Weights or no weights?

From about June to the end of August I was doing well with my weights/resistance work.  I’d set myself up with an all body workout which took about 45 min to an hour which worked on oppostite muscle groups in super sets.  I started with low reps (3 sets of 5) of heavy weights (14kg -16kg upper, 200lb – 240lb leg press) for about 6 weeks, then increased the reps to 8.

Legs first, then Back and Chest, then abs, then Biceps and Triceps, then Shoulders and Back.

I think it was starting to work too.  I was in the gym twice a week doing one of two full body workouts and doing body pump one night a week.  But I started to get fed up with it a bit before my holidays (end ofAugust) so I decided I should take some time off from it.  I could probably feel a difference, but as I’m a girl…I don’t think there’s much I will actually change (shapewise)…as I don’t have the testosterone etc to help build muscles etc (and I don’t want to be getting all male like!!).

So I decided I’d stop doing weights all together, and when I got back from holiday, I decided I would do maybe all of October with just cardio – no weights.  I haven’t really noticed much difference with how toned I am, but I do notice that muscles are more sore after long runs or activities I haven’t done for a while.

When we came back from holiday at the end of September when I ran after having some time off (and on my long run on Saturday) I noticed my back was sore after I ran – a kind of muscle ache like my back hadn’t worked or wasn’t strong enough to support me running.

I think I’ve kind of realised that all that resistance work was doing something for me.  It was keeping my body strong for the running, swimming and spinning I do.  All the leg work, back and shoulder work clearly helps me to maintain fitness (and stamina) while doing other activities.

Anyway, I’ve been off the weights now for nearly 8 weeks and I think it’s about time I started them up again.  Perhaps not as much – at most twice a week for 45 mins, but something to help support all of the exercise I do.  Body pump was good, but the class we did had an annoying instructor and there aren’t really any other classes at convenient times.

For my resistance work, I’m thinking supersets, based on opposing body parts again: 3 sets of 8 reps, with medium weights. 

The workouts here show what I would be doing.  I’d do one workout one day, then move onto the next the second day in the week.  I really think I need to support my muscles all over if I’m going to be running more, so hopefully these workouts will help.

Maybe I’ll try the first one on Wednesday night after work, before swimming?  And then start back properly next week (week 5/12 of the winter marathon training plan – one third down, two thirds to go).

Oh and the answer to the question: Weights or no weights?  Weights… in moderation 1 – 2 times a week to make me strong and help support my running, swimming, cycling and hiking!

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