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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weighty Issues

So I've really been trying to focus on forms of exercise OTHER than just running - I love running, but I think doing multiple exercises will help to keep me strong and prevent injury (if not, it sounds good...right?).

Anyway, I'm pretty foreign to strength training. I'm pretty comfortable with the weight machines at the gym, but I've heard before that free weights are "better." My question is....is this true? I'm not looking to get "ripped," just toned and strong.

So all of you weight lifters/strength trainers out there - what is your opinion?

12 comments:

Erica said...

Hey chicky! I am obviously a big pusher of group fitness. Does you gym have any strength group fitness classes? Its a great way to learn about different exercises and get a balanced workout without having to attempt the weight room (which can be intimidating sometimes...especially with the huge men in tiny tank tops ;)).

NatNibbles said...

I'm big into strength training. I do about 50% cardio/ 50% strength. Strength training actually has a great metabolic effect on your system throughout the whole day. Plus...since women don't have the same chemistry as men, its almost impossible to get bulky.

kristen said...

I'd definitely check to see if your gym offers any classes that uses free weights. I go to one weekly and it has taught me proper form and techniques for using weights when I'm not in class.

Not to mention the soreness you feel the next two days is a great reminder that you gave your body a good workout!

livinghealthyintherealworld said...

I like free weights because they require you to use balance and really focus on what you're doing compared to the machines. When I use machines I kind of feel like a cop out (though obviously that's not true, because you're still working really hard when you use the machines).

Also with free weights you can do so many more different kinds of exercises. And you can do it in the comfort of your own home! Use a mirror though so you can check that you're getting the form right.

- Sagan

Katie said...

I'm by no means a strength training expert, but I do a lot of it. I prefer free weights to the machines because there's so much more you can do. Don't worry about getting bulky. I agree that a class with free weights is a good way to get started. Or find out if your gym offers personal training sessions. Even just one session can help you get started with what to do and how to do it. Good luck!

Every Gym's Nightmare said...

machines do isolated muscle movement, which works, but takes longer to do because you work each muscle individually- when you do free weights you work multiple muscle groups which not only cut down on the time you spend working out, but also trains your body to move in the way its designed to- which prevents injury. I prefer free weights, but both "work".

Kelly Turner
www.everygymsnightmare.com

Missy said...

I am not the expert here but I prefer free weights. I actually get all of my weight training in from group classes. I have a hard time doing it by myself so this would probably be a nice option for you.

theidleloaf said...

I used to be all about the machines... mostly because I didn't want to hang out with the weight room with some of the goombas in there, but since I've switched, I prefer the work out I get from free weights.

Holly said...

Thank you for all your input!!! So general consensus is that free weights are better, and to check out classes at my gym. I work out at the YMCA, so I'm sure they have something? I'm definitely going to do that. And I will have to venture to "that" part of the gym, too (the weight area). I know, how old am I. ;-)

kristen said...

keep us updated about the classes!

and theidleloaf, I like how you called those guys goombas, haha. I call the area of my gym with all the free weights the "meathead" room since most of the guys that work out there wear hand-cut tank tops with sunglasses on their head, sometimes talking on the cell phone.

Fitnessista said...

hey!!!
YESSSSSS! strength training is so important!
if you need a sample weight workout, check out my workout page: www.fitnessistaworkout.blogspot.com

weight training will not bulk you up-- i promise
happy wednesday!

Holly said...

Kristen - they REALLY talk on their cell phones? Um...I sometimes text if I'm walking on the treadmill to warm up, but even then I feel funny. What meatheads. :-)

Gina - thank you! I definitely will check that out - I'm a visual person so I could really use suggestions/ideas!