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Fitness Articles  ›  Pitfalls and Plateaus

7 Strength Training Excuses: Busted!

Get Over the Excuses to Get Stronger

-- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor
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Remember when you were a kid and claimed that your dog ate your homework, when really you just didn't get around to writing your book report? Of course, your teacher knew you were fibbing. While most of us are past blaming the dog instead of taking responsibility for our actions, this doesn't mean that we're beyond using excuses—whether we realize it or not.

As a personal trainer and fitness instructor, I've heard almost every reason under the sun for why people "can't" be active, let alone do something specific like lifting weights for the recommended 20 to 30 minutes twice a week. However, outside of an actual health condition and a doctor's note saying that strength training isn't recommended, lifting weights is so beneficial to the majority of people that all excuses are busted pretty quickly.

The benefits of weight training are numerous, including increased muscle strength, balance, bone density, lean muscle mass, insulin sensitivity and cardio endurance—not to mention that strong, lean muscles simply look better! So if you've been making excuses and opting out of weight training, read on to get the (nice) kick in the workout pants that you need to start benefiting from regular strength training.

Busting 7 Common Strength Training Excuses
Excuse #1: Strength training is boring. If you get bored easily or like activities that are a little more fast-paced and engaging, then strength training really is for you—the sky is the limit! From group classes that pair lifting weights to fun music, to suspension training with the TRX, workout DVDs, free weights,  kettlebells, circuit training (more on that below) and even using your own body weight at home while watching TV, the options are endless—and certainly not boring.

The strength training workout for you: Hit up your gym to find an engaging strength class, or check out this 20-minute dumbbell workout with Coach Nicole!

Excuse #2: I don't have time for strength and cardio. The best thing about strength training is that it can double as cardio if you do it the right way! There are three basic ways to do this. First, you can add some cardio moves, such as mountain climbers or jumping jacks or marching in place, between different strength exercises to get your heart rate up and keep it elevated through your entire workout. Second, you can do a circuit-training type format where you have no rest between exercises and perform moves that work major muscle groups (such as lunges, squats and push-ups which target multiple muscles). This also keeps your heart rate elevated, giving you a high calorie burn and working your cardiovascular system. Third, you can do strength moves that work the lower body with the upper body (for example a lunge with a bicep curl), to really get your heart pumping.
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About The Author

Jennipher Walters Jennipher Walters
Jenn is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites, and A certified personal trainer, health coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and is the author of The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (Random House, 2014).

See all of Jenn's articles.

Member Comments

  • ROBERTHC2014
    Go Go Go - 3/18/2014 12:53:11 PM
    That one about "I'm afraid of bulking up" always makes me smile. If people knew how much work it can take some of us just to achieve some attractive muscle definition, they'd stop worrying about turning into The Hulk. - 12/3/2013 7:38:57 AM
  • this will be my goal to do today use my weights ropes i have collectng dust in my living room i promis my self 10 min toaday of putting me first - 10/30/2013 8:33:36 AM
    I am going to do more strength training as one of my fitness/health goals! - 10/5/2013 8:51:14 PM
  • I love weight-training. I try to go to the fitness center 3-4 times a week to use the machines there. I'm especially fond of compound exercises, like squats and dead-lifts, which target several large muscle groups at one time--saving effort and time.

    I think weight-training is just as important (if not more so) as cardio when it comes to weight loss. I usually switch back and forth between two machines without rest, to keep the heart rate up and still sweat as if I was just on the elliptical.

    Also, building muscle burns more calories in the long run, even on days when you are just sitting around. 1 pound of fat burns 3 calories per hour, one pound of muscle burns 75 calories per least that's what I learned in my weight-training class ;) - 10/4/2013 4:12:37 PM
  • interesting - 10/4/2013 11:18:33 AM
  • I meant not in a professional weight-lifter way... - 10/4/2013 10:16:11 AM
  • Great article! I was a total cardio junkie until I met my now husband and we started lifting together. I love it and now work both in. I had that "I don't want to get too bulky" mentality at first, but now I want those defined muscles (but not in a weight-lifter type of way). Strong is sexy! - 10/4/2013 10:14:45 AM
  • Great article. - 8/8/2013 7:51:29 PM
  • Felt great working with dumbells this weekend. I also used some of the machines at the gym for strength on my legs. The problem is, and I know here I go with a excuse... I don't find the time during the week! :( I love feeling sore though. Good article. - 7/8/2013 1:26:22 PM
  • Thanks for sharing - 7/7/2013 8:20:53 AM
  • I prefer ST to straight cardio any day, so I do the ST with added movements to keep my heart rate up. I love my weights! - 7/7/2013 12:19:54 AM
  • I am so excited that I started a really serious business of weight-training in my gym this week. The coach gave me an alternating 3days/wk program to follow. I believe that this will help to shape me faster and easier than non-weight bearing exercises. Plus, the challenge keeps you looking forward. LUCk for every one - 7/6/2013 3:36:49 AM
  • From experience strength training mixed with bursts of cardio really works the body and burns fat. 2hrs 3xs a week will help lose weight. My personal trainer suggested 5hrs a week. I have been doing more then 3xs a week at the gym but from looking at my daily logs I am doing way to much. Next week I will start with 3xs a week at the gym for 2hrs doing strength with bursts of cardio, and 3xs a week I will do 30 mins. of Pilates to help stretch out those muscles I just worked out. I also will start walking/jogging and running in the early mornings to get my cardio in. I go to school full time and I don't so I can do this. I made my schedule like if I were working now so I can build a habbit for my body. So if I worked full time and with going to school full time. I can still do all this. The key is creating a balance between my calories consumption and calorie burn. I don't want my body to feel like it is starving. I will listen to my body. The first month I started working out was tough well more irritating. I would crave meat a lot and I though well its protein, one day I got really fatigued and it dawned on me Iron. I started taking a daily multi vitamin and I don't feel that way anymore. Make sure you eat enough, sleep well, and drink plenty plenty and plenty of water. Right now I have a problem with consuming too much salt. I don't swell or anything like that but from my food logs point of view I need to cut back, but it also says that salt is key for working out. When I work out for 2hrs I do sweat a lot. Plus I don't have any health problems like high blood pressure its always in a good range. So I shouldn't worry. Too much salt will make you look like you gained weight if you are not sweating it out. - 7/5/2013 5:08:37 PM
  • My 18 year old daughter is very big boned and muscular naturally, but she also has extra fat to lose, and I'm not sure what the best routine would be for her. Any suggestions? I encourage her to go biking with her younger sister but I'm not sure how much ST she should do. Maybe just body weight exercises? - 6/11/2013 12:25:24 PM
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