Building Muscles

I love anything aerobic.  I don’t like anything mildly related to weights.  I have been diligently going to the body sculpt classes anyway, but after almost a year, I’m still using the light weights I started out with.  I’m starting to push it a little, since I notice that most of the women use heavier weights than me.  I have been telling myself that once I could actually do all the reps, I would go up a pound (I know, pathetic).  But it still hurts.  My arms are still zinging.  But why make the effort to go if I’m going to be so half-assed about it?  I noticed last night that my legs are actually getting some muscle tone, or more likely, the fat is decreasing enough that the muscle shows.  Since most of the leg exercises I do use body weight, it’s hard to be lazy there.  Abs and arms it’s easier to not work so hard.  There’s one class I really hate that I try to go to every Wednesday, and this woman does functional exercises-hard to cheat.    The instructer is in her 60s, is all muscle, not an ounce of fat.  She’s like a drill sargeant, but I ignore her a lot.  I cannot do 50 straight leg push-ups, though I can now do 50 on my knees.  I think she cuts me a break, since I’m heavy, but I can’t count on that forever.

Comparing her to another woman with no body fat, there’s a woman who sleeps on my block, about the same height as my Wednesday strength training teacher.  I think she’s a junky, as she’s always nodding off.  My landlord calls her 30 going on 60, but I can’t tell.  She doesn’t have any grey hair, but is really hunched over.  I don’t think it’s easy to have great nutrition when you’re homeless.    She also doesn’t have any muscle, just bones.  I feel badly for her, though she seems to have her regular posse of  questionably housed friends around.  I can’t imagine there’s anyone more vulnerable than homeless women.  This really isn’t relevant to anything, but I see her all the time, never talked to her, she’s never asked me for anything-not change, alcohol, cigarettes.

Sorry this is such a disjointed post, just woke from a nap, and I’m hurting.  Today’s gym teacher noticed that I lost weight, and I was happy to tell him 35 pounds.  I’ve been doing his class for almost a year now.  So few people comment on my weight, which is probably a good thing.  I guess I just live in a very p.c. kind of town.   Honestly, I don’t think people really notice.  Or maybe they notice that something looks different, but they can’t figure out what.

For those of you who do weight training, does it always have to hurt?  Am I supposed to be this sore?  How do you know when to go with higher weight?  I think if I wait until it doesn’t hurt, it’ll never happen (as it hasn’t happened yet).


7 Responses to “Building Muscles”

  1. May 22, 2009 at 3:37 am

    it’s always great when you finally see definition and people compliment or notice your weightloss. i find it encouraging and so motivating. keep up the great work!

  2. May 22, 2009 at 5:05 am

    I guess we all have some area of fitness that we don’t really love… but we do it anyway because we care about ourselves. I don’t know if it’s always supposed to hurt… I don’t hurt from strength training. You should ask Mizfit, she’s the expert! And she loves answering questions.

  3. May 22, 2009 at 5:12 am

    I’m exactly the same way. I’d do cardio till the cows came home and never lift a weight if I had my way. To make myself do it, I have to really mix up my weights – have you ever tried the Monkey Bar Gym workouts? They’re online, free and new every day.

    As for the soreness thing, it does eventually get better!

  4. May 22, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Hi Julie!

    Resistance training of some type is important. You can so weights, bodyweight stuff, or even bands. Personally, I just do it. Needing to like it doesn’t matter to me. Some days are easier than others. Create a habit and it will have it’s own momentum. Cardio is my foundation and I build on that.

  5. May 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks for the comment on my blog! I’m looking forward to poking around your site some more 🙂

    As for weight training, I’m completely the same way…I’d rather do aerobic exercise any day. So I do the same thing as you, I make myself go to those sculpting classes because otherwise I probably wouldn’t do ANY weight training!

    I think a year using the same weights is a long time, though. If you’ve been doing the same thing over and over, your muscles are probably adapted to the movement and aren’t improving much anymore; I think it’s probably what you said, you are seeing more muscle definition because you are losing fat around the muscle.

    That said, I noticed that when I started adding weight in those classes, I had to slow down my movements to keep proper form. Some of the reps they do in those classes are super fast – which is usually okay with light weights! But when I started lifting heavier, I found I needed to cut the counts in which I was lifting almost in half, or my form starts to compromise. Just something to keep in mind.

    Also, don’t be afraid of not making it through a set if you go up in weight. It’s all about improving! If you add a pound and find that you can only make it half-way through, maybe next time try to make it a little bit farther. You will get better and better and see more improvements in your strength!!

  6. May 22, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    OPPS!!!! I meant for this comment here.. SORRY!!!!!

    Hi Julie & thx for visiting my blog. Glad I got to yours from your comment to mine. As you know, I am in LOVE with the weights! I am not a fan of cardio but I do it & I do it hard because I need to. I do want to encourage you to do more weights. The big thing of course it that is helps prevent osteoporosis as we age.. protects your bones! The studies now are finding that young gals are at risk of this disease before they ever get near getting old. Very scary!

    Also, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. I learned that from experience & now eat more than when I was younger and that is with all my hormone issues!!! If you look at the picture in this post of mine, http://truth2beingfit.com/2009/04/27/some-of-fit-at-51s-workout-program.aspx, I was at least 24 years younger, I weighed about the same as I do now BUT I wore a larger clothes size. Muscle is very compact & can certainly make you look better. Yes, lifting heavier weights will result in some soreness but if you do it right, that should dissipate within a day or no more than 2. If longer than that, you did too much. You will feel the soreness a day after the workout & maybe into a day after that. This is the process of small microtears that help build the muscle. Me, I love the feel of knowing I worked myself BUT remember that you don’t want it so bad that it is days on end. Weight resistance is so good for the bod, burns calories at rest and you can shape your body to the best possible within your body type. I do hope you try to lift a bit heavier & give it a chance!

    I so applaud your weight loss & sticking with it!!!!

  7. May 27, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    I’m with you. I have no problem getting cardio in…but the weights. ACK! I know I should and actually need to do strength training, but I just don’t like it. (what a pity that with my muscle issue in my back, that I have been advised against doing weights with my upper body…shucks)

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