Strong is the New Skinny – Strength Training

I have recently rekindled my love for strength training and working out after about a 5 year hiatus. I have always been a pretty athletic/fit person and involved in sports throughout high school and college. Cheerleading and gymnastics kept me in shape without really having to think about it. I enjoyed the weekly workouts (not so much the running!) in the gym and seeing how it made me strong. I am not a huge fan of the scale, I have always weighed more than what most people expect me to weigh. I am more about how I feel and look in my clothes than what the number says on the scale.
I took a few years “off” while having the boys and finally decided last January that I was ready to focus on me again. Luckily I had a little kick start with a challenge at work to give up something for a month. I am a sucker for Dr. Pepper out of a can, I was very addicted (6 cans a day!!) so this was my obvious choice to give up. I also decided I would eat healthier and watch my calorie intake (heck 1200 of that was soda!). I loved having others keep me accountable and to be able to focus on me even for a month. I kept with the healthier eating after the first month and by mid February I had lost 20lbs!
At this point it was May and my husband and I decided to join the local gym and get back in to strength training. It was hard to go to the gym and not be able to do the weights I remember doing when I was still in college and cheering. I started off slow and really focused on keeping the weight low, but challenging, and doing 3 sets of 12-15 reps. I didn’t want to “bulk” and I know the body type I have I could have very easily done that. I really wanted to be strong and lean with my muscles. I am not a huge cardio fan (like if I’m running, you better start running because something big and scary is chasing me!) so I treat my strength training workout as a cardio workout. I combine exercises so that I am hitting multiple muscle groups and working my entire body and core throughout the workout. I also don’t take a long rest between exercises. I love leg day and try to do at least 2 leg exercises during the other days and always finish up with abs. My entire workout lasts just under an hour, and I go to the gym 3 times a week, maybe an extra on the weekend if I can get it in. Here is my weekly workout breakdown:

Stephanie (14 of 25)

Everyday: Abs

Windshield wipers
Crunches
Side bends
Bicycle
Reverse crunch
Lower leg lifts
Planks
Side planks

 

 

Stephanie (11 of 25)Monday: Chest/Back
Bench Press (chest)
Reverse adduction (glutes)
Incline or Decline Bench Press (chest)
Rows (back)
Butterflies dumbbell or cables (chest)
Lat pull down (back)
Rib dumbbell pullover or pull down (ribcage/chest)
Plie’ squat w/ dumbbell

 

 

Stephanie (22 of 25)

Wednesday: Legs/Shoulders
Squats (legs)
Overhead press (shoulders)
Dead lift (legs)
Front raises with dumbbells (shoulders)
Adduction & abduction (legs)
Bench lunges (legs)
Side raises with dumbbells (shoulders)
Butt blaster/kick backs (legs)
Shrugs (shoulders)

 

Stephanie (2 of 25)

Friday: Biceps/Triceps
Standing bar curls or Preacher bar curls (Biceps)
Triceps rope extension
Dumbbell Curls (Biceps)
Walking Lunges with dumbbells (legs)
Skull crusher (Triceps)
Cable curls (Biceps)
Triceps dips
Hip Thrusts with preacher bar (glutes)


Stephanie (25 of 25)I personally like to work out in capri leggings or shorts with a sports bra and tank. I get pretty warm moving from exercise to exercise so I don’t want to be in long pants and long sleeves. I am in LOVE with the Greenstyle Stride tights. I have made 3 pair so far (and more to come!) and they are perfect. I really like the optional gusset piece and the side pocket is perfect for my iPhone 6 to slip in and it doesn’t come out when I’m moving around or get in the way when I’m bending.

 

 

Stephanie (8 of 25)I always have a sports bra on and prefer ones that are not too thick between my shoulder blades. The 5 out of 4 Agility Tank with the T-back option is my go to for a sports bra. I cut it on the longer cut line (DD) so that I could add 3” elastic for the band. I also use FOE to finish off the edges. Now that it is getting colder out I can just walk into the gym with capris and a sports bra so I have grabbed my KBSD cutout workout top made with athletic wicking material (releasing next week!) and the Greenstyle Brassie Joggers to throw on over my workout attire to keep me warm.

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I want to thank the amazing Becca from Free Notion for putting together this blog tour and Melaniea.d.photography for taking the amazing pictures and FIMGYM for providing the workout space.

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