I Pick Things Up and Put Them Down

Fitness Model posing with dumbell. Photo by Gl...
Fitness Model posing with dumbell. Photo by Glenn Francis of http://www.PacificProDigital.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you remember that one time where I totally freaked out like a little girl because my body fat % was too high? Gosh, I was such a baby back then.

True to my word, I have maintained my commitment to strength training. I have done full body strength training at least two days every week; three when I can fit it in. I’ve been working with a personal trainer. We’ve been doing something different each session so I don’t have anything specific to share with you as far as workouts go. Really, it isn’t even about what we’re doing. It’s more about creating the habit of strength training. For me, it’s so easy to go to the gym and head into a class. This is “mindless” for me. I’m a great follower and I damn sure am not going to quit in the middle of the class. So when I say it’s “mindless”, I mean that I’m following someone else’s lead. I’m not putting thought into my workout, I’m just doing it. With strength training, there had to be some amount of thought put into it. I had to determine if I was going to do full body workouts or split my workouts into body parts. I had to determine what exercises I would do. I had to push myself to keep going even when I didn’t feel like it.

I got so lost in all the planning of the routine that I lost the joy of the actual strength training. Going to a trainer has made it “mindless” again for me because he tells me what to do. By not over thinking it, I’m able to enjoy it. After three weeks of training with him, I’ve been reminded of how much I love the feeling of being strong. Sometimes I laugh and think, “oh crap, I can’t do that”. But I do it.  I love the feeling of trying something I’m not 100% sure I can do and rocking it out. Or maybe not rocking it out, but knowing that now I have something to work on. I’ve pushed myself. There have also been some things I just can’t do. Yet. I’ve fallen and looked like an idiot and laughed hysterically at myself. It’s fun again.

Yesterday I ended up strength training by myself because of some scheduling conflicts. Don’t get me wrong. I checked the group fitness schedule and saw there was a spin class going on and of course I was tempted. But that was the easy way out. I cannot build lean muscle mass by doing cardio. I went to the gym without a plan. I started with some weighted lunges. Then some squats with hammer curls. Then some scissor kicks. Then my mind started racing. I was like a kid in a candy store and so many exercises popped in my head I couldn’t wait to finish one so I could get to the next one. I also enjoyed experimenting with the weights and seeing just how much I could (safely) lift.

Planning is important and I wouldn’t advise going in without a plan every time. However, sometimes, we need to step back and stop over thinking it. I was obsessed with everything about strength training except actually doing it. I wanted to know the best methods, the best exercises, the machines to avoid, blah blah blah. By the time I actually got to the gym I had myself so freaking confused it just wasn’t fun. I wasn’t even confident that what I was doing was what I was supposed to be doing.

But yesterday, I just did it. I did my own thing. I made sure to hit all the major muscle groups and paid special attention to the areas I wanted to (legs). Next time, I’ll hit the big ones and then focus on another part (arms, probably). I didn’t leave the gym thinking, “man, I should have done this, or this, or that”. I left the gym proud I had gotten in some strength training. I was satisfied that what I had done was enough. I am enough.


9 thoughts on “I Pick Things Up and Put Them Down

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  1. Love this, Chrystal! I can totally relate. I’ve been working out with my husband for years and now we work out with another couple. In the past if I ever had to go alone, I’d just do cardio or have my hubs write up a routine for me. Now, I’m taking a class and it’s really cool because we actually get to formulate our own program. This is getting me into a FULLY equipped gym with every possible machine and weight that you can possibly think of – alone. I’m really excited about working up to the point where I can go into any gym and KNOW what I’m doing with or without someone else with me!
    Props to you on your growing confidence!! 🙂


  2. Since I work out at home, my “planning” consists of just deciding which workout DVD to do the next morning. But I always vary it up: heavy weight training a couple days a week, light weight intervals/circuits a couple days a week, and the rest cardio or yoga. At this point in my life, I’m not really looking for gains as much as I am maintaining what I have.

    Nice post 🙂


  3. I ma avoiding classes lately (exept RPM – love it!) but do circuits with weights (kettlebells once a week at least) as well as strength training (once a week with my PT, once a week by myself). I feel the body fat leaving better than in all the years of doing cardio classes. So glad to read this post and see something similar. I love group fitness, but working out on the floor really has super benefits!


    1. Thanks, Sue. And yes, it definitely does have benefits. I think we have to avoid falling into a rut of any kind and make sure we’re doing all kinds of different things for our health.


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