Right Back at it!

Keep the spring weather coming Mother Nature, a girl could get used to this 🙂  Today was my first day back at running after taking a week off to heel my shin splints.  By healing I mean I basically didn’t run, and iced them for 15 minutes last night.  I was really sleepy all day but I knew that a run would give me some energy.  Though it does stink being sleepy in school, it stinks even more when you feel useless when you get home- especially on a 60 degree day!  Today I did my 4-mile loop and felt great.  Before I started my run I did three different stretches:

  1. Wall Push Up- lean forward on toes and push heels down to stretch calf
  2. Heel Drop- drop heels over the curb and hold for 5 seconds
  3. Calf Raise

Problem is, I am not sure if I should stretch before running, after, or both.  I also don’t know if the three stretches I did were the “right ones” to do.  I mean I am sure any stretching is good, but what are the best stretches to do and when should you do them?

Not too bad for the first time back!

After my run I met Amy at the gym for Day 1 Weights.  It is so nice to just hit the gym for weights as opposed to going for cardio and weights, it cuts the time you spend at the gym in half!  We are still on the same cycle of chest exercises that include Hug-a-Tree, Chest Press, Triceps Dip, and Tricep Overhead with Straight Bar.  We did the last exercise to failure and my triceps felt like they were going to pop out of my arm by the time I was finished!  Wow, what a feeling!  Triceps are generally a “problem area” for women because they are very hard to tone but that is why you need to work them hard!

Come to think of it, I think a lot of women are intimidated at the thought of incorporating strength training into their fit life.  There are a three main reasons I feel like women shy away:

  1. “I don’t want to get bulky”. This your reason for not strength training?  Well, you’re in luck!  Woman naturally can’t get bulky.  We don’t have enough testosterone so no matter how hard we try, we can not get bulky.  Those women you see with muscles popping out all over the place are probably taking performance enhancing drugs and spending 5 hours at the gym!  When women lift weights, they build muscles and muscles burn more calories than fat which make you lose weight.  Muscle also is more dense than fat so you look slimmer! {source}
  2. “Weights are scary, I wouldn’t know where to start!” If your strength training plan is to go to the gym and sporadically hop on a machine or grab a super light set of weights and exercise you probably won’t see results.  First and foremost, know that to see results you’ll need to push yourself and gradually increase the amount of weight you lift. I started with Karon Karter’s book “Six Weeks to a Bikini Body” and did most of the exercises with 3 to 5lb free-weights.  I strongly suggest committing to this book if you are interested in starting a strength training routine- TRUST ME- you will see results in 6 weeks (if you keep your eating in check). Eventually you will begin to recognize when your body can handle more weight.  The point is- you don’t want to be able to do 100 reps each set.  You should be able to do 10 to 15 reps of each exercise, and feel very tired by the end of each set.  Don’t worry about being intimidated by the machines and buff guys- when you get comfortable enough with your strength training routine you will feel right at home working out next to them!
  3. “I have no clue what I am doing!” Most gyms have personal trainers that walk around to assist you and answer your questions.  There have been several occasions where I have been approached by trainers who offer advice, or help me fix my form.  Finding a gym buddy who knows about strength training is also a good way to get your questions answered too!  Hey, you can ask me too!

If you are at all interested in starting up a strength training program, let me know!  I have been looking for someone to pass on my “Bikini Body” book to.  I want it to be someone who really will commit to it for a full six weeks, and trust me, it will change your life.  I mean, you may not be able to walk up the stairs or lift your arms at first, but it is worth the pain!  No Pain no gain!  You interested in beginning strength training?  Let me know how I can help!  Already strength training, what do you do and how did you get started?

When I got home from the gym I sipped a glass of Pacific Rim sweet Riesling and made some baked zucchini parm.

Spicy Baked zucchini Parm:

  • 2 zucchini, cut in half and sliced lengthwise
  • breadcrumbs
  • eggs whites
  • Pastene (or any brand) marinara sauce
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1-2 pieces of sliced pepper-jack cheese

Dip zucchini in egg white and coat with bread crumbs, cook on a baking sheet sprayed with EVOO at 350 until crispy.  Layer at the bottom of glass pan, cover with marinara sauce, jack cheese, and 1/3 cup of mozzarella.  Put back in oven until melted.

Now I am going to enjoy my dinner and get to bed early!  I hope the week flies by as fast as the weekend did!  I have a fun vacation planned so I can’t wait to get through my 4 more wake-ups!

Have a wonderful evening!

~L

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