Monday, January 25, 2010


Happy Monday everyone! I gotta tell you, I really didn't miss Mondays last week when we had it off!

Thanks for all of your supportive comments in response to Wedding Meltdown Number ? I am definitely fully aware that it is one day, in fact, I think that is part of the reason I get so annoyed with all the discussions and work it involves. I thought I'd be a good person to be engaged for a long time because it would spread it out, but I think in the end I probably would've dealt better with thinking about it a lot for a short amount of time and then having it be over. Oh well, nothing we can do about that now :)

Anyway, today I want to talk about something completely different: balance. If someone asked me to use one word to describe life, I think I would probably pick the word balance. Think about it: Life is all about balance. You need balance between work and fun. You need balance between your significant other and friends. You need a balance between healthy eating and a few treats. I personally cannot think of anytime where balance is not the best policy.

So I guess it would be no surprise that when I asked my weight class teacher what I should be doing for my third workout each week, she said the most important thing is that I balance the muscle groups I am working. Since my third workout comes three days after Wednesday lift and two days before my Monday one, I don't really have to worry about exhausting specific muscles without a rest day. However, I do have to make sure I balance opposing muscle groups. For example, if I m going to work my quad muscles (front of the thigh), Is should follow it with hamstrings (back of the thigh). This will keep my muscles balanced, which is important since imbalance can cause injuries. For example, patellafemoral syndrome or "runner's knee" (which I was originally diagnosed with in June 09) is often caused by an imbalance in the quadriceps.

On Saturday I designed my own work out, but I focused on balancing the muscles I was using. I wrote it out on a notecard the night before so I could consult with Eric on some of them. My workout ended up looking like this:

Sit Against Wall, 3 Minutes- Quadriceps
Reverse Dead Lifts 8lbs, 2 sets 15 reps- Hamstrings

Push Ups, 2 sets 15 reps- Chest and Triceps
Seated Row 40 lbs, 2 sets 15 reps- Back and Biceps

Shoulder Press 12 lbs, 2 sets 15 reps, Shoulders (front)
Lat Pull Down 60 lbs, 2 sets 15 reps- Lats (back)

Swiss Ball Crunch- 2 sets 10 reps- Abs
Prone Jackknives- 2 sets 10 reps- Abs
Roman Chair Exercise- 2 sets 15 reps- Lower Back

It was very balanced and I could DEFINITELY feel it on Sunday, whew! Much as I love my lifting class, I enjoy doing it on my own sometimes because it is so much faster.

Do you try to work opposing muscle groups at all? Do you like to lift on your own?

Even for those cardio lovers (myself included) among us, this is something to think about. When we use the same machines for the most part, we do sometimes create an imbalance in our muscles. Not sure how to solve that problem though... except to say, change it up!


  1. Balance is so important. It really helps with everything. I've really tried to regain my balance in my right leg. I had surgery 2 years ago for my ACL and then it tore again. All the nerves are not working so its hard to judge where my leg is. So frustrating. I try to work on it at least twice a week.

  2. Some day when I can afford to have someone take me through the weight machines or even free weights and talk me through everything I've forgotten since 9th grade gym class I would love to lift and do it safely for my back. Til then, I will continue to do random weight lifting and probably do more damage thang good.

  3. I too feel that balance is key! Its a delicate struggle from day to day, but totally necessary to find. Preventing injury and finding physical balance can be done different way depending on what one's exercise/sport/thing is. Mixing it up definitely helps!

  4. There is really not balance to my workouts whatsoever. I know I need to work on that, but when I am training for a half or full, the schedule doesn't allow for much balance! But, after the full in the fall, I fully intend to switch things up. I think I have just gotten so comfortable with running and it's such an amazing work out, I always feel like it's the most efficient work out, but I am sure i would benefit from adding in strength training & swimming/biking.

  5. Thanks for a great reminder. I don't usually think about balancing my workout and I definitely would like to avoid an injury. I never really thought about trying to strengthen everything and not just one muscle area - I imagine a lot of people do that trying to fix their "trouble" spots.

    Great post!

  6. I totally agree with you - balance is so key! nice job on balancing your strength training routine!

  7. THI have heard this concept before, but not read much about it. I appreciate the information. I'm trying to think whether I do this or not, and I think I do (for the most part). I will definitely think about it more often though. Thanks.

    As for your comment on my blog, there is also insoluble fiber in whole grains. It is quite likely that the insoluble fiber was causing you GI upset. The soluble fiber is found mainly in the bran. Oat bran is mainly soluble, other whole grain products are a mix of both.

  8. I'm going to beat wordpress, ha! Commenting on my google account:

    I need more balance!
    Seriously, I know nothing about strength training. I didn't even think about balancing the muscle groups! I feel slightly stupid now that I think about it it seems obvious. I need you to teach me please. I did strength training today, a lot of which was PT exercises and then incorporated some of my own stuff, I feel it now!

  9. I was actually just thinking about this this morning at the gym - I LOVE lifting. I've been really, really enjoying lifting lately. I feel strong when I do it and I feel like I've worked HARD after!

    I like doing lifting on my own. I'm not sure what kind of class you do at your Y but the one at my Y SUCKED! It was an hour-long, boring weight class that honestly didn't challenge me at all. Even when I upped the weight I still wouldn't get sore the next day. I actually like doing lifting that has me working so hard that I'm sweating and even breathing a bit hard after a set and the lifting class at my Y (Called Rep Reebok) so wasn't doing that for me!

  10. hey lady! i'm not currently doing any strength training... i know, i should, it's so good for you. but anyhoo i do think balance is so beneficial when applied to one's life. work enough to appreciate the play, play enough to be rejuvenated for work, balance social time with solitude, etc. balance rocks :)

  11. and i need to get my rear to the gym so i can finish that elliptical challenge, yikes!

  12. No worries girl. We all have our meltdown moments. At least your being proactive and setting rules to help with it. Those workouts will definitly help with that too. Great workout!

  13. Good points about balance...

    I do not enjoy lifting on my own at all... in fact, I just don't do it. It's dragged out in group classes, but I love the bursts of cardio between sets to keep the heart rate going. I lift WAY more in a group environment because I don't want to be the girl who drops her arms first. :p

  14. Sounds like a great workout! Nice job!

  15. Looks like you are getting the hanging of lifting wiehgts! Thats a great full body workout!!

  16. Wow sounds like an awesome workout! I have lifted forever (since high school track days) and was pretty serious in my undergrad varsity rower days but this year I haven't been to the gym once, just running and yoga for this girl. I really like the change, I just think I needed a break from the gym. Last year I was spending 4-6 hours a day there between coaching and my own workouts and while I miss the rowing atmosphere I don't really miss the workouts too much.

  17. I agree that balance is the best policy. Balance is not easy. I'm glad things are going better.

  18. It is tough to get a good balance...of balance. I think I am in that good place now.
    I find lifting boring. I'd rather run but I am making a concerted effort to get in session on my own in and one with our coach.