Happy #WorkoutWednesday, everyone! Today I’m putting in some time on the treadmill before a quick 30-minute version of Cardio Sculpt at Crunch.
My best fitness friend Coley, a yoga teacher in Minneapolis who is celebrating her birthday today, suggested I try kettlebells. She said she was amazed at how quickly she saw results. No bulking up, as is the fear for many women, just nice all-over toning. She said her waist was noticeably slimmer.
She had me at “quick results.” How many of us have spent hours working on cardio equipment never to see a change in our bodies? Sometimes I’m tempted to spit on the ellipticals as I walk past. In my opinion, they’re the most worthless piece of equipment, but I admit I could have been using them wrong. I have seen results from treadmill runs, but it has to be a challenging run. That means elevation + speed + 45 minutes.
Anyway, at Coley’s suggestion, I took a kettlebell class with Cindy Lai Fitness. It was an awesome small-group training session. And it was so hard! Cindy had us run laps carrying our kettlebells. I wanted to cry. By the end of class, I put my kettlebell down and ran the laps sans extra weight. For a while after that, I continued working out in Cindy’s small group boot camp classes. Then I took a couple more kettlebell sessions. Nicole was right, you really do see results in a jiffy.
When I joined a gym, I had to stop working out with Cindy. I just couldn’t afford both, and I liked the variety and schedule the gym offered.
At Crunch, I found Super Sculpt. Once again, after about three straight classes with Carol, I noticed my waist was noticeably nipped in. Awesome! She’s no longer teaching my class, which makes me wonder how I’ll be aloha-ready by mid-January. Luckily, my gym still offers Super Sculpt and its cousin, Cardio Sculpt, which adds cardio intervals to the strength moves.
I wondered why strength training works better than cardio, so I did some research.
- Though you burn more calories per hour doing cardio, people who lift weights continue to burn more calories following their workouts, which adds up.
- You can target your trouble spots with weights. Need to trim your waist? Cool, work on those abs. When you do cardio, you don’t get to pick.
- Weight training allows you to double down. You can work two or more areas at once.
If/when you add weights to your routine, please, please, please take a couple sessions with a trainer (group is fine) who can double check your form. If you just buy a kettlebell and go to town at home, I fear you will hurt yourself. There’s a difference between hurts-so-good exhausted muscles and agh-my-back-hurts soreness. Form first. Always.
Happy birthday, Coley! Don’t forget to step 10,000 times.
I’m a journalist, content strategist, doting auntie, amateur bobsledder, fitness enthusiast, and wannabe health nut (who loves chocolate and pizza too much to fully commit). I don't want you to think my life is perfect. It's not.