Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Strength training vs. Cardio

Yesterday's Workout:
45-minute BodyJam Class
60-minute Burn & Firm Class

Total Time: 1 hour, 46 minutes
Average Heart Rate: 120
Total Calories Burned: 675

Today's Workout:
(4 minutes running, 1 minute walking=25 minutes)
Total Body Workout (Circuit-style, 3 sets of 12 reps for each exercise)
1A: Wide-grip lat pull-down
1B: Dumbbell side lunge
1C: One-arm dumbbell row
1D: Dumbbell squat
1E: Bicep Curl
2A: Narrow-grip reverse lat pull-down
2B: Reverse dumbbell lunge
2C: Wide grip barbell row
2D: Straight-leg dumbbell deadlift
2E: Triceps dips

Shoulder Complex (3 sets of 10 reps per exercise performed back-to-back)
3A: Press
3B: Lateral raise
3C: Upright row

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Average Heart Rate: 136
Total Calories Burned: 694

I really do love to workout. Sure there are days when I have to drag myself to the gym, but I never regret going and I always enjoy myself once I'm there. I'm pretty addicted to those endorphins that exercise gives me without fail.

For most of my adult life, I would be considered a cardio-junkie. I started running when I was 15 and ventured into aerobics classes, spinning and riding the elliptical in college. I ran three half-marathons while going to school at BYU and generally felt pretty good about my fitness abilities. My obsession with cardio workouts continued after my first child was born and when she was about 15 months old, I started training for my first marathon. I trained for about 3 months before I found out I was expecting baby #2 and I ended up running that marathon (Richmond) when I was 11 weeks pregnant! (Note: This is not something I would recommend doing nor do I ever plan on doing it in the future!!)

Soon after my second baby was born, I was back at the gym and a year later I was training for another marathon (Baltimore). Soon after that marathon though, I knew I needed a change in my workouts. While I had great cardio endurance, I felt really soft and I wanted to firm up a bit of that extra flab. Near the end of 2009, I began to get more serious about weight training and I loved the results. I finally started to see the changes that I had been seeking by combining quality cardio workouts with intense weight workouts and I really liked these changes. In the spring of 2010, I was healthier and thinner than I had even been in my adult life. I loved the way my body had changed due to weight training and loved the strong feeling it left me with after every workout. So with this pregnancy, I've changed things up a bit. In some ways, I'm performing an experiment with my own body. I exercised throughout my second pregnancy but it was almost all cardio-based. With this pregnancy, I'm still doing plenty of cardio workouts, but I am trying to emphasize doing more weight workouts as well this time around. I really like doing total body weight workouts and I do them circuit-style in order to get the most bang for my allotted time at the gym. I'm really interested to see the results of this informal "experiment," to see if I'm able to bounce back quicker after this pregnancy and how my body will respond to these changes. I guess we'll all find out in a few months!!

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