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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 FitBottomeGirls.com, FitBottomedMamas.com and FitBottomedEats.com. 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

  • I am considering this. Have not every worked with weights before. - 7/6/2014 6:23:30 AM
  • Yes, yes and YES! Nothing has changed my body like strength training has even though my weight hasn't changed for over two years. Trust me, there's nothing to be afraid of with strength training--your body will thank you! - 6/22/2014 12:54:46 PM
  • What are your recommendations for people with hip issues that deal with pain and it increases with strength/weight training? I have hip dysplasia, just recently had surgery, and I am still in the recovery process. I want to do strength training again, but I want to avoid the "pain". I do know the difference in soreness and pain. I love soreness. Hate pain. - 6/22/2014 8:19:42 AM
  • ROBERTHC2014
    Go Go Go - 3/18/2014 12:53:11 PM
  • MANDYCAT3
    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
  • PEACENCARROTS
    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 hour...at 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
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