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For The Love Of Strength Training

People do what they love. They avoid things that make them feel uncomfortable. They eat cake and not broccoli. They lie in bed while watching Netflix and stay clear of the gym. In fact, a couple of my go-to phrases to motivate others while working out always include the words “change” and “uncomfortable”.

“Change always happens outside your comfort zone.”

“Find your uncomfortable zone and stay there!”

Our comfort zone is a place where stress and anxiety are non-existent. Change is a place where you are uncomfortable. If you want to change your body you’re going to have to get uncomfortable. For me, that meant strength training. I could run or stay on the elliptical all day long. That’s where I was comfortable.

After college I got married and we moved to Saline County. I found a local gym and started attending a workout class. It was strength training. I did not really want to go to this class, but it was the only one that fit my schedule. So I went twice a week. The instructor had the class lifting 8-10 pound hand weights, doing push ups, squats, lunges, sit ups, and more. We never ran, never jumped, and never did any cardio.

I was skeptical to say the least. Looking back, I am surprised that I initially kept going back to the class. But guess what happened? After only four weeks of attending this strength training class twice a week, I started shrinking. My weight did not fluctuate much, but I went from a size 10 to a 6 within three months. I had to buy new clothes. After a year of consistently working out with weights I was down another size. More importantly, I loved the way I felt and the energy I had. I was hooked on strength training!

Speaking from my own personal experience, strength training is the way to go. The Mayo Clinic agrees, “As you gain muscle, your body begins to burn calories more efficiently. The more toned your muscles, the easier it is to control your weight.” Muscle mass decreases each year after age 30. The older you get, strength training is more important than cardio. Try to dedicate 30 minutes a day, three times a week breaking down your muscles.

The long-term benefits of gaining muscle outweigh the short-term results of a cardio burn. Strength training is the only way to increase your metabolism after age 30. While at rest, 10 pounds of muscle burns 50 calories a day while 10 pounds of fat burns only 20 calories. Those 30 extra calories really add up. Because men naturally have more muscle than women, they are able to lose weight quicker.

Strength training is a broad term, but each person’s goal should be to fatigue the muscles at the end of the set. On the 12th repetition you should struggle to finish. Women should lift 5-12 pound hand weights and complete body weighted exercises.  Men should lift heavier weights and their body weight.

Looking back on my “exercise” routine in college, I truly thought I was working out. I was not. I now know that I should of been out of breath and sweating. Neither reaction occurred. Because of my own experience where I thought I was working out, I now jokingly tell my clients that if you are out of breath, you will be okay. It’s called exercise!

Fast forward to my workouts now and I know that we really push it! I want to give my crew the best hour so that they can experience results, just like I had. Maybe you have never exercised to your potential? If you are ready to give strength training a try, let’s do it! You will see a change in your body within four weeks. Remember, consistency is everything!