I’ve made just a few new year’s “resolutions”. The first of my resolutions is to do all the slicing and dicing for the week’s meals ahead of time on Sunday. So far this new year’s goal has been a huge FAIL. My second goal was to increase the amount of strength training I do each week. When I first started training for the half marathon back in September, strength training was required twice a week. On Mondays I went to the Les Mills Body Pump classes at my gym and on Thursdays I did 30 minutes of strength training on my own, trying my best to remember some of the exercises I did with the personal trainer back in the summer.
From this experience, I’ve learned that I suck at doing strength training on my own. In order to be successful with it, I would need to plan out exercises ahead of time and, well, I just don’t have the time to do that. Without a plan, I usually stand in front of the free weights, contemplating what the heck to do with them and default to doing a lot of bicep curls. I realized that one of the things I really liked about having the personal trainer was that I didn’t have to think about it. He told me what to do and I did it. While I would have loved to continue with the personal trainer, it’s just way to expensive. So my next default was the Body Pump classes, which are included in my membership at the gym. What I didn’t like about doing strength training on my own (pre-planning a workout) was made up for with the class (following what the instructor told the class to do). So now that I’ve found a strength training class that takes to thinking out of it for me, I’ve made it a goal to go three times a week. Now that we are just over one week into the new year, I can say I’ve been successful so far.
On the down side of the Body Pump class, I don’t feel like the workouts are as good as they were with the personal trainer. With him, we worked on core strength a lot more than in the Body Pump class. I feel like I’ve actually lost some of my strength since ending my personal training sessions and beginning Body Pump. The Body Pump classes are the same each session, but the routine changes once a quarter. From what I can tell, the order always stays the same though: Start with a warm up, move onto quads (squats), then chest, then back (my personal favorite- perhaps I need to increase my weight if I like it so much), followed by triceps, then biceps, then calves (lunges), then shoulders, and finally abs. While I like knowing what will come next, I find that my upper body gets fatigued with chest and back before we hit triceps and I can barely make it through triceps and shoulders, my two weakest areas, which leaves me disappointed.
Do any of you have good tricep and shoulder exercises you recommend? Something I can do on my own without having to put a ton of thought into the exercises? Something that builds core strength at the same time? I’ve love the advice!