And despite that fact that I now live south of the Mason-Dixon, I've decided it's still too damn cold. Which means this is the time of year I move most of my training to the indoors. And luckily, my Planet Fitness membership followed me to Nashville and there happens to be a gym just down the road and around the corner. The perks of being a Black Card member, I suppose!
And, because as all runners know, the treadmill (from here on out referred to as the "dreadmill") is the bane of my existence, winter is the time of year when I generally tend to focus more on weight training than on running.
There are a few reasons for this...
I hate running on dreadmills. Like, hate it with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. I feel slow and awkward running on treadmills. I get bored and my mind starts to wander and next thing you know...
There's Jessica, face-down on the floor after she got thrown off the treadmill.
And have I mentioned that sometimes, while running, I bust out some pretty sweet dance moves?
Have you ever tried to do that on a dreadmill? Because I'll tell you what happens when you bust out dance moves on a dreadmill. FACEPLANT. That's what happens.
Beyond my abject hatred, the simple fact is that the dreadmills all time out after one hour of running. Which may seem fine, but remember when I said I run slower on dreadmills? That means I'm getting shorter runs in at a slower pace. No good for training.
I like lifting heavy things.
No really, I do. I find that lifting free weights its something I really enjoy. Ok, so yeah, you feel pretty bad ass throwing around some free weights. I'm not gonna lie.
But even better than how totally cool you look while doing it is the burn you feel AFTER having done it. There is nothing like lifting free weights to help you pump up what Tony Horton likes to call "the glamour muscles." Oh, Tony. How right you are.
Cross training is your friend! I'll be the first to admit that come summer, when the weather turns nice, I am focused, 110% on running and improving my running. And I know that it's not always the best way to train, but running isn't just something I do for my body, but also my mind.
So when winter rolls around and I feel like wussing out and not braving the elements to go for a run, I take the time to focus on building up those key muscle groups that help make me a better, stronger, faster runner in the summer.
Going to the gym to pump some iron (Insert my best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression of saying "I'm gonna pump... You Up!") is an excuse for me to indulge in some activities I may not otherwise do. Like, for instance, the sweet massage system they have set up at Planet Fitness.
Plus, they also offer tanning, red light, and classes to help you learn what movements are best for improving different areas of your body. Wanna know how to get killer abs? A set of powerful legs? A wicked strong upper body? Yupp. Classes.
Ok, so without sounding like an ad for Planet Fitness, I do have to say, I've been really happy with them. The cost is ridiculous cheap (memberships start at $10 a month and top out at $20) and they really do strive to create an atmosphere where everyone can feel comfortable working out. And they have some great areas where you can get in a good workout even if you're short on time. I love the 30 Minute Express!
Well, as an example, below is what I did tonight...
3 Sets Each of 10 Reps using a 20 pound bar
* Bicep Curls
* Standing Upright Rows
*Overhead Shoulder Press
Once that's done, I switch to using the bench and I lay down on it and alternate again between Chest Press and then setting the bar down to do Tricep Dips on the bench. When I can, I try to put my feet up on another bench, but this really just depends on how busy the gym is if I can get two benches. Again, I'm doing 3 sets each of 10 reps and I used the 20 pound bar. Finally, I grabbed a 20 pound weight off the rack and did standing Tricep Extensions, 3 sets of 10.
As a side note, this was my first night back at weight lifting in a while. I normally might use a 30 pound or a 40 pound bar, but I wanted to have the ability to lift my arms at work tomorrow. :)
After busting out some upper body, I rotated to work on my abs. I think I've talked about this before in another blog post, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Nike Training Club Ab workout. It's only 15 minutes long but it KILLS ME. Every. Single. Time. Today I threw in a 5 pound weight for toe touches and Crazy Ivans, while using a 10 pound weight for Russian Twists. I will admit it though, when it came time for the side planks, my arms were BEAT and I was barely able to hold myself up, so I swapped in some alternating scissors and some butterfly kicks for those the second and third time around.
After this, I went back to the upper body for a bit and did some pull-ups on the assisted pull up machine. Last summer was probably the first time in a long time that I was able to do a full pull up on my own. And I want to get back to that. So I put out 3 sets of 10 with the assistance set at 40lbs. I normally wouldn't go that high, but again, this was the first day back and I had already busted out a good upper body workout.
Finally, I have found that there is no good "machine" or weight training that I think works my legs better than just plain old squats and lunges! There's a nice long aisle down the center of the gym. It's about 20-30 yards (I'm horrible at estimating distance... Like, REALLY bad at it) and I did 4 sets of lunges down the length and two sets of side stepping squats.
Finally I ended my day with a little cardio on the elliptical. I threw my headphones in to the jack on the elliptical and switched back and forth between Two Broke Girls and Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town (that old claymation movie). 30 minutes went by in no time flat.
Also, FYI: A lot easier to snapchat when you're on the elliptical than on a dreadmill.
In case you were wondering. :)
And despite the fact that no running actually occured, it was still a pretty good workout. So I treated myself to a tootsie roll or two (Did I mention that all PF's have these BUCKETS of tootsie rolls? OMG. My fave.) and went home to spend some quality time with the dog.
Now to convince Planet Fitness that Rory is my guest and get HER in to the gym to run on a dreadmill... That's what I really need to do...
Until next time!