Thursday, April 25, 2013

Switching from strength to fat loss....

I have been doing some sort of sport since I was 12. I started with softball, played volleyball then moved on to tennis. When I turned 18, I joined US Swim and Fitness, and no, they are no longer around, that's how long ago it was.  I followed the trends: aerobics, step aerobics, weight machines etc. It wasn't until I started working at a club that I really started incorporating  free weights and getting serious about lifting. Of course, as a woman, I was reminded of the hype: we shouldn't lift heavy because we would look like a man, it's not feminine to see muscles on a lady, we shouldn't grunt or sweat, whatever the hell that's supposed to mean. I bucked those trends. I trained in the weight area with the boys, I grew stronger, and no, I didn't end up looking like a man. After a while though, I lost focus. It was no longer fun to train, so, I mindlessly went to the gym with no goal, and slowly over the years, I gained weight. I finally got fed up, and started focusing on fat loss. I mean, what woman doesn't want to be a size 2 right? Well, I started losing the weight, but, again, started to lose focus, until I took up powerlifting. This gave me goals to shoot for. It didn't matter if you had a little extra junk in the trunk, this was a strength sport, not zumba or some silly boot camp gym class. So, I forged ahead, set some records, got stronger and hurt myself. I took a step back, tried to rehab, but only until recently did I realize I really didn't enjoy it anymore, so, I decided to switch gears, time to lose the extra bulk I put on. Now, how do I do that? I feel like I am taking a step backwards in a way, mostly because my ego is having a hard time believing that doing circuit training with minimal rest would be that hard. Yeah bro, keep thinking like that. The truth is, switching gears is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Sure, I am doing higher reps, with lower weight, but, shouldn't I be able to squat more than 100 lbs? I'm not an idiot, I realize strength training is very different from endurance training, but it's still hard to wrap my little brain around that. The other side is that with powerlifting, you have three lifts, so, your training focuses on those, and maybe a little ancillary as well, but, little to know cardio, and rest is key, so going from that to more lifts, less weight, cardio and minimal rest is a challenge, plus trying to figure out what lifts to do adds to the confusion. I suppose I could just order P90x and go that route, but, again, I've done the fads before, and while they work for some, this chick is not about to make that call. Maybe it's time to cut myself some slack, realize that this is a new learning curve, and I should just focus on enjoying training again, because really wasn't that the point in the first place?

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