How do I make myself do strength training?!?


I know I need to strength train, but I don’t want to. I’m a lone workout person (minus a yoga class that I absolutely love but it hasn’t been offered in person) with a variable schedule. Currently, I try to fit 4 runs/week in as my family/work/weather/daylight allow.

Do you have any tips, hints, or strategies that might help me to make this important commitment?

That’s a tough question, @SarahG, but I think it’s one that many runners ask. At this point, the research is pretty unequivocal, strength training is necessary for injury prevention, injury recovery, performance, and more. It’s one of the key activities for slowing the effects of aging as well.

I answered it for myself by creating my own twice-weekly workout group with some close friends who are roughly similar to me in age, speed, competitiveness, and injury level, led by another friend who’s an Ithaca College strength and conditioning professor. But that requires a non-trivial time and schedule commitment two evenings a week. (There may be an opening next year, so if anyone is interested in joining, let me know and I can keep you in mind.)

For those who want to do strength work on their own for schedule or other reasons, I have a few thoughts, and I’d be curious what people like @JTuori suggest as well.

  • It’s worth talking with a strength and conditioning professional to design a workout plan that matches your strengths, weaknesses, and injuries and has progression built in. You can find lots of stuff online and in magazines, but speaking from experience, it’s really hard to know what to do, how much to do, how often to do it, and how to perform the exercises right. Once you have the plan, you can refer to YouTube videos to remind yourself how to perform the exercises right.

  • Variable schedules make strength training hard. I’d really recommend trying to carve out two times per week where you can do the workout for 45-60 minutes every week. Put a couple of days of rest between them. My experience is if you just try to fit it in where you can, you’ll miss too many and eventually stop altogether.

  • Doing the workout with a friend or group, even if the group is just virtual, can provide the useful accountability of knowing that others are expecting you to report in regularly. If creating a separate Strength & Conditioning category here on the FLRC Forum would provide a centralized place to do that, I’d be happy to make that for the community.

@adamengst now I am busted!!! I actually have a plan from Jason that we reviewed right before the shutdown of 2020. And guess who still hasn’t committed to strength training?!?

As I am aging, I do recognize the importance of strength training for all the reasons you mentioned. I appreciate your ideas! I am trying to put some thought into this to figure out what might work for me.

Thank you!

Hah! OK, @SarahG, here’s my challenge to you, then. The other way to make sure you do something is to be the person who makes it happen for other people. If you can line up some other people to participate in some sort of a virtual (and eventually in-person) strength group, I’ll create that Strength & Conditioning category here in the forum for you to use for accountability and discussions, and if there are other ways that FLRC’s institutional capabilities could be helpful, we can bat them around, figure out what’s possible, and bring them to the board.

I struggled with this also; What has worked for me is group fitness classes at FLX Fitness (Les Mills Body Pump and Core); It does require having a schedule, but you could select different time slots each week while committing to, e.g., 2 classes per week. Good luck!