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BARBANNA SparkPoints: (108,384)
Fitness Minutes: (85,068)
Posts: 3,415
12/15/13 1:58 P

I try to strength train everyday but the holiday activities have presented a challenge so I have included washing windows and other labor task in that category. It does not take long to do some bicep curls, tricep extensions and lunges but does become mononitinous at time. I feel so much better when I do my entire workout routine!

FTSOLK Posts: 1,400
12/15/13 1:27 P

I only strength train twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays). The rest of the week are cardio-only days, so I try to put everything into my strength training sessions. With my favorite video, aside from a few minutes of warming up at the beginning and stretching at the end, it's almost all strength training. The first time I did the workout, I could barely walk for days (my friend was the same way).

I'm fine with buying some more Leslie Sansone DVDs, but I'm not really in a position to buy any more workout programs. I have Jillian Michael's Body Revolution which I did about two weeks of before I sustained an injury during the workout (twisted my arm rolling over from one position to another). I have the physical strength to do some of the exercises, but not the coordination and/or flexibility. I'm so focused on not falling over that I don't get as deep into some of the moves- even though physically I can handle it for some of the moves. I'm just not on the right fitness level for Body Revolution (plus, I can't handle too much very high impact- even with doubling up sports bras). Maybe when I lose some weight and get more in shape, I'll be able to tolerate Jillian.

Of course, I'm still debating between two gyms.

Gym 1 is new (opens next month). Some cardio equipment has built-in TVs, places to charge my phone. They have bosu balls/stability balls. They offer 1 free personal training session. Sign-up costs $1, and membership is $15 a month (plus the annual fee). This gym is also three miles from my house.

Gym 2 has been around for a few years. It has basic cardio and strength equipment, but nothing overly fancy- no bosu balls or anything like that). There are free unlimited personal training sessions, but it's pretty much just them telling you how to use the equipment (there is one "class" that helps you figure out a routine that works for you. Currently, there is a way for me to join for the year and pay $99 (plus tax). This gym is 5-6 miles away.

So, gym 1 has nicer equipment, is newer, and closer. Gym 2 is cheaper, and has more "personal training" sessions. Both have pretty basic equipment overall; no classes. If I want to take any kind of classes like Zumba or Spin, I will have to go elsewhere (my grocery store has free Zumba classes a couple times a week).

RAVENHAWK_49417 Posts: 14
12/14/13 8:30 P

Last winter i completed P90X and that was definitely strength training. They just came out with P90X3 this week. Its the same intensity but only 30 minute workouts instead of 60. If you dont think youre quite ready for P90X you could try P90 which is a beginner version. Either way they arecall really good workouts. Also you can usually find them on amazon at cheaper prices if the beachbody price is too much. You dont get the same support group with it but sometimes you may not need it.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,764
12/14/13 7:05 P

I use the gym for strength training mostly, I tend to do my cardio at home. Much easier to get through workouts when I lift heavy

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
12/14/13 3:38 P

If you're serious, a gym membership would definitely be the way to go. I'm just lucky my hubby lifts weights and came into the relationship with a bench and barbell. ;)

If you can use really heavy weights and stick to compound exercises, your pull ups, push ups, rows, overhead press, bench press, squats, lunges and deadlifts you can have a very short and effective routine.

It would be the difference between doing;

Chest flies at 15 lbs for 20 reps
Bicep curls at 10 lbs for 20 reps (both sides)
Triceps extensions at 5 lbs for 20 reps (both sides)
Shoulder raises at 10 lbs for 20 reps


Bench Press at 80-100 lbs for 6-8 reps
Overhead Press at 40-60 lbs for 6-8 reps
***optional substitutes; rows, pull ups or push ups

Strength training doesn't have to be fancy and drawn out unless you're a body builder or fitness model prepping for competition, for us general exercisers it just has to be effective. You can achieve this with sticking to exercises that use multiple large muscles rather than spending hours at high reps, low weight, doing isolation moves more reserved for body builders with goals of physical perfection and fine tuning.

The funny thing is; when we start strength training we always go straight to these isolation moves with low weight, high reps. When what we should be doing is working on the strength and mass of our large muscles first. I think it's just a matter of affordability. It's too bad it can be pretty pricey to really challenge these muscles. It's just more affordable to start at the lighter weights/resistance. Unfortunately, concentrating on building individual smaller muscles is better reserved after your first or second year of training. You're going to get the most benefit in your first year of strength/mass by working your larger muscles in the low rep zone and fine tuning once you have a good base of strength/LBM.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 12/14/2013 (15:59)
LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
Posts: 2,744
12/14/13 2:40 P

The other thing to remember is that you don't need to do a lot of reps in order to strength train properly. Frankly , the less reps, the better. So if you can only do one full push up at a time, fine! Keep doing 1 each session until you can do 2 and so forth. Its how I got from being able to do one pushup at a time to 20 in about a year.

You can do a bare bones strength routine in 30 minutes: squats, pushups, lunges, planks, and rows/modified pull ups - 3x12-15 reps. And only one of those exercises requires any equipment at all besides your own body weight. A good playlist will make that fly by in no time.

Sidenote: Yep, Zorbs. Concentrating on not dumbing a 30lb dumb bell on your face is definitely a way to stave off boredom.

FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (64,745)
Posts: 748
12/14/13 1:44 P

What about lunges and squats? You can do those without having to use weights or you could invest in a medicine ball. I got a 6 lb medicine ball at WalMart for about $20. You'd think that 6 lbs is too light but it does get heavy. It came with some suggestions for workouts with the medicine ball, but I looked at the exercise demo section on the fitness page (the first section under the fitness features) for exercises with the medicine ball.

What about things like the airplane pose and t stand? The exercises that you've mentioned doing in the videos are good ones. Is the problem you're having with strength training due to focusing too much on form? I realize that form is important, but is it possible that you are over thinking it (the form)? Personally, I get frustrated and bored with things if I think too much about it. I know that for me, lunges (any variation) is a bit of a challenge because of balance. Lateral lunges are the only ones that I don't have any difficulties in doing.

Fitness Page:>

FTSOLK Posts: 1,400
12/14/13 1:21 P

There are some moves where I certainly can increase my weight (if I had heaver dumbbells. The ones I have are actually my mom's old ones). there are also some moves that are a bit challenging. Coach Nicole has one move on her 28 Day Boot Camp DVD (Honestly, I'm not a HUGE fan of Coach Nicole's workouts, but I will do them on occasion), that I can't do with even 5 pound weights.

I'm not afraid of heavy weights. I just don't have them right now.

And, honestly, every strength video is the same. Sure, some have planks/push ups, and others don't, but for the most part, anything I've done with Coach Nicole, I've done with Leslie Sansone or Jillian Michaels before. Squats, push-ups, planks, chest flys, rows, lunges, crunches, bridges.... The order changes, the "trainer' changes, but I'm still doing moves where I need to focus primarily on proper form.

I should look at some ballet/pilates videos- although the pilates moves are the most challenging for me in most of my DVDs right now. Guess that's just something to work on.

I'm still going to seriously consider a gym for the heavier free-weights and machines. Right now, I'm at a point where a lot of body weight exercises are a huge challenge. There are moves that require me to lift my legs into the air while on my back, side crunches, planks, push-ups. All of which I cannot do at all, or can barely do. In addition to working on the specific workouts, I've considered that using other equipment to build strength and flexibility would help without me getting too frustrated.

ONLINEASLLOU SparkPoints: (73,365)
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Posts: 4,787
12/14/13 11:42 A

I understand getting bored with strength training. I liked it when I first did it, but I got bored with it very quickly. With cardio, I can clear my head and relax -- enjoy the music and let my mind wander. That helps the time pass pleasantly, and I feel envigorated mentally when I am finished.

With strength training, you have to focus more on the mechanics of what you are doing -- and for some of us, "what we are doing" when we strength training is neither mentally enjoyable nor stimulating. Having to focus on it is not pleasant and our minds rebel.

I usually dread doing strength training now and have to force myself to do it. But I do it any way -- and I mix up my DVD's to at least give myself some variety.

One genre that has surprised me is the ballet/barre ones. I am the farthest thing from a ballet dancer that you can imagine ... but when I do a barre routine, I can pretend to be one - and that helps with the boredom factor. All you need is a chair: you don't need an actual bar. (I use a kitchen-type chair.) But the ballet-pilates-yogo exercises that these DVD's include are so different from the other types of strength DVD's out there that they are a refreshing change of pace -- and imagining that I am learning to dance gives my mind something a little fun and different. If you are interested, I recommend "Booty Barre: Beginners and Beyond" with Tracey Mallet for a good overall workout. You can preview it for free on

As for not using heavy weights -- Don't let the serious, experienced weight trainers intimidate you. If you are a beginner and lighter weights are "where you are at now," then use lighter weights and be proud of yourself for what you are accomplishing. Moving to heavier weights too fast may just increase your risk of injury and make you hate the exercise more. If you're not seeing any progress over time, talk to your doctor or professional trainers at your gym for advise. I am 58 years old and started out about 5 years ago using weights in the 5 pounds neighborhood. Now, 5 years later, I use weights in the 8 - 15 pound range most of the time and still use 2 pound weights for certain exercises that involve smaller, less developed muscles. I don't think I will ever go much heavier because when I push harder, my body doesn't handle it well. My doctor agrees that there is no reason to risk injury by pushing too hard, too fast. I have had NO exercise-related injuries and I would like to keep it that way.

We each have to find the right path for us.


LADYREDCOMET SparkPoints: (108,707)
Fitness Minutes: (51,311)
Posts: 2,367
12/14/13 11:09 A

Chiming in to agree with the other posters that have said that strength training done right should be challenging enough that you're not bored. There are lots of bodyweight exercises you can do for strength that can be quite challenging. If you're looking more for something guided, there are lots of good strength training videos at different fitness levels on Fitness Blender (and they're free, which is always a good thing).

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 65,916
12/14/13 10:42 A

Have you tried any of Coach Nicole's strength training videos on SparkPeople? If you click on Articles and Videos at the top of the page and go to Videos, you'll find them there. They might add a little bit of the variety you're looking for.

Hope that helps,

Coach Jen

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
12/14/13 8:52 A

Lol @ Zorbs, how brutally forward... but true. ;) You shouldn't be able to be bored while strength training, if you are... you're not challenging yourself enough.

Ditto, I'd be bored too if I was using weights the weigh less than my children did at birth. Not only is it a waste of time because you are not truly challenging the muscle, it makes for an unnecessarily long and tedious workout. Strength training/weight lifting/what have you, should be short and to the point. You can get an effective workout in 30 mins flat, 3x a week, hardly enough time to grow bored. Do compound exercises rather than isolation and fire up those muscles and use them!

Honestly, I'm small... 5'2 and 115 lbs and 2 lbs-10 lbs weights don't even exist in my house. I work only in the double and triple digits. If I can lug my 40-50 lbs children around on my hip in a store, surely I can I lift 150 lbs a couple times in a squat. ;)

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 12/14/2013 (09:45)
210014631 SparkPoints: (35,652)
Fitness Minutes: (10,227)
Posts: 1,400
12/14/13 8:45 A

I am doing Les Mills pump and so far I like it and can feel it

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (199,953)
Fitness Minutes: (195,245)
Posts: 15,864
12/14/13 5:54 A

Use genuiely challenging weights as opposed to the paperweights that you own. When you are trying hard not to puke or drop the weight and kill yourself, it's hard to be bored.

WILLOWYGIRL SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (16,538)
Posts: 103
12/14/13 4:44 A

I might try some pilates DVDs. They seriously are harder than they look. They work a lot on core muscles and larger muscle groups and generally use your own body weight. Plus, once you have done them a couple of times, you will start to remember each set without the DVDs, so if you say, go on vacation and forget your laptop or something, you can remember what to do without the prompts. :-)

One other thing, since there are lots of classes everywhere, it could be good to occasionally pay the $5 entry to one just to get a critique on your form from the instructor.

FTSOLK Posts: 1,400
12/14/13 2:07 A

Exercise has never been one of my favorite things, but I've been doing okay with getting my workouts in for the most part. I've been working on a schedule of 4 days cardio, 2 days circuit training/strength training, and 1 rest day.

For cardio, since I haven't been able to take advantage of the $99 for a year membership at Planet Fitness quite yet, and the other gym I've considered joining isn't open yet, I've been doing Leslie Sansone workouts. I have a couple of her newer videos that have higher intensity segments.

Strength training, however, is a challenge. I absolutely love the strength training section from Leslie Sansone's "Walk it off in 30 Days" ("Firm 30"), but I need variety. I have "Fit Firmed and Fired Up" (I got it for free), and I did two minutes before the workout bored me to tears. I also have some Jillian Michaels DVDs (Ripped in 30 and 30 Day Shred), but they are a bit too fast-paced for me at this point.

Strength training has always been my downfall. It just bores me to tears. I know I tolerate the machines at the gym better than doing a workout at home, and part of me is thinking that I should join a gym JUST for the machines (and for an option to work out when my family is home- my mom likes to stare at me while I work out, and it's very awkward (I don't have a private place to work out), but I still want some other options for working out at home.

So, any suggestions for strength training routines at home? I have some 2, 3, and 5 pound dumbbells (I usually use 3-5 pound ones- mostly 5), a couple stretchy bands, and a yoga mat.

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