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Short and long term goals for 2013 - any advice for weight lifting?

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

My nice daily healthy lifestyle routine got quite distorted in December.
-work: many days off, and working with a team in different time zone and different holiday schedule. Officially I worked on 27th and 28th December only, but practically I worked a few hours every day, on demand.
-sleep: I went to bed late because everybody in the family stays up late, and I wake up when I normally do - I stay in bed and go back to sleep but the quality is not the same
-food: I let Christmas cookies turn off my rational thinking and portion control so I overate almost every day
-exercise: yesss, this is something I can say something good about! I stuck to my plan and missed only one or two ST sessions - though I didn't manage to work out first thing in the morning and I missed that.

So, my short term goal for 2013 is to get back on track:
-go to bed in my preferred time 10:30 even if DH and kids stay up late
-avoid overeating in the evening
-avoid trigger foods and eat as I usually do (3 meals, 2 snacks, stay within range)
-do not skip snacks - if I want to skip a meal, I can skip dinner, but not the other meals

Long term goals:
1. change my ST routine:
-basically I have been doing the same ST workouts in the past 18 months, using the same weights (5 pound dumbbells)
-after hearing from many SP friends doing some research myself, finally I decided it is time I improved my ST routine
-I already bought a barbell and I'm going to buy adjustable dumbbells (now I'm using the ones of my son but adjusting the weights every time is demotivating)
I would appreciate advice from those of you who do weight lifting.
What exercises do you find effective and safe? What weights do you use?

2. increase my running distance
My Sunday long run is usually 10K, rarely in ideal conditions 15K.
My goal is to run the 15K every second week, and if that goes well, train to run a half marathon in the spring, before weather gets too warm.
I know I'll decrease distance back to 10K or less in summer because I don't really enjoy running above 20 oC / 70oF.

3.get binge free and stay binge free
It is a lot of fuss (tracking food, eating 5 times a day, checking trigger factors when I come home from work) but I know it's worth.
The problem is I seem to forget it when I'm in the mood and there is nothing I can do about it directly.
The good news is, the better I stick to my healthy lifestyle routine during the day, the smaller is the risk of getting in the mood is. So I have the power to influence this.

My 2011 was a year of success: 6 months of weight loss and 6 months of solid maintenance.
My 2012 was OK: 6 months of solid maintenance, and 6 months of mild fluctuation in eating/sleeping/exercise habits and weight. Never near as bad as pre-Spark times, though.
I want 2013 to be a success: solid maintenance of healthy habits and weight, because that's the way I feel the most energetic and happy.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    790 days ago
    I like how you look back and evaluate. It seems that you know very well what works for you, and what isn't.

    I wonder how much support the people around you give for your healthy life. It takes quite some effort to go to bed in a different rythm, eat on a different pattern vs the others around me. It's not unfeasible, but double energy. I would look into this, how the environemnt/people around you could be more supportive for your habits.

    So you don't have to spend so much energy on making them happen, but they would happen more "automatically".
    1997 days ago
    5 lbs. is not very much weight, even for a fairly petite woman. You'll want a variety of weights for different exercises, as the appropriate weight will vary depending on what you're doing. Also, expect to progress to heavier weights as you lift consistently.

    For strength training, I like compound exercises that work many muscles. I'm not terribly fond of isolation exercises that target specific muscles exclusively. I think in terms of push (triceps and chest), pull (biceps and back), and lower body exercises. My mainline lower body strength training is squats, deadlifts, and Romanian deadlifts. My maniline push exercises are bench press, dumbbell chest press (both flat and at inclines of 30° or 45°), shoulder press, and various pushups. My mainline pulling exercises are pullups (lat pulls before I could do real pullups), bent over rows, and shrugs. I don't do much in the way of targeted core exercises, but I get considerable core work from the heavy lifts and from kettlebell compound exercises (Turkish getups, windmills, swings, snatches).

    As a runner, I find that squats are particularly helpful. They primarily develop the quadriceps, but they also work a lot of stabilizing muscles that can get strained while running; making those stabilizing muscles stronger reduces the chance of injury while running. I do back squats with a barbell, but I started out with dumbbell squats before I was strong enough to squat an Olympic bar. You can also do squats with a kettlebell in the rack position; if you do those, you should do sets with the weight on each side, for balance.

    When I was first learning to lift weights, with no human trainer available, I relied on internet sites. One of them was targeted toward women:
    a put out a lot of good basic information that I found very helpful as a wimpy beginner, even though I'm not the gender she was speaking to. I see that she has changed the site a bit since the last time I looked, but it's still probably worth your while to read some of Krista's articles there.

    A basic site that describes various exercises, with videos, is here:
    I used this primarily to learn lifts that I didn't know. It also has a section with training plans and beginner information, but I can't vouch for how good that is.

    Fair warning: Most of the weight lifting information that you can easily find on the internet is written by body builders. These are people whose primary goal is to build big muscles. You'll find less that is written by power lifters, and not much at all that is written by people primarily interested in general fitness. I'm a general fitness kind of guy. I had to learn to filter what I read to account for the writers having different goals than I do. The hardest thing for me was learning to scale down the stuff written for people whose primary goal was strength and muscle size to fit my goal of good enough strength and supporting other activities.

    As with diet and running, you don't get into the full-blown weight lifting all at once. I started with (ahem!) 5 lb. dumbbells. Then I added 8 lb. dumbbells. Then I collected pairs of dumbbells from 10 lb. to 40 lb. in 5 lb. increments. Somewhere in there I got a swiss ball, and used it for chest presses until the weights got kind of scary for the unstable platform. Then I got a weight bench. You get the idea; it's a hobby that can suck a lot of money and a noticeable amount of floor space. But free weights aren't subject to technological obsolescence; the same weights I bought in 2005 that gathered dust for several years work well for me currently. It's cheap now, because I spent the money before.
    1998 days ago
    If you're not increasing weight or reps, you're wasting time. So ya, lifting the same 5 pounds is doing nothing.

    Skip the videos, if you have a barbell consider a plan that revolves around compound movements. A good 4 are the barbell squat, bench press, deadlift and overhead press. A very simple, yet very effective program can be found here.


    I recommend buying his book, it's $10 on the Kindle. There are also a lot of videos on youtube that teach form for these lifts. Form is important for safety and effectiveness.
    1998 days ago
  • MONA791
    I use Jillian Michaels DVDs. It's circuit training, she does cardio (2 minutes), strength (3 minutes) and abs/core (1 minute) in two sets.
    I love her 30 days shred, Ripped in 30, No more trouble zones and Body Revolution DVDs because they are whole body workouts with a little bit of cardio.
    1998 days ago
    1998 days ago
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