Ever since I got my MacBook Air, I’ve been writing my blog posts on the train. Even though I’m not always keen on tying myself to a computer for an hour before I sit down at my desk for 8 hours, I like that I get an hourish of writing done in the morning, and more if I write again on the train home. Usually by that point, I’m so ready for a break from looking at a screen, that I put my headphones in and zone out for the ride. The train ride isn’t bad – if I could ride on top of the train and take photos, I would, because we pass some pretty beautiful scenery as the sun rises.
Today is rainy so everything is a bit slick and shinier than usual. We just passed a track, and I was impressed to see people out there running in the rainy cold. Even though I ran outside on Monday on my lunch break and it was so much better than the treadmill, getting myself out there to do it in the winter months can be tough. In fact, I don’t think I’m alone when I say that pushing myself in regards to most things isn’t always easy.
I’m chugging along on my New Rules of Lifting for Women, about to finish the first stage. I wish I’d taken photos and measurements at the beginning, because it would be interesting to compare results, but alas, I did not. Perhaps before Stage 2. Anyway, this morning was workout A of Stage 1 which starts with squats. When I started NROLFW the first time, it took me a long time to use the squat rack – I would just grab whichever barbell I could lift over my shoulders and use that. As my legs are about a gajillion times stronger than my upper body, this meant I wasn’t really getting a good leg workout. Finally, Alex introduced me to the squat rack and I started doing heavier weights.
This morning at the gym, I was squatting a total of 90 pounds when I commented to Alex that I wasn’t dying at the end of the sets, but I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to actually lift heavier weights from the bottom of the squat. He told me to add weight and take advantage of having a spotter. So I said, “I guess I could add 2.5 pounds to each side.” He gave me a look and added ten pounds to each side – and I did it! Knowing Alex was there to help me made it less scary to push myself.
But we don’t always have a spotter at the gym (or in life for that matter) so how do safely push ourselves?
(Note: Don’t lift super heavy weights without a spotter – injury is more than likely.)
- Try a new fitness class to change up your routine – try yoga, ballet, barre method, pilates, or hula hooping!
- Put on your workout clothes and head out the door when you don’t feel like it – maybe you’ll just walk but that’s better than sitting on the couch watching re-runs of Real Housewives
- Always use the weight machines? Try out free weights. You don’t even have to go heavier – you’ll still get a different workout.
- If you always workout solo, try a team sport – basketball, soccer, softball, rugby, hockey, football – there are tons of options!
- Maybe pushing yourself out of your comfort zone means scheduling in rest days – so take a day off and stay warm and cozy inside
- Are you a runner? Sign up for a race – even a 5k – and see how it improves your training
Finding your edge is the only way to improve, get stronger/faster/better or whatever is you want your goal to be. These are just simple ways to do so and if you lift weights, find a spotter and add another 10 pounds!