How strength training helped a cardio lover
You’re probably thinking this is gonna be another one of those “lifting weights won’t make you bulky” blogs.. Well, you’re right. And also, it won’t!
This is just my little story of how I started strength training and the things I have noticed along the way.
I was your typical cardio lover, now there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but since starting strength training, it just hasn’t been as paramount to my mental health as it once was. When Angus started Pegasus under the house in Sunrise Beach a few years ago I used to find myself doing 45mins - 60mins of high intensity cardio most days of the week (minimum 5), and while this was great for my mental state and my moods, it was doing nothing to shape my body in the way that I wanted (I just didn’t know what I had to do to get it back then).
I suffered low back pain daily and the only time it would ease was when there was some form of strength training in our programming (usually something as simple as planks or KB swings). I didn’t make the connection back then, I only thought I needed to work harder and more often in order for it to not hurt again.
I was slim, there’s no doubt about it, but I was weak and immobile (cue more daily pain); in addition to low back pain on the reg, I had very inactive glutes (hello low back pain), my shoulders and thoracic spine were stiff as a board and I had no “tone” as in, I still didn’t “feel” fit.
*On the left you'll see cardio lover, no bum - ie. sore lower back allll the time. On the right you'll see strength training AND cardio lover, feeling much more confident in myself and way less pain (other than muscle soreness obvs)
Angus started teaching me how to strength train, but I was still super addicted to the rush you feel after a high intensity workout and not completely sold. It honestly (so vain) wasn’t until I saw some pics of me from behind and my butt looked so much bigger and rounder and happier, that I started to see the light!
In addition to this very shallow reason for beginning to love strength training was the feelings I was having after getting PBs and seeing myself get stronger. There is no doubt about it that I am the strongest and fittest I have ever been in my life. I am also the most mentally happy and content I have ever ever been (I am turning 36 soon!).
If you are still like I was and you haven’t discovered strength training yet, and you’re still loving your cardio, please do yourself a favour and try it out, even just for 3 months, and if you don’t feel stronger and happier then I will eat Angus’s hat.
In addition to these super rad benefits, if you ARE a female and if you’re over 30, I have some bad news for you; you have already reached your peak bone density of your lifetime. And the only way to slow this degradation down, is to put your bones under a stimulus which makes them want to grow stronger, this is done through resistance training and lifting weight in order to force your muscles to pull on your bones. The bone then responds to this stimulus by laying down more bone tissue - true story.
*This is me now, I am loving the training and the way it makes me feel. They say do something every day that gets you out of your comfort zone, because that's where growth lies. Well you do a set of 8 bulgarian squats each leg every 90seconds for 5 sets and tell me its comfortable!
I now have no low back pain, my shoulder and thoracic mobility has improved drastically, I can deadlift 90kg and bench press almost my bodyweight (this might seem lame but trust me, you feel pretty damn good when you do it). I can do pushups, pullups and occasionally nail a 30 second handstand. I like to think that if (god forbid) I was to have to defend myself, I would stand a much better chance now than I would have when I was cardio mad.