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Get Motivated to Strength Train

If you're anything like me, it can be hard to find the motivation to do the "other stuff." I'm a runner, which means I like to run. I'm not a lifter, so I don't like to lift. And I definitely don't have much of an attention span for lifting and foam rolling!

If there's one thing from the "other stuff" that you would benefit most from, it's the strength training. It can help you in so many ways. If you do it right, you may not even need to stretch! Here's what strength training can do for you:

  • Improved mobility

  • Injury prevention

  • Improved running performance

  • Improved bone health (decreased risk of stress fractures, osteoporosis)

  • Healthy Aging

So what are my tips for getting motivated to strength train and fitting into the routine?

Set yourself up for success. There are several ways to do this and different things work for different people, which is why you need to think about what works best for you. Here are some things to consider:

  • Time of day - When are you most motivated to do it? What works best with your schedule?

  • Place - For some, it might be tough to get to the gym but you know you'll do the work once you're there. For others, it's easier to fit in the strength training at home. Set up a good space for it that isn't too inconvenient (i.e. a place where you keep all your stuff easily accessible).

  • Scheduling - For some of my clients, when I write them a program, I write them just a few exercises for each day of the week. For others, they do better with a large chunk of exercises in less days. Figure out what works best for you and your schedule.

  • Start small - They say you should make a habit change so easy you can't fail. Maybe that means leaving your dumbbells in your bedroom and starting with just 10 bicep curls a day. Even if you don't start that small, it's better to take it slow rather than getting overwhelmed by starting with a big program.

My #1 Motivation?

A lifting partner! Most of us reach out to friends and groups to find someone to run with. Why don't we do the same thing for strength training? Before the pandemic, I realized I needed a friend to get me motivated to lift. We have continued to meet virtually ever since. It's the most consistent I've been with strength training since college.

What about classes?

Classes can be an easy way to get motivated, but they're not always exactly what we need as runners. Often times, the class focuses on higher reps and lower weight. This is not the best way to build the type of strength needed for increase performance and injury prevention. It's also easy to get ahead of ourselves in a class. This leads to early fatigue, poor form, and resultant injury. The last thing you want to do is get injured doing something that's supposed to keep you from getting injured while running. HIIT training can be a good cross-training exercises but it should not replace weight lifting. Also consider how it impacts your ratio of easy to hard days (80%/20%).

If you have other ways that help you get motivated to do the "other stuff," please share in the comments! Also, please share this blog post with a friend who needs some extra help getting that strength training done!

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