My Weight Loss Story 2: Don’t Ignore Strength Training!

After I discovered the beauty of outdoor run/walk and how the scale moved in my favour, I got hooked on it – still hooked. Of course, who wouldn’t be when the weights were falling off with the speed of light. I ran 5 times a week and took casual walks on Sunday evenings – by the way, Sundays are supposed to be my rest days, but this Vivian ended up doing some form of workout…lol. That’s super addiction (don’t copy me).

As the scale kept moving, I noticed after about 4months of consistent run that something wasn’t right with my body composition. My upper body was weak and much bigger than my lower body. Yes, my endurance level was fast developing, but I lacked physical body STRENGTH. What was going on? Strength Training was missing!

Strength Training (ST)!

A medical dictionary defines strength training as “a method of improving muscular strength by gradually increasing the ability to resist force ……”

This is where push-ups, squats, dips, weights, planks and every other workout program that requires your strength to get them done. You need to work on your muscles and that was the mistake I was making ignorantly.

Boom! Quickly, I reorganised my workout routine to inculcate ST programs by doing the following:

1. I made it a point of duty to hit the gym after my run on the days I had free mornings and focused on weights.

2. Strength training programs which didn’t require any equipment were done at home, especially in the evenings.

3. Sometimes, I’d wake up early to do a few push ups, planks, abs, or dips before hitting the road for a run. (For dips, I use the edge of my bed).

4. I started alternating between my outdoor run and strength training. (E.g. Run on Monday and Strength Train on Tuesday).

With time, my body started to firm up, the composition became better and self confidence was gradually coming back.

Wait a minute! Did I hear you say “I can’t lift weights because I don’t want to be muscular?” Chill, we shall discuss that in another article.

FACT: Strength Training and Cardio MUST remain married. You can’t love one and hate the other if you want to maintain a good body composition.

……….hurricane Vivian!

 

©TheAreaDoctor


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19 thoughts on “My Weight Loss Story 2: Don’t Ignore Strength Training!

    1. Thank you Anonymous 2.24am. Strength training isn’t fun and can be boring at times, but we always look at its benefits and force ourselves to get it done. I’m glad you noticed your uneven body composition quickly.

  1. Why I use time as an excuse to not exercise. Well, yes time is an important factor because I live in a city where everyone is on the run to get ready to office in time. Especially when you have deadlines for every delivery you have to make. You find out that the only exercise you have time to utilize is brisk walking of 10mins to the bus-stop and mental calculation. There’s​ no set time for gym. Weekends you find out you need rest from the busy week you had… Even on Sundays too, the weather or a social obligation can play a fast one on you as to set time for proper 1hr exercise. So, we keep getting busy and no time for exercise.

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    1. Thank you Ada!
      While I understand your plight on time constraints, I would suggest you get a skipping rope. Wake up 20 to 30mins before your regular time and put in a few jump ropes. You sure need that cardio, but do not need a dedicated 1hr to get your workouts done.

      Alternate your jump rope session with other forms of workout on different days.

      Make sure you use the stairs if you have one at work and shun the lifts.

      Most importantly, because of your tight schedule, you should start paying more attention to your meals (we shall discuss meals soon).

      If you need additional information, kindly feel free to ask over and over again.

  2. Well done Vivian. You are such an inspiration to a lot of us.

    I used to be a fit diva but I don’t know where I lost it all. Now it is so difficult to return to base to base. I have practically tried everything except tabs. I have even done keto but I lack the power to say no. My victories are always too short!… and I guess it’s all my fault.
    I have gone from 80kg to 97kg and I am soooòo ashamed to be honest.

    Plz can you help in any way.

    PS: What is your take on ketogenic diet

    1. Thank you Havijedi!
      This is not peculiar with you alone, a lot of people complain of same challenge and that includes me.

      First of all, age plays a big role in this journey. As we begin to hit 40, metabolism rate in some people start dropping. But that should not discourage you at all, just step up your exercise and meal game.

      Secondly, what did you do right then when you lost those kilos. Kindly share a little bit of your meal plans and workouts.

      Thirdly , I’d like to know what changed in your routines. Did you change jobs, location, etc. Or even an emotional disrupt? Feel free to send me a private message if you’d like some form of privacy.

      Fourthly, look for a workout buddy! He/she could be within your location or an online friend.

      Keto? It’s a No-No! Keto is not sustainable and as a matter of fact not advisable for long term. The moment you quit keto, your weight doubles if not controlled. You need all food groups to stay healthy. Applying portion control to your meal is the ideal way of life.

      Overall, this lifestyle is unending, we can’t keep losing or gaining . Sometimes we lose kilos and other times we gain kilos.

      We shall be discussing food anytime soon.

      1. Thank you so much Vivian.

        I had a major surgery last year which interrupted my life and by December last year i moved to Lagos; another interruption!
        Shortly after I moved I started walking atleast 5km daily for between 4-5 days a week but I got robbed (as per jjc) and again i felt terribly discouraged to walk or jog. All the bad things I have heard about Lagos came to life in one incident and viola I stopped exercising and ofcourse cared less……
        I am not a gym person so I feel very reluctant going to the gym plus they are very expensive too.

        My typical meals when i originally lost wwight were unripe plantain, fish, chicken, minimal oil, wheat bread and wheat swallow.

        But I started reading and trying other diets like the ketogenic diet but I never survived the keto fever….so i end up with lots of fat….and cabs with no exercise equals to 97kg.

        Mtcheeeeeeww. There is hope for me

  3. Time is an imperative factor but have less of it due to long hours of work.When I get off work,I am so exhausted,will manage to eat and head straight bed.Now that I have moved,I think I will use to stairs to help and any other suggestion will be appreciated

  4. While I understand that Time is an imperative factor but have less of it due to nature of work and long hours I put.I hardly have time for myself,but when i do I try to get all things done.Before I know,the time is gone.Now,that I have moved,I will stairs more often as recommended to Ada,it will my Cardio.I am open to more suggestions…

    1. Dear Chezzybaby, I apologize for my late response, I only got to see your comment now.

      Recently we wrote an article on time, please see link below.
      https://theareadoctorblog.com/2017/08/25/often-use-time-excuse-not-exercise/

      Truth is we all do not have time, but because our health is paramount, we forcefully create one.

      A lot of us have a mindset that we must a special tag called “workout time”, but you really don’t need that special time. A 10mins on the spot jog is perfect workout routine

      As you set your food on fire or in the microwave, put in 20 squats, jumping jacks, burpees or push ups.

      While at work and need to use the toilet, put in a few squats , wall push ups, elbow to knee or side to side bend, after you’ve “done your thing” in there.

      I hope you find these tips useful.

  5. Dear Havijedi, so sorry to hear about your ordeals. Kindly send me an inbox stating your location in Lagos, hopefully we can find a workout buddy for you and be able to follow up on you closely.

    Don’t give up!

    1. Dear Rahmat, please continue to follow us. Soon, I will be writing an article “My Home My Gym “.
      At some point, I couldn’t afford the gym too, but I did my workouts in my home.

      Until I write that article, keep an eye on your meals.

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