Friday, February 25, 2011

Harder, Better, Faster Stronger: Why YOU should pick up Weights

I grew up in a house where I was lucky enough to have active parents. I remember taking long hikes on weekends, learning how to bike with my dad, and ski trips like the one below.
Fun Skiing Trip!
Whenever I see Oprah or Montel on television, it is hard to not be reminded of my Aunt Barbara intently watching TV while multi tasking babysitting and bicep curls. You could definitely say I got my passion for healthy living from my family.
Mom, Sister, Me
This is probably the reason the gym never really intimidated me. I was there all the time, it seems like, while my parents finished their cycling class or my dad played hoops with us.

When I moved to Portland and joined a new smelly gym. I did feel slightly intimidated by all the meat heads guys doing squats with 500 pounds on the bar.

awkward. Source

I knew that I had to quickly get over this because weight training is part of a healthy lifestyle. A few of the MANY benefits of a weight training program....
  • Use it Or You'll LOSE IT: Muscle mass naturally decreases as you age. If you don't do anything about the lean muscle you lose, it will be replaced with fat.
  • As you have strength gains, your body becomes more efficient at burning calories. As cardio helps you burn a ton of calories at one time, strength training helps your body burn calories after you have left the gym! Perfecto!
  • Happier: Pumping iron has mood altering effects that keep you smilin' and confident. :)
Where to Begin?!
  • Exercise Video's If you've never lifted weights before, start with a weight training exercise video in your own house! Jillian Michael's 30 day Shred is one of my favorites. Best thing about its a only 20 minutes of (sweaty) exercise. You can either buy cheap weights OR use cans of soup. Trust me, 50 reps with 2 cans seems heavy after a while..

  • Feel Good, Do Good I know my best weight workouts come when I feel positive about myself. If I am feeling down or unmotivated before the gym, I pick out a cute exercise outfit and put on a little mascara so when I am pumpin' iron I feel confident!

  • Have a Plan! Whenever I know its a strength workout day, I typically have some sort of routine I am going to follow. This is key to not feeling intimidated or nervous around the weights. Below is my trusty workout journal with work outs that I borrowed from Janetha, Julie, and Tina.

Have a Great Weekend!!


  1. Love the ski picture! Thanks for the reminder. Weights is the missing ingredient in my fitness program!

  2. Great entries, Eliza :)

    I really enjoy reading your healthy tips and advice. Is that ski picture at Lost Valley? Remember the good old days when we would go ice-skating down at the pond? ;-)

    Love, Lau-Jane