Weight Lifting Makes for a Well-Rounded Fitness Routine

weight lifting
Image via Flickr/ lululemonathletica

For years I was a cardio-only kind of gal. I prided myself on the ability to run for as long and far as I could before dropping. I reveled in the fact that I could run multiple days in a row without rest or that I could run and then get on a bike and pedal and then get in a pool in swim.

I never lifted a weight.

I had a fear of lifting. I tend to bulk up quickly in the arms. I didn’t want to look like a body builder. I felt, too, strength training in general, and weights specifically, would not help my running.

I was wrong.

I only know that because during the past few years I have slowly added more strength and, specifically, weight training to my routine. Three days a week I do exercises such as dumbbell raises and tricep dips. I use a kettle bell to do a variety of weight exercises. I concentrate on exercises I feel will make me stronger, and give my body some definition.

The fear of ‘bulking up’ like the Hulk never came true. I do, however, have some definition in my arms now that I never had before, and I love it! I feel stronger, and I also feel that I look better now that I am a little more muscular.

Why should women lift?

  • It is a great complement to any type of cardio program because it adds definition to your body.
  • lifting helps with those everyday tasks we do, such as carrying our children, lugging laundry, helping hubby move furniture around the house and bringing in the groceries.
  • It improves your metabolism, and you continue to burn calories throughout the day after a weight session.

Weight lifting doesn’t have to take much weight. I have two ten pound and two fifteen pound hand weights plus a 15 pound kettlebell. I alternate between the three depending on which exercise I’m doing. For instance, when I do shoulder presses, I use a lighter weight; for biceps, I use the heavier weight. While I have used machines at the gym that incorporate weights, I really enjoy using just weights more.

Do you incorporate weight lifting into your workout routine? If so, what weights do you use and what are your favorite weight lifting exercises? If you don’t lift, why?

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Weight Lifting Makes for a Well-Rounded Fitness Routine

Kathy Murdock works as a full time writer and web designer. Recently planted in the middle of the deep south from the busy streets of Los Angeles, when she's not coding Wordpress websites or writing about women in business and thrifty motherhood, Kathy spends time photographing alligators, playing with her family, and running. ... More

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