Angie vs. Strength Training

I have had a long history of hate for strength training.

It seems like such a chore to me and I do not look forward to it the way I do with my runs and yoga classes.

I am trying to really figure out why I hate it, and the things that occurred to me are:

  • I get bored. I think this stems more from not knowing what I am doing, more than anything. I sometimes wander from machine to free weights, wondering what I should do next.
  • No one is telling me what to do. In yoga class, there is direct instruction nearly the whole time; I do not have to think for myself. However, while strength training, I usually have to figure it out on my own.
  • …unless, of course I am using one of my many workout DVDs. But, there about 1,000 other things I would rather be doing while I am at home then hearing Jillian Michaels tell me not to “phone it in.”
  • I am afraid I will hurt myself. I am constantly questioning if I am using proper form and vacillate between pushing myself to the point of “injury” pain and “pumping iron” pain.
  • I do not push myself hard enough. I have worked with a personal trainer before and I remember being shocked by how much I could lift and how I somehow would manage one more rep, even though my brain said I couldn’t. However, when this never seems to happen when I am working out alone.

I cancelled the gym in August of last year. I did this for a couple of reasons:

  • The gym was becoming a source of guilt for me. I hardly ever went, and when I did, it was only to relieve my guilt of paying for a membership and never going.
  • I preferred to get my workouts in either through running or yoga.
  • I have a weight room at the school I work at that I can utilize after school. (Not that I really do.)
  • I have plenty of Jillian DVDs that are collecting dust.


It was a great sense of relief when I finally cancelled the gym. However, I know this does not mean that I can get out of strength training.

Want to know the MOST frustrating this about strength training to me?

It works. I see results when I am consistent with it.

I wish I had a reason NOT to do it, but the fact that I know it is good for me ups the annoyance factor.

When worked with a personal trainer for a few months, I was in the best shape of my life. He kicked my butt and pushed me harder than I would have ever pushed myself. I lifted things I would have never even tried to lift on my own. I not only felt and looked stronger, but it also improved my running.

I have heard countless times that strengthening up the muscles in my legs, abs, shoulders, etc. will improve my running. I felt those results for myself at the LA Marathon in 2010.

I was working with my trainer and preparing for the marathon. I remember telling him not to make me work my legs so hard, because I had a long training run coming up that weekend. He, of course, never listened to my complaints and pushed me through it. I started feeling the improvements each training run. My legs felt stronger and I had more endurance.

I have always reached the point in marathons where I feel like I cannot take another step more. It is usually around mile 23 (although sometimes sooner), however in LA, I never hit that wall. I even picked up the pace around mile 23 (unheard of, in previous Iamgoingtodie 23 mile marks). I was definitely feeling fatigued, but not completely wiped out.


I know this something that is good for me. I know it will improve my running and overall health, but I am in need of help and motivation.

How do you strength train? Do you go to the gym or do it on your own? How do you find the motivation? How do you combat boredom?


4 thoughts on “Angie vs. Strength Training

  1. I teach a Body Pump class and do heavier lifting with a trainer. Body Pump is nice because someone IS telling you what to do. If left to my own devices I am completely clueless and don’t push myself at all.

  2. Hey there ! This post really speaks to me because I hate strength training. However, I just cancelled my personal trainer (too expensive) and am now going to be doing it on my own (tomorrow being trip #1 to the gym solo!). My trainer recommended getting a strength training app that helps with boredom by giving you new workouts. Also, the app can help you create a routine, log your workouts, etc. I bought a few of them and I’m going to try them out over the next week and review them on my blog. HOPEFULLY one of themw ill help me stick to strength training because like you, i REALLY see results when I’m consistent but have zero motivation to do it. Let’s go about this together!

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