Strength Training – Some Details – Part 1

I had an epiphany during my run last night… I talk in detail about my running and I have been posting that I have been doing strength training and you can figure out what muscles I am targeting (assuming you can decipher my short hand) but I really haven’t given any detail…

I started strength training when I first started college and its one of those things that I do really enjoy… I love it just as much as running. But if I had to choose between the two, I would choose running. Though… back in the day I never would have ever considered running… My how the times have changed

This year, I am actually tracking some of the details – The machine/exercise, the weight, number of reps and number of sets. I am not going to give you THAT much detail since it is ever changing… or at least… that is the goal. But I am going to give the general “day in the life of lifting” – The machine/exercise and what (main) muscle it targets and my normal reps/sets

I am also going to point out this is stuff that I do at the gym. I have a whole list of other things to do when I am not at the gym. An example… I am not going to do lunges at the gym because I can do those at home. As easy as it would be for me to spend hours upon hours at the gym, it is just not feasible right now. So while at the gym, I am focusing on things that I generally cannot do at home because I don’t have access to that equipment at home… more or less.

Lower Body Stuff

Quads – Leg Extensions – 15 Reps – 3 or 4 Sets
This is a fairly straight forward machine. It is certainly not my favorite but it is one of those love/hate things. Necessary evil but I am starting to see improvement and I feel like I am getting stronger.

Hamstring – Leg Curls – 15 Reps – 3 or 4 Sets
This one is old school. Lay on your stomach and curl the weight with the legs. My gym also has another hamstring machine where you sit instead of lay down but I feel like the laying down machine is the better of the two options. Occasionally I will use the other one when I get tired of waiting or if I feel like I need a slightly easier day. And lesson learned… doing this machine first after running when I am already winded and the blood goes straight to my head… not good… talk about light-headed… Yikes. Won’t be doing that one again

Butt (option 1) – Seated Squat – 15 Reps – 3 or 4 Sets
This is essentially the same as the straight forward squat except you are sitting down.

Butt (option 2) – Butt Machine (I honestly don’t know what else to call it) – 15 Reps – 3 or 4 Sets
Ok – I am sure you got a chuckle… One of these days, I will actually look at the sign to see what it is called… This is a machine where you stand up and put your foot on a peg and push the peg back. It is also a pretty decent workout for the quads. The machine is rather awkward and I feel like it forces form that is not exactly stellar so I have taken to trying something else…

Butt (option 3) – Standing Weighted Lift – 15 Reps – 3 or 4 SetsThis is starting to become my preferred option. There is a loop that I can put around my foot and hook up the pulley system thingy (very technical term I know) – All gyms have this piece of equipment but I have no idea what the actual term for it is. I can then set the weight and sort of pulse my leg back which targets the butt.

Inner Thigh – Inner Thigh Machine – 15 Reps – 3 Sets PLUS 1 Set of Pulses at double the Reps (4 Sets total)
Nothing fancy here… it’s the machine that all girls seek out at the gym… even those that rarely strength train. You sit down and squeeze the inner thighs together. I actually find this the most difficult muscle to target and work out. I really only know a few other exercises that will target this muscle.

Outer Thigh – Standing Leg Pulls – 10 Reps – 3 Sets (for now)
This is my new favorite exercise. I had been previously using the outer thigh machine (again… all the ladies flock to it) where you sit and sort of do the clam shell move sitting down. But something my physical therapist said to me when I had the IT Band injury kept replaying in my head every time I used the machine. You are a runner so you should focus on the strengthening the muscles from a standing position instead of sitting. So, similar to my third butt option, I hooked the loop onto the pulley machine thingy (Is there a technical term for this large piece of equipment?) and pulse my leg to the side. The first time I did this new exercise, I was rather humbled by how much more difficult it is standing vs sitting… which perhaps proves my physical therapists point… I REALLY want to get up to 3 or 4 sets at 15 reps each. But for right now my measly three sets at 10 reps is a killer. I clearly have some work ahead of me.

Alright – That’s enough for one day. Part two will be the upper body and then part three will be the core. Because, why do in one post what you can do in three?




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