know Im worthy of taking up *space* in the world.Who wouldnt want to make time for something when it feels that amazing & extends into all realms of life?
I realize I can be a weight-training evangelist if given the merest of opportunities & I do think there’s a small chance the
poor dehydrated hungover foursome entirely regretted asking.
So now I throw it back to you (as the four are reading, ready and waiting for all your best tips too):
How do you motivate to resistance train when the call of the cardio is so easy to hear?
How do you track down D-List celebs when you KNOW they are staying at your hotel & you KNOW you must have a photo of you two together?
Please to hit us all up in the comments below.
Nat saysMay 29, 2012 at 3:29 am
I needed this as I am off for a RUN 🙂
I haven’t weight trained in years.
Runner Girl saysMay 29, 2012 at 3:44 am
We know I can not help 🙂
I love Community!!
STacie saysMay 29, 2012 at 4:01 am
Thanks for this post.
Cardio seems so much simpler to me I just get up and run.
I wonder if I need a trainer?
Health Guy saysMay 29, 2012 at 8:31 am
Yes most of us need cardio.
I think it is better to get a trainer, who can guide and help you.
MizFit saysMay 29, 2012 at 10:40 am
Im a big believer in trainers.
When Id have clients come in and say I CANT REALLY AFFORD THIS BUT I DONT KNOW WHAT IM DOING Id always tell them (whether they hired me or someone else!) they couldnt afford not to.
Hire a trainer and make it clear what you want from the session(s).
That you just want to learn what to do on your own.
Tara @ Sweat like a Pig saysMay 29, 2012 at 4:08 am
I definitely used to be afraid of lifting weights, but now I can’t imagine my life without it! I never have to find the motivation to lift, but cardio on the other hand… Yikes.
But I have similar conversations with my female clients every day, and gradually they are coming around 🙂
Tara Burner saysMay 29, 2012 at 4:10 am
what timing…I’ll take this and the fact I had to write a blog post myself yesterday about strength training vs cardio and get my butt into the condo gym…hmmm guess I’d best plan to get the keycode to the door from mgmt today!
Crabby McSlacker saysMay 29, 2012 at 4:17 am
Excellent timing for me too!
Took a little holiday from weights for the last week or so and am getting back at it TODAY, dang it.
Wish I loved it like cardio, but while I find it something to slog through, I do love the results and the metabolic boost. The more I lift, the more I can eat!
Healthy Mama saysMay 29, 2012 at 4:18 am
I think so many woman are afraid of getting bulky still.
Deborah (Schmiet) saysMay 29, 2012 at 4:19 am
Because I much prefer classes I tend to do Pump classes etc, then someone else takes care of the planning for me!!! 🙂
Trish saysMay 29, 2012 at 4:23 am
I can envision this all happening too.
I love how you write and wish you’d me The McHale.
The Soup ROCKS.
Liz@LastChanceTraining saysMay 29, 2012 at 4:41 am
I have been really burnt out on resistance training for a couple of years. Probably because I did bodybuilding, have some negative memories and have this association thing going on. But I’ve been working with a weightlifting coach, and slowly feeling a flicker of mojo coming back.
I could cardio until the cows come home. So this is a good sign 🙂
Cheers from Australia
Miz saysMay 29, 2012 at 4:46 am
see? and in a small way I covet your TILL THE COWS COME HOME.
I just dont let them leave here 🙂
Renee saysMay 29, 2012 at 4:42 am
I like that you point out you are fast when you do weights, Carla.
I am starting a new routine at work and plan to do weights during my lunch.
You don’t think I have to sweat a lot to do it?
It is the only time I can fit resistance training in.
Cammy@TippyToeDiet saysMay 29, 2012 at 4:44 am
Great tips! Now we need four tips for finding your gym cardio mojo, ’cause I’m far more likely to bail on that part than the lifting. 🙂 In the summer that works out fine, because I’m out walking and riding my bike, but in the winter, I’m cardiominimum all the way.
Karen@WaistingTime saysMay 29, 2012 at 4:46 am
What works best for me is to not do it alone. Right now, my strength training partner is my mom, twice a week. If she’s not around, I go to a group fitness class at my gym and enjoy the camaraderie and motivation that comes from someone telling me what to do:)
Miz saysMay 29, 2012 at 4:47 am
great point Karen!! And one since I like to be solo or with Ren Man ONLY I failed to make.
Tia saysMay 29, 2012 at 4:49 am
I like where you said it helped you find your voice.
That is motivation I can get behind.
I need my voice.
Miz saysMay 29, 2012 at 5:05 am
it really really did too. I feel so much more powerful & HEARD now in all facets of my life
Sallie saysMay 29, 2012 at 5:34 am
I love The Soup!!
Was he amazing doing stand-up or not as funny?
Sallie saysMay 29, 2012 at 5:37 am
Oh and that’s a pretty fancy hotel gym.
Miz saysMay 29, 2012 at 8:16 am
Then I found out you can LIVE there too 🙂
Kierston saysMay 29, 2012 at 4:53 am
I love, love lifting weights!!! Like you, I find it absolutely empowering! It gives me strength in every way, shape and form. The feeling I get is amazing after each and every workout I do 🙂
I was also recently approached by someone in a hotel gym asking how I find the time to weight train…(in my head I thought, never would I have imagined the day someone asking me about anything related to exercising seeing I was so out of touch with Health and Fitness two years ago!). I was flattered and we chatted away 🙂
p.s. When I was 14, I stayed at a hotel with friends because we knew the Backstreet Boys were staying there. We never saw them. But, we did see the Philadelphia Flyers. I took pictures with them. I didn’t follow Hockey at 14.
Yum Yucky saysMay 29, 2012 at 5:00 am
No mojo problems ’round here. I got the dumbbells in the living room and husband bitching at me to put them away for a change. But here’s the Ancient Dumbbell Secret: after the whining is over, he breaks down and puts them away for me.
lindsay saysMay 29, 2012 at 5:09 am
i love my cardio but resistance makes me feel stronger and ready to tackle the day, agree! a good plan. All i need is 20 minutes. Even if it’s just bodyweight resistance. Hit all the big muscles first and feel the burn.
Helen saysMay 29, 2012 at 5:12 am
I love so much how your competition is life, Carla.
Christine @ Love, Life, Surf saysMay 29, 2012 at 5:25 am
I’ve come to love resistance training I think mainly because of the variety. I’m not just running or doing the same cardio thing all the time. I can work different muscle groups via different exercises and it keeps me challenged. Plus, I love how it makes me feel strong and empowered. I used to hate being the only woman in the weight room but doesn’t bother me anymore though I do wish others would join me 🙂
Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean saysMay 29, 2012 at 5:30 am
i LOVE lifting weights! makes me feel so STRONG 🙂
Barbara saysMay 29, 2012 at 5:35 am
I so need to get back to lifting. I burned out on kettlebells but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t get out the ol’ 8 and 10 lb hand weights and get back to business!
Heather @ For the Love of Kale saysMay 29, 2012 at 6:04 am
AMEN, AMEN, AMEN, AMEN! <—Don't think I could say that enough. What an awesome post, Carla! 🙂 "I am not training for an event. My competition is LIFE." Love this. It's so true! Similar to yourself, when I need a pep in my exercise step, I tend to tell myself, "Think of how much your body will love you back when you're older and not brittle boned." It really does help to bring the REAL reason for strength training back into perspective. So glad you had a great time with your hubby. And I'm totally jealous you got to see Joel McHale!
A blogger saysMay 29, 2012 at 6:08 am
Well phrased, Miz.
I frequently feel like I should compete (or at least do Crossfit LOL) because everyone I read is in competition-mode.
messymimi saysMay 29, 2012 at 6:15 am
Have a challenge going with friends, or some kind of set up where you answer to others as well. It makes me feel like i can’t let them down, so i have to do it.
Miz saysMay 29, 2012 at 6:17 am
oooh. another good one I forgot Mimi!
Gena saysMay 29, 2012 at 6:21 am
I could use non-physical motivation.
I need to htink about your point about finding your voice.
I htink running does that for me?
I’m not certain.
Coco saysMay 29, 2012 at 6:27 am
I have grown to love weights. I do have a basic plan that I follow – not having to think at o’dark-thirty is key for me. But, I like to mix things up (and know that’s important) so I find that once I get started I don’t want to stop. That said, I would love to know your routine(s).
Jody - Fit at 54 saysMay 29, 2012 at 6:30 am
You already know my answer to this – LOVE JOEL of course!!! The Soup is recorded every week!
Weights – well – you know – like you – my love except I do way more than 20 minutes & I have a hard time stopping cause I love so much! 🙂 I do a lot of cardio to & always have had to even when I was young but once I started weights & then got into the bodybuilding in the 30’s – well even more love!!!
All you said is correct: I plan my workout & have another plan just in case. I can tell you from experience that SO IMPORTANT with age & younger too for people like me that gain weight easily & did when I was young too. YES it empowers me!!!!! I can only imagine how hard this aging crap would be without my muscles – YIKES! 😉
Heather Montgomery saysMay 29, 2012 at 6:59 am
I used to be afraid of the weight room, but my husband started helping me and lifting with me and now I love it! I have started seeing changes in my body I didn’t get form just running.
Karla saysMay 29, 2012 at 7:12 am
I am kind of new to lifting and sometimes feel intimidated by the weights… AKA… I feel silly lifting when everyone is doing cardio… like ohhh who am I to go against the grain…
I am going this week and buy 5 and 8 pound dumb bells for TV time… That sounds like a great idea!!!
I guess I always feel like I am getting more bang for my buck when I do a killer cardio session… like the exhaustion is validation that I worked HARD… I get in 2-3 lifting work outs a week, but sometimes when I spend too much time doing cardio I am soo spent the lifting session is kind of puny…
You have given me some food for thought. Maybe on days I KNOW I am going to the gym to lift, I will just do 10 minutes of cardio to warm up and do the killer cardio’s on my gym off days
Love ya lady 🙂 Hope you had a nice holiday
Carrie@FamilyFitnessFood.com saysMay 29, 2012 at 7:21 am
I could have been one of those girls. I’m so bad at being motivated to do weights and I know all the reasons why. Planning is key. I used to have a good routine that I’d do regularly, and I fell by the wayside. Must get back to it.
Will you share your 20 minute routine?
Helen saysMay 29, 2012 at 7:23 am
I want the routine, too!
Olive saysMay 29, 2012 at 7:49 am
My best tip? Just do what you can!
Lori saysMay 29, 2012 at 8:12 am
I love, love lifting! I sing its praises all the time. Maybe it gets through to some people. I hope so. I would rather be working out in the empty free weight section than be elbow to elbow on the treadmills.
I save my cardio for outdoor biking!
Andra saysMay 29, 2012 at 8:35 am
I can’t think if anything worse than steady-state cardio at the gym. I’d rather walk my dog outside. Give me weights, stability balls, kettle bells and steps any day!
Kelsey saysMay 29, 2012 at 9:12 am
I started a resistance regimen in March and I’ve already made way more progress than I had after years of cardio. Plus I feel strong — nothing beats that.
Lisa saysMay 29, 2012 at 9:27 am
Great post! In the last two years I have fallen in love with weight training. I saw immediate results and loved feeling stronger! Now, I am in a rut and not seeing results anymore! 🙁
Deb saysMay 29, 2012 at 9:49 am
Ah, those who know me know – that question should be reversed. As I stick my fingers in my ears and whisper “la, la, la” at the thought of cardio.
Resistance training does so much more for my life: enables me to more easily get through my day. I have no problem picking up grocery bags (no pack it light for me), or a sick dog.
Resistance training makes me genetically younger. They have shown that our DNA becomes younger (the telemeres become longer) as we resistance train. Example: I’m almost 60. Last year I was carded before I could buy a beer at a baseball game.
Resistance training helps my mood. I smile by the end of a session. And that smile remains long after I leave the gym.
I have a plan written out that will carry me most of the way through November when I compete in my first PowerLifting comp. Plan is done. I can see the progress. And watching the guys in the gym approving of my workout (especially on clean and press day) is more than enough reward.
What do I get out cardio besides breathless?
Courtney saysMay 29, 2012 at 10:15 am
I have friends who bail on weight training and it drives me nuts. I can’t stand that people continue to recommend cardio for weight loss.
Eve saysMay 29, 2012 at 11:31 am
And sustained state to boot.
Helen saysMay 29, 2012 at 11:25 am
I don’t understand how people can think lifting weights isn’t cardio! I know after doing legs with squats and deadlifts I am generally sweating and panting with an elevated heart rate!!
Strength training is so much easy to motivate yourself for, if I don’t feel in the mood for a run I have to find the self resolve to keep going for at least 30minutes. If I don’t fancy doing a lift I know all I have to do is grin and bear it for 10 minutes AT MOST and it will be over.
Strength training for women ROCKS, it makes me feel powerful, it makes me powerful.
Dr. J saysMay 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm
Perhaps because an elevated heart rate is not the same as cardio.
Putra saysJune 18, 2012 at 10:30 am
well i can tell you that from going to the gym since september of 08.and eanitg in a cleaner and healthy way,and working out 4 to 5days a week for a hour.i only lost 20 pounds and one dress size.so the question is were u trying to reach a certain size?because your inches will come off first before pounds.then pounds at about after a month of intense working out.and the other question would be how often you are willing to go to the gym?how long and intense of a workout you are willing to do?and how much you can change you eanitg habits and stick to them.cause once you get most of the weight off,you would have to stick to the same rountine of eanitg and working out in some sort of way.make them similar,but not just alike.if not all that weight will come back on you.so you should take these things into consideration when wanting to get healthy.i go to a gym called 24hr fitness here in saint louis,mo.i picked one that was open every time of the day expect certain holidays so i wont have an excuse to not work out after of before work or school.i have a lead way.no rush on the time i should go.maybe you should look for a gym like that.maybe talk to some trainers for tips when you get there.do not pay them,just tips.lol.that is what i do.plus now that i work out alot,i am use to it.and i love this lifestyle and wonder how did i ever live the way i did before.but whatever way you choose,just know the consequences of quick dieting and exercising,verses what will happen in the long run when you dont continue it.i wish you all good luck and well in your weight loss for the wedding.YOU CAN DO IT,JUST FOCUS AND STAY MOTIVATED!!
Nicole @ Making Good Choices saysMay 29, 2012 at 11:28 am
I am also a cardio queen…but trying not to be as much. I need a plan for strength training -it’s what makes me do it and gets me excited!
Yellow Haired Girl saysMay 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm
WOW! I love this! I feel the same way, too. I am motivated to lift weights because I love seeing the changes in my body. I’m so happy I decided to check my fears at the weight room door a couple of years ago – I’m in love now! Great post 🙂
Dr. J saysMay 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm
Interesting that your previous post was about the pool!
I just wrote about my T2HM program to help people learn to swim!
As for weight training. I think if there were activities that people did that made more of a game out of strength training, it would be easier to stick with.
Talia @ Bite Size Wellness saysMay 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm
I used to have a personal trainer and he taught me so much about weight training. I wish I had his guidance again because it was fabulous…in fact, I think it made me stronger on the cardio side of things. Thanks for this amazing post!
Katie saysMay 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm
I needed to read this right now. I’m heading to the gym and I have misplaced (note – it isn’t LOST) my lifting mojo. Mainly because I don’t want to think and I can easily sit on the stationary bike and pedal while reading trash and that is what my brain is craving. My body though? Needs some weights.
I hereby vow to lift for 20 minutes at the gym, where I am going Right. Now.
Tamara saysMay 29, 2012 at 6:28 pm
I am never, ever tempted to do cardio over weights! The only cardio I really enjoy is indoor cycling AND that’s only when I’m teaching the class (I get so bored when I’m not at the front of the room!).
Strength training makes me feel like I’ve really done something with my body. Although I wish that more women enjoyed it too, you gotta love having the free weights section of the gym to yourself!
Yo Momma Runs saysMay 29, 2012 at 6:41 pm
I force myself to do at least one group x strength training class a week. For some reason, it’s the last thing I want to do, but I feel pretty cool when I’m in there lifting weights. I used to do them on my own, but I just don’t love it so I use the class as motivation.
AnnG saysMay 29, 2012 at 7:07 pm
I have been struggling to find my weight lifting mojo over the past few weeks. I think it helps to have friends that lift with me and give me a big butt kick when necessary!
Amanda saysMay 29, 2012 at 7:15 pm
Back in november I decided it was definitely time to start resistance training, but I can’t afford the gym or a trainer or even to buy weights. So I started with just situps, pushups, triceps pushes and back flys (or whatever they are called) and I started really small, at just 10. Then every day I added 1. Now I’m going to hit 100 in the next couple of days. My tip – start really small (my first workouts were less than 5 mins at a time) and work up slowly. That way you don’t even notice the changes until suddenly you can see and feel your muscles. And really, it is amazing how much your metabolism benefits from it.
Thea @ It's Me Vs. Me saysMay 29, 2012 at 9:33 pm
I still think I’m a cardio girl at heart, but not being able to do cardio for a while lead me to trying strength training more. I still struggle with getting it done, but I’m getting a little better with it. My main issues are boredom (music helps), and lack of balance and coordination. I feel awkward doing the moves and like I have to read and reread instructions on how to do things, but I really DO feel strong and kickass once a session is over.
Diane Lopez saysMay 29, 2012 at 11:48 pm
Nice tips! Thanks for posting that! 🙂
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charlotte saysMay 30, 2012 at 1:30 am
You know, I didn’t used to think that I loved resistance training. I was always a cardio girl. But this past month since I’ve been taken off pretty much all weight lifting (in favor of corrective body weight exercises, per my trainer) I’ve found that I really really miss it! I surprised myself. I can’t wait to get back to lifting some heavy stuff again:) P.S. That really is the swankiest hotel gym ever!!
Jess @ Blonde Ponytail saysMay 30, 2012 at 10:55 am
YES YES! I love this post and agree with you WHOLE-HEARTILY!! Your stellar body is illustration enough for me! Strong is beautiful. Always.
Kris saysMay 30, 2012 at 7:09 pm
Simple – you just need to find exercises you like, and start with them. Over time you can add variations to keep your workout fresh. The only downside is that if you don’t work out your body evenly, you can end up with a bunch of imbalances, and increase your risk of injury.
Carrie @ Season It Already! saysMay 31, 2012 at 9:00 pm
This is still a difficult one for me. I think because I’m lost… I just need something to follow. But I am horrible about do exercises out of books. I know it’s an excuse. I have to get over it!
Renee saysJune 3, 2012 at 4:35 am
What is YOUR workout routine?