If you’ve been reading for a while you might have noticed I mention strength training a lot.
It’s because I really love it.
I love lifting weights and getting stronger. I love competing against myself each week to do more and lift more. I connect to weight lifting in a way that I just don’t with most cardio. While I love to bike and shake it in Zumba, those things still just aren’t as fun to me as proving I can lift weights.
Lifting heavy weights isn’t a girl thing. Hardly any women at my gym venture into the free weight area. In fact lifting is often discouraged because women as scared they will “bulk up” – even though that’s not really possible without steroids/testosterone. I think lifting heavy weights should be a girl thing though because it is great for improving your self confidence and strength. Plus, it really shapes your body in a great way.
My body is looking better and better. I’m lifting 4 days a week and doing cardio three days a week (just 20-30 minutes minimum). This seems to be the perfect combo for me as my body has been changing a lot since doing this.
I figured I would share the exercises I’ve been doing and my workout schedule since it’s changed since my last workout schedule. If you want to check out my last strength training routine you can see that here.
My Strength Training Routine
- Bench Press: 77 lbs
- Lat Pulldown: 105 lbs
- Low Row: 92 lbs
- Shoulder Press: 48 lbs
- Upright Row: 44 lbs
- Skull Crushers: 31 lbs
- Bicep Barbell Curl: 40 lbs
- Cleans: 40 lbs
- Leg Press: 286 lbs (This has doubled since June.)
- Straight Leg Deadlifts: 77 lbs (More than doubled!)
- Squats: 110 lbs (This is just ridiculous compared to June!)
- Calf Raises: Body Weight on stairs
- Toe Raises: Body Weight
All the pounds seem random now because I lift weights in kgs then convert so I know what I’m actually doing! Ha! I’ve gained a lot of strength in my legs and back over the past 5 months. My upper body strength overall hasn’t increased a lot and I’m not sure it will quickly though I’m continually aiming for more!
My Cardio & General Exercise Schedule
I am doing cardio three times a week right now. Here’s how my week breaks down:
- Monday – Legs & Abs
- Tuesday – Arms & Cardio
- Wednesday – Rest
- Thursday – Legs & Abs
- Friday – Arms & Cardio
- Saturday – Rest
- Sunday – Cardio
I like this schedule a lot. It works well with everything else I’ve got going on and it hits everything I want to work on. I also try to be active and move around during the day and whenever I can. Yesterday I went on a walk with a new kiwi friend at the Botanic Gardens!
Now that I’m settled and have my eating under control I expect to see some awesome results combined with this exercise routine. It’s going to be good! :)
Make Your Own Strength Training Routine
I developed my own strength training routine through trial and error and reading A LOT about what you should do. Below are a few books about strength training that have really helped me.
This is one of the most useful fitness books EVER. When I first started lifting, everyone recommended it. I learned a lot and you will too.
Reading a book about anatomy will help you so much with lifting. It helps a lot to know how all the parts of your body works together to accomplish movements.
This book is a great one for women who want to start lifting. I bought it and used the routine included for a while and it worked so well! I loved the exercises and it really transformed my body shape.
Also, I love reading Oxygen Magazine for new ideas and strength training routines. Make sure you check it out as well.
This magazine rocks because it’s more focused on strength than most of the typical fitness magazines out there for women. I have learned a lot of new great moves from it and really like to check it out each month for new ideas.