And then I miss a week, or two.
Have you ever done that? Been consistently strolling along in your fitness with one to two solid strength workouts each week...but feeling like it wasn't doing much?
And then you missed a few?
Oh man! It was so difficult! Every body part was challenging. I used my normal weights but they felt twice as heavy. It was what we call a suffer-fest. Several times during my first workout back, I had to take a knee and catch my breath. I was even a little lightheaded.
And then the next day came. I was OK in the morning, but as the afternoon wore on, the soreness started creeping in. First my chest muscles. Then my shoulders and triceps. Then, oh God, my legs. As I shuffled through the rest of my work day, I struggled to get up and down off the floor to demonstrate exercises. Everything was sore and stiff. (I know some of you are rejoicing at this haha!)
What the heck???
As I thought about this, I realized how much I was accomplishing during every workout. Even if I no longer see significant changes in my body, I am maintaining my fitness! And this is what it feels like to lose it. Um...no thanks. It was a great reminder to me that:
1. Every workout is accomplishing a lot!
2. Without consistent strength training, our muscles lose it very quickly.
3. Having workouts feel that difficult is very motivating to stay consistent.
4. Having my muscles be that sore is even more motivating to stay consistent.
It's really quite sustainable. Two solid strength training workouts each week. If you are doing that already, and I know a lot of you are, great job! What a victory! If you aren't, it's a fabulous, empowering, confidence-building thing. And then life gets nuts, you miss a few, and suffer. What a great reminder of how important strength training is to a healthy, happy life.