You could beat me in an arm wrestling match, but not for long.
You know you're a weakling when you have to ask for help putting a box of protein shakes into your shopping cart. Truly, this happened to me.
I have never been in shape, and no one who has ever known me would describe me as strong or athletic. I didn't really care about being wimpy because (pregnancies aside) I still wore the same jeans size I wore in college.
But then all that changed. At my final midwife appointment I clocked in at an impressive 215 pounds, which is seventy pounds over my average weight. SEVENTY POUNDS. To put that in perspective, my weight gain was equivalent to how much the average third grader weighs. Caroline was a big girl, but she wasn't seventy pounds!
More troubling to me, however, is that I'm having trouble lifting Caroline while she's in her carseat (she's 14 pounds now). I struggle to lift our jogging stroller into our car. Suddenly I care that I'm not very strong.
Over the last year, I've watched my rail thin husband put on 30 pounds of muscle by weightlifting. He did Starting Strength and is now doing 5/3/1, and I'm very proud of him. While I've been impressed with his results, I had had zero desire to lift weights. I thought that I'd rather run on the treadmill for half a day and kill myself in Zumba and yoga than lift weights. Why the hesitation? Well, it was because I didn't want to bulk up.
Over Christmas break I read The New Rules of Lifting for Women because a bunch of moms on a mom board I participate in read it. It really challenged my thinking and reinforced everything Chris had been trying to tell me for the last year. Lifting heavy things does not mean you get bulky. The She-Hulks above are bodybuilders, not weightlifters. Big difference.
Take Marilou Dozois-Prévost for example. She's a professional weightlifter and represented Canada at the Beijing Olympics.
Seriously? She's like the cutest woman, ever.
The clincher, though, was this interview on Nerd Fitness with a lady named Staci who experienced some inspirational results by powerlifting and eating healthier:
Amazing before and after, huh?
So I'm doing it. I am no longer okay with being weak. Today I'll do my third weightlifting workout. I can't yet squat the bar (it's 45 pounds, y'all!), and I'm terribly sore from Monday, but I'm ready to be able to lift my children with ease. And I no longer want to have to ask someone for help when putting protein shakes in my shopping cart.
If you want to join me on this weightlifting adventure, here's some of the things you'll need to get a good start:
1. Starting Strength (great for checking form) // 2. The New Rules of Lifting For Women (a must!) // 3. Chucks because doing squats in running shoes is like doing squats on a pillow. // 4. Athletic shirt that won't ride up // 5. Sports bra to keep the girls in check // 6. Comfortable shorts or pants // 7. Hair ties. I recommend a bun. // 8. A cute gym bag (any excuse for a new bag, right?) // 9. Running shoes for a tiny warm-ups on the treadmill // 10. Tall socks to protect your shins from accidental bar rubs.
The best part? No crazy cardio. My entire workout takes 45 minutes and a lot of that is resting. Still not convinced? Stay tuned. I did my "before" photos today (yuck), and hopefully by the summer I'll have a great "during" photo, too.