Ever since I’ve recovered from my year-and-a-half long hip injury, I’ve come back to what I know I do best: weight lifting.
I’ve been an athlete all my life and I have played every competitive sport in school you can name whether it was football, basketball, volleyball, swimming, ultimate frisbee or even golf (I have a snobby polo outfit and some embarrassing pictures to prove it). I dove into yoga, running, cycling and even pole dancing late last year and nothing seemed to do it for me the way weight lifting does. I personally enjoy it, I like the way I feel during and after it, I like the way I look from doing it–and the simple pleasure of surprising myself with how much my bodyweight can handle is irreplaceable–but enough about that. I’m back to a sport I’ve been seriously involved with, leading up to the injury, but my methods have changed this year and I can’t just not share it with you guys.
In the past, I engaged in what is known as the bodybuilding style of training. No, I don’t mean steroids and oversized biceps in my case. I competed in Bikini bodybuilding, and intend to go into detail with my experience in competitive bikini bodybuilding in a whole different post because it played in very important role in my struggle with eating disorders, so tune in. The point I am making in this post is that I used to do the type of training that focused mainly on aesthetics. Compound lifts such as deadlifts (picured above) and squats are extremely functional and aids with strength gains, but the rest of my lifts prioritized looks over strength and function.
Since I no longer compete (or care to), I have shifted my priority in the weight room. My goals for 2016 is to be stronger and more agile. I’m not going to lie and tell you I have no plans to lean out, but I see getting lean as a plus after my strength and agility goals are reached. It’s one of those things that will just happen if I consistently train and eat the high carb, wholesome vegan way that I do. May I add that there are so many ways to achieve the body you want and so many ways to become strong and agile; this just happens to be my personal favorite.
My training program for the past three weeks (yeah, I’m a shitcunt New Year resolution gym-goer. You dig?) has been a mixture of full-body lifting days, high intensity interval training days (HIIT) and steady-state cardio (cycling, incline walking). I shift my workouts around to fit my schedule, but here’s a sample week for you to get an idea:
Monday – LIFT (Full body)
Tuesday – HIIT (15-30 min)
Wednesday – Steady-state cardio (30-45 min)
Thursday – Rest
Friday – LIFT (Full body)
Saturday – HIIT (15-30 min)
Sunday – Rest
I’m usually in and out of the gym within the hour. I don’t believe in training long; I believe in training smart. For best results, I’ve learned (the hard way) that less is more (in the gym, not in the kitchen. I am ANTI calorie restriction by ALL MEANS), and the fastest results follow using your time wisely. Spending three hours in the gym but not really structuring your sets properly, taking too long of a break between sets is not going to get you very far.
The most important part of engaging in weight lifting and other taxing athletic activities is you have to FUEL yourself with enough food. I can’t stress how eating enough is the key to most things in life. I’m not even exaggerating. The brain itself runs on glucose, so when you’re not carbed up, how the fuck do you expect yourself to be able to think straight? Grumpy when you’re on a low-carb diet? Been there. Done that. Utter bullshit. Eat up and watch great things happen to yourself. Eating enough and feeling satiated on a vegan diet is not going to make you fat.
Don’t believe me? Here’s proof.
I hope this was enough to inspire you to get in the weight room and pick some metal up this week. It’s a whole lot of fun and a whole lot of results if I do say so myself. Check out fellow awesome vegan female lifters like NaturallyStefanie and Holly Brown Fit for more inspo.