There’s something about testing one’s strength that is absolutely fascinating and exhausting at the same time. Strength can be tested many ways including emotionally (dealing with stressful situations), mentally ( retaining information for studies), and of course physically (through fitness or a demanding job).
Work, Learn, Grow
I’m admittedly OCD and therefore I’m always chasing a challenge and want to conquer it to the best of my abilities. When it comes to running, specifically when training for a certain event, I note my weaknesses and research ways I can improve. Each year I have done this, the outcome was a better overall finish than the year prior.
When strength training, I look for variety in my workouts, programs that test my muscle endurance and strength, and tips for maximizing the result of each move. Over the course of 6-8 weeks I’m able to see a shift in my strength from when I started, and then move on to another program to keep testing my body.
Naturally power lifting is the next step for me. It has been a while coming, but my husband and I finally decided to take time and research equipment options, plan our setup, and create an at home space we could lift in (this was something he had an interest in as well so that makes it even better!)
From my first “real” session of dead lifts and back squats I could feel a new obsession growing. It’s not even just about how heavy you can lift. There’s so much importance in your form, the amount of reps you can do with specific weights, and a natural progression to help make you stronger and more capable each time…bigger numbers are just a funner part!
You’ll Never Know If You Never Try
This type of workout was always something I watched from the sidelines. I’d see girls lifting crazy amount of weight and just thought “I’m a runner, there’s no way my body could do that,” and really just doubted my abilities. But now that I’ve started, there’s no going back!
Personally, I was shocked at how much strength I had without much prior experience with a barbell. It was close to “easy” to lift 95 pounds, then 105, then 115, etc. Only five weeks in and I’m squatting 155 pounds (x5) and dead lifting 205 (x1). These numbers now lay my foundation for increasing weight to find my max, and also decreasing the weight to attempt more reps.
It Doesn’t Need To Be One Or The Other
The majority of people I talk to or follow on social media either lift or run. For most there is no in between, and many frown upon the cardio aspect of fitness. Some say that endurance running will make you lose any gains you would get from lifting, and others think lifting will make you look like a man…I think it’s up to you to research and experiment to find what you prefer.
I know I can be an odd ball, but I truly love BOTH! Running tests me in a different way than lifting does, more so in the endurance aspect, but also with speed. Lifting tests my confidence most. When you put all your energy into lifting something and it doesn’t move an inch off the ground, it can be a little underwhelming to say the least (haha!) And although extra cardio may mean I don’t attain lean muscle as quickly, the fact I can do both and still look like a woman must mean something 😉
In the end, I believe if you are interested in trying a new activity (fitness related or not) then go for it! Maybe you’ll hate it, but maybe you won’t 😉
If you want to follow my progress with this newest venture of fitness then hit me up on Instagram (@missfitmartha) where I’ll be posting videos/pics from different sessions.