Sometimes you need to turn things around and try something different, so today I checked out 360fit in Dartmouth. I’ve been pretty focused on my running and have been neglecting strength training, which motivated me to book a session with my friend Coach Laura Albert and have her introduce me to the basics of lifting.
When I say I’ve neglected strength training, I mean I haven’t done much more than an occasional bicep curl in the last 8 months. I’m a tad embarrassed but I’m owning up to it and acknowledging that I need strength to be fit and to be a better runner so here goes…
After a warm-up on the rower and some girl talk (I haven’t seen Laura in two years so we had some catching up to do) we got started with the squat, then the bench press and finished off with the basics of the deadlift. Now, just because I studied kinesiology and have my personal trainer certification doesn’t mean I’m confident enough to consider myself an expert in strength training. It’s better to ask for help and get it right, than to try to figure it out on your own and get it wrong.
I pride myself on having good posture and knowing how to hinge at the hip properly, so it was reassuring to know I wasn’t getting everything about lifting wrong. I’m a good breather, and while that sounds ridiculous to many, proper breathing during strength training is as important as it is during running or yoga. Laura observed my biomechanics from every angle (well, it’s not called 360fit for nothin’) and with some minor fixes and spot-on cuing, I felt a significant difference from any other strength training session I’ve had in the past. (I learned that my foot position and placement on the floor during the squat was all wrong and no one had ever taught me to press my legs/feet into the floor when doing a bench press!)
As a runner with a lazy ass, glute activation is a big deal for me and engaging the core (did you read my last post about my upcoming surgery?) is critical. It’s going to take a little practice to get my lats and core and glutes to work together without consciously whispering that little checklist to myself (tripod feet, set my lats, brace my core, hinge at hips…).
We focused on three exercises in our hour session, and it was time well spent. Working with Laura helped reduce the intimidation factor of going to my local gym and lifting by myself. Yes, I get intimidated! Plop me on the treadmill and I’ll kick its ass, but plunk me in front of some weights and I’m praying no buff dude focused on making gains or getting swole watches what I’m doing in the mirror!
I feel ready to get my lift on at the gym next non-run day and today was a good reminder that sometimes, even a trainer needs to be trained. Heck, even Laura admitted that she takes video of her own lifts so she can analyse her technique. I’m not as strong as I want to be, but I took the first step to getting there.
Thank you to Coach Laura and the awesome staff at 360 Fit High Intensity Fitness in Dartmouth for the great morning! #dontfighttheawesome