Why I Lift

Fitness is a big part of my life whether it is spinning, running, yoga, barre, or weight lifting, I have always done some combination of the above.  I generally do not have specific goals but getting out and moving makes me feel better mentally, emotionally, and physically.  When I was in NYC my fitness routine involved a lot of cardio: running in Central Park, spinning, and barre classes when I could fit them in.  During my last year in the city when I was working non-stop, getting on a bike at Soul Cycle for 45 minutes was my one outlet, it helped keep me sane!  In addition to cardio, I would try to squeeze in barre classes or weights at home, usually a daily burn video – https://dailyburn.com/landing or a tone it up workout – https://www.toneitup.com/.

I did not start lifting weights regularly until I moved to Edmonton.  Prior to moving, when I visited Bradley in Edmonton I would join him at the gym and would struggle through his weight lifting routines.  It was tough and uncomfortable, but I enjoyed the challenge and was motivated to improve my form and build strength.  I started to incorporate a bit of weight lifting into my routine in New York, but it was sporadic.  Years ago, I had a trainer for a summer and learnt how to lift properly so I was able to pick it up again fairly quickly.  I highly recommend having someone teach you to lift properly before diving into serious weight training to avoid injury and prevent bad habits.

Bradley always says regardless of your fitness goals you should pick up heavy things and put them down.  As usual, I think he is right.  I feel stronger than I have in years, maybe ever, now that I have incorporated consistent weight training into my routine whether it is low weight and high reps or high weight and low reps.  I notice a difference in my strength and endurance in spin classes, when hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, and in day to day life.  I feel like my body can tackle anything with relative ease.  I think maintaining a consistent cardio routine is also important and contributes to my overall health.  Bradley shies away from too much cardio (interferes with building mass or something ;)).  I notice when he is not including cardio in his routine, he does not have the same level of endurance and struggles when spinning, hiking, or when we incorporate HIIT into a weight routine (sorry for calling you out).  For me, a combination is the best of both worlds. 

Typically, Bradley is doing some sort of weight lifting plan 5-6 days a week and will join me once a week for spin.  I join him a few days a week weight training and spin the rest of the week.  Working out together is our β€œthing”, we enjoy having that hour or two together, but have yet to establish a routine to do together.  So, we have been working on a schedule that incorporates both spinning and weight training.  This is an effort to incorporate both of our interests and a goal of building strength while maintaining cardiovascular health and endurance.  We plan to incorporate yoga as well, something we currently are not doing, as we both need to stretch more and yoga has many other health benefits that will add to a balanced fitness routine such as toning, muscle strength, flexibility, and posture. 

Why are body weight exercises so hard!?

We are starting our plan the first week of March.  The plan will be six weeks, as we want a few weeks afterwards to trim for vacation.  In order to accommodate life and unpredictable work travel, the weekly routine will cycle through four workouts, instead of dedicating a week day to a particular workout. I.e., instead of Monday is chest day, we will start the program off with the first of four workouts, and cycle through them. If we miss a day, we will just do that workout the next time we are in the gym.

The lifting routine will follow a four-day split:

  1. Lower Body
  2. Upper Body Pull
  3. Upper Body Push
  4. Full Body

This allows for targeting individual muscle groups once per week with a couple dedicated compound exercises and a few isolation exercises, and provides a full body day to hit every muscle group a second time each week. The full body day will focus on alternative compound movements for each muscle group.  We will also incorporate two spin classes and one yoga class per week.

I will post the workout plan on the blog before we start and will track our progress as we go πŸ™‚