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Changing my workout plan

Sunday, January 06, 2013

I did a lot of reading and video-watching since my last blog entry, and now my knowledge about weight lifting is not zero anymore : )
Thank you SparkFriends for the information!
I'm infamously unable to locate useful information on the internet, so it really made a difference.

I read the first few chapters of e-book Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe,
these are about barbell squats and overhead press - there is a lot to know about proper form! So I stopped here and started practicing these two. First with a broomstick, and today with small weights, focusing on form.
To my surprise, squats did good to my knees: they feel more stable and don't crackle when I'm climbing stairs.

My other favorite is :
several useful and enjoyable articles and videos, for women!

Here I found an article about how to get started with pullups.

I always wanted to do pullups but I couldn't do any and didn't know how to start.
Well, one possible thing to do is crawling - there is a nice straight line from my desk to my husbands', he was quite surprised when I crawled into his field of vision from below and behind... He made a face that made me laugh my head off.
So, crawling is fun and it works the pulling muscles in the arms and shoulder.

After digesting this lot of information, I decided to change my weekly exercise schedule,
which was
cardio: 4x running, 2x stationary biking, 1x walking as cardio,
strength training: 3x core and 3x upper body exercises for strength training. This is where I got stuck with the 5 pound dumbbells.

I keep the 4 runs, the walk and the 3 core exercises.
On Tue-Thu-Sat I'm going to do:
warmup: squats without weight, pushups and some forearm crawling to keep the family entertained
main workout: squats and overhead press with barbell, and partial pullups
I'll add weight and other exercises when I get stronger and I'm able to take in more information.

On the eating front now I have a 5-day streak of No Mindless Eating in the Evening, had afternoon snack and a modest dinner every day. Quite an improvement!
Things are getting back to normal.
It's time, as tomorrow is a busy working Monday.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    601 days ago
    1801 days ago
    Congratulations! Sounds like you are making great strides with the changes and additions in your strength training! Thanks for sharing all the info! I learned some things! Hope your new year is off to a great start! Keep up the good work! Thanks for the encouragement! Spark on! emoticon emoticon
    1802 days ago
    I love that you keep on changing things up. And crawling is fun like skipping. I have some weights, but am seriously considering hiring a trainer to help with proper form. Good luck with the new routine.
    1803 days ago
    Spend a lot of time at
    BR>Crawling is a poor substitute for pull-ups, IMO. I'd suggest rack chins and jumping pullups, or possibly band-assisted pull-ups. These variations are shown about 80% down or so on

    1803 days ago
    This is your first blog that I've read since I've been back and it totally reflects what I admire about you so much. You are so open to analyzing, learning, and tweaking. I hope the new program works very well for you and that you'll enjoy it. I look forward to the day that you announce 1 (or more!) successful pullups!
    1803 days ago
    Sounds like a good plan. Like running, weight lifting requires the unconditioned person to start with what looks like a joke of a routine and build slowly. Be patient, keep working the program, and you'll get results.
    1803 days ago
  • TEMPEST272002
    Congrats on the 5 day no mindless eating streak! Woot! Thanks for the links to ST info. I'm going to check that out now. My fave ST book is Mark Lauren's "You Are Your Own Gym".
    1804 days ago
  • RG_DFW
    Way to go
    1804 days ago
    Change is good, I am doing some slight changes this week for me. emoticon
    1804 days ago
    Morning K,

    What a treat to log on and see your post, and, as always, you are encouraging me back to doing what I know I need to do. I re-read old posts of mine this morning and remembered the strength training that Spark so focuses.

    Also, as I get older, I know that strength will be the most beneficial-like the ability to get off the floor if I fall. Right.

    Planning on this and will start again once the aching ends.

    THANKS A MILLION, my friend! emoticon
    1804 days ago
    I also picked this book on amazon because of the many reviews I have seen. Good to know that you also like it and recommend.

    This is a book I'm reading now, and I like it because it has science references all across the book, it's not "I'm the guru therefore I know" style.

    Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights?: Fitness Myths, Training Truths, and Other Surprising Discoveries from the Science of Exercise
    1804 days ago
    (wall of text coming, sorry)

    I like where this is going. I went down a similar path. I was exclusively cardio until I was so skinny that people worried about me. I slowly incorporated strength training trying to learn routines/exercises that could be effective. I spent (wasted) a lot of time. I would take a routine and modify it to what I thought was best and made it largely ineffective. It wasn't until I followed Starting Strength that the progression truly happened. It is very important (as you outline) to learn proper form. Mark, IMO, does a great job of explaining it. Sometimes in mind numbing detail. I found myself reading a few pages and then practicing. Each time I read (and reread) portions of the book, I'd pick up something new or latch on to a visual cue that I didn't pick up on before.

    If you don't mind a guy who wasted a bunch of time sharing a few hard lessons learned, here goes:

    1) Progression is key. If you're doing the same thing over and over again and you're not increasing either weights or reps over time, you're wasting time. You cannot always progress, but it should always be your goal. If you're not progressing, you should be trying to figure out why and taking steps to push progress.

    2) Strength (muscle) is hard to build. The reason why I say this is that I've been lifting for almost 2 years now and it's still tough (thanks to progressive overload). Conversely, aerobic capacity is easy to build and reclaim. While I've largely neglected steady state aerobics over the last year, with a couple of weeks of focus on it, I can get it back. Last month I ran a 5K in better time than I had in years with barely any time spent on running. The carryover from weight lifting is tremendous. Long story short, put strength first! The bang for buck is phenomenal.

    3) JDTFP (just do the f-ing program!). Like I said, switching it up and changing the program to my liking was to my detriment. Also, a huge part of doing the program is DOING IT CONSISTENTLY. Life got in the way or priorities might have changed for the short term and I'd let my consistency suffer. I absolutely had to make it a priority to progress. No half assing it.

    Finally, this isn't a 30 day shred or a P90X, this is a program that will likely take years and build real strength. I did it for almost 2 years before I switched to a more intermediate program (which still incorporates squats, deads, bench and press), but since I had stalled on SS, I had to change the way I disrupted homeostasis.

    P.S. I didn't see deadlifts mentioned in your routine. They're probably the best move, so don't forget about them. I might even put them a hair above squats. Oh, and take it very slow. You have a lot of time to get it right. Use stupidly low weights at first while you absorb the information. I would say it took me probably 3 months to get "comfortable" with squatting.

    You're doing great!
    1804 days ago
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