Finding Time For Strength Training

Well, I guess it’s obvious that I’ve been busy lately. I know I sound like a broken record, but school and grad school have consumed my life lately, along with friends, family, and other projects I have been working on. I’m still running all the time and loving it, but when I’m pressed for time other things get pushed to the side. Swimming, yoga, and strength training are the three big ones I’ve been slacking on lately. I have been able to squeeze in Body Pump classes once or twice a week and even though I love it, it’s been tough to find time and energy to go to a class for an hour when I’m tired and have other things to get done. Because of this I have been looking for ways to do strength training at home more quickly and efficiently. At the same time, Kevin has become more and more interested in CrossFit from one of his coworkers that is really into it. He suggested that we try an at-home WOD (Workout of the Day), and since I slept through Body Pump this morning I decided to go for it.

The WOD he wanted to do was called a 21-15-9. It’s basically a circuit workout that had us doing three exercises in a row: push ups, tricep dips, and kettlebell swings. The goal was to first do 21 reps of all three exercises- 21 push ups, 21 tricep dips, 21 kettlebell swings – followed by 15 reps of each exercise, and then 9 reps of each to finish off the workout. We were supposed to try to do this as fast as we could with minimal rest.

I knew this was going to be tough, but I didn’t realize HOW tough until I was actually doing it. Actually, I realized about 10 seconds in during the first 21 push ups. I’ve been working on my push up form and it was SO hard for to do 21 in a row. I dropped to my knees after the first 12 or so to keep good form.

After the push ups my arms felt like absolute JELLO starting the tricep dips. I felt like they were going to collapse under me. I had to stop and rest for a few seconds during this part.

Then onto the kettlebell swings. Even though the kettlebell is only 8 pounds, it felt like 50 in my weak arms. To do a kettlebell swing you start in a squatting position with the kettlebell between your legs, then snap your hips to push up into standing, bracing your core, and using your arm and back muscles to swing the kettlebell over your head.

Set 2: 15 reps of each exercise. This time I dropped to my knees much more quickly during the push ups and I could feel my form deteriorating (and you can see that in the picture too).

Tricep dips – oh the pain!

Kettlebell swings once again… (nice angle Kevin)

When I finished the second set I was exhausted and sweaty. I told myself I had only 9 more of each exercise and that I could do it. It was so hard! The push ups made me want to die and it’s a miracle I didn’t collapse on the tricep dips. This is the look of determination:

I finished in 7 minutes and 50 seconds and immediately laid on the floor. My heart was beating fast and I was sweating like I had just run a few miles. All of that in less than 8 minutes. That’s crazy!

Then it was Kevin’s turn. I wanted to go first so that he didn’t make me feel bad about myself, haha!

He rocked it out in 5 minutes and 30 seconds. He’s a machine! But it left him lying on the floor too 🙂

After we finished we starting talking about how it’s seriously amazing that such a short workout can leave you weak, shaky, and sweaty. I can really see how CrossFit can build your strength and endurance quickly. CrossFit was also featured in a recent issue of Runners World. The article was all about how beneficial CrossFit style workouts can be to your running and overall strength. I love the idea of CrossFit, but right now we definitely could not afford to pay the steep membership fees. At our town’s CrossFit location, they have packages that range from $10 – $20 per class and that’s just too much to pay along with our regular gym membership. Although I love the idea of CrossFit, I’m not willing to make the switch right now because I love our gym, the pool, and the classes it offers. However, I have found a few links that have a lot of at-home/travel WODs that you can do with little or no equipment. Kevin and I are looking forward to trying more of these in the future!

Have you tried CrossFit? Did you find it was worth the price? What’s your favorite WOD?

P.S. My goal for March is post more than I did in February. I only posted ONCE in February (I can’t even believe that!) so this shouldn’t be that hard 🙂

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2 responses to “Finding Time For Strength Training

  1. Oooh, welcome back! Hehe. That workout looks intense… I’m definitely all about intense quick workouts. Everyone that “doesn’t have time to exercise” needs this in their life!

    I’ve never used a kettlebell before but I keep hearing so much about them!

  2. CrossFit is a really amazing program. I live 2 hours away from the closest affiliate, but have found that if you have the equipment needed and the motivation to do it alone, you can totally succeed and get better and stronger. My favorite all time CF workout is “grace” – where you do 30 reps of the clean and jerk for time. First time I did it with just the bar (25#) and 4 months later I was able to complete it with 65#! It’s amazing how fast you see results with CrossFit!

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