strength training.
you know that i have never been a fan of it. but, as of about 2 weeks ago, i set a goal, of sorts, for the next two months.

learn to love lifting.

you can read the post here!

it’s been about 2 weeks of mostly strength training workouts, my normal thursday night body works class (anne made me put on my ugly sexy face on thursday. it was a TOUGH class), plus a few runs that i managed to sneak in.

the workouts lately have gotten my heart pumping. i can see my muscles getting larger. i feel stronger. i’m enjoying it…except the calluses. they hurt.
but. i’ll say it.

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i like weight lifting. strength training. pumping iron.

the workouts lately have been in a circuit fashion with a kicker at the end of each to get my heart rate up and fulfill my need for some cardio. i’ve also started each workout with a quick tabata set and finished with an ab burner. i think this set up works really well to keep me motivated and switch things up, instead of just moving from bench to bench.

i created this workout for monday morning. at 6:30am. this was the first time the workout bud has joined me for such an early morning workout, and even though i felt like he hated me and would never speak to me again during the workout, he gave the thumbs up to add it to the blog.

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i was pretty excited. i’m the first to admit that i have alot to learn when it comes to lifting and creating strength workouts, so to have the giant 250#, weight-lifting lover workout bud say i did a good job was pretty cool. i’ve been asking him all kinds of questions about how to structure the workouts, plus taking some tips from a few bloggers (1, 2, 3), and using what i learned from my nasm studies.

for this workout, you’ll want to do 75% of your 1 rep max, the maximum amount of weight you can lift for 1 repetition of a specific exercise (you can find your 1 RM quick and easy with this handy calculator). this workout is for hypertrophy training (muscle building). however, it can easily be adjusted based on what what you are looking for (endurance, strength, growth). here are some numbers:

* muscle endurance: 12-20 reps | 1-4 | at 50-70% of your 1 RM

* hypertrophy: 6-12 reps | 3-5 sets | 75-85% of your 1 RM

* maximal strength: 1-5 reps | 4-6 sets | 85-100% of your 1 RM

if you’re like me and new to lifting, you can do this same workout, just decrease your weight. my first week, i just did 60-65% of my 1 RM, so I could get familiar with the movements. I’m slowly progressing now that I am more comfortable.

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make sure to do a short warm up before you start. i’ve done a few different warm ups each time, but i try to do a specific warm-up, which is a warm-up that works the muscles i’ll be focusing on for the workout.

here was my warm-up. i went through each exercise twice:
* 5 burpees
* 10 squat jumps w/medicine ball
* 15 v-ups
* 20 lunge jumps
* 25 high knees

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circuit 1

* leg press
* 21’sperform a bicep curl, but rather than bringing the dumbbell all the way up, bring it halfway up. do this for 7 reps. then starting at the halfway point, curl the dumbbell all the way up and repeat for 7 reps. then complete 7 full bicep curls. think: starting point to halfway point for 7 reps, halfway point to the top for 7 reps and then full curl for 7 reps.
* stiff legged deadlift
* skull crushers
* jacks to burpees: perform 2 jumping jacks, followed by 1 burpee (can be half burpees, push-up burpee or champion burpee). repeat x 10.

circuit 2

* weighted lunges: perform a lunge like normal, except add your weight either over your shoulders in the form of an ez-bar or hold two dumbbells at your side.
* hammer curls: this is a variation on a bicep curl. instead of your palms facing up, your palms will face each other, dumbbells in a vertical position, perpendicular to the floor.
* single leg deadlift
* tricep pull-down
* b-ball lunge jumps: stand with feet shoulder width apart. lunge into a side lunge on the left side and twist your torso and touch your left foot with your right hand. push off your left leg and jump up into the air with your right foot and land back down into the left side lunge. this should be a quick movement. repeat x 10 on each side.

circuit 3

* hack squat
* reverse bicep curl: with ez-barbell or dumbebells in hand, arms and elbows in tight to the body, you are doing to perform a bicep curl, except your palms will face towards the ground.
* deadlift
* close grip barbell bench press
* butt kicks: stand straight up. pushing off the balls of your feet, bend your knee and kick your heel back and up towards your butt. similar to running, except you are literally trying to kick your butt with your heels. repeat x 20 on each side.

today was another upper body day. tough but great.
i think i finally figured out a good workout schedule:

sunday: off
monday: leg day!
tuesday: chest, shoulders, back
wednesday: active  off/cardio
thursday: body works
friday: off
saturday: biceps, triceps, lots of abs

off to enjoy the rest of the saturday!
have a good weekend!!

jena.

p.s. is there a type of workout you might have been a fan of at first, but now you like it?