Tuesday post: advice/opinion needed

What’s going on, you might think. A post on Tuesday? I’ll get to that but first let me say we had the most beautiful Spring day today: lots of sunshine and 17C (62 degrees). First thing I did when I got home was taking Bella for a walk so we could both enjoy the weather.

I have a dilemma and I need your opinion on this matter.

As you know I go to a Pilates class once a week. And I like it although I’m also getting a bit bored at it lately.

I’m very happy with how my lower body looks, I’ve got firm and strong legs. My calves are even getting to muscular because I’ve noticed lately that my boots are getting tighter.

But my upper body is a different story. I’m not happy with that. My upper arms are weak. My stomach is too big and I would like to have a smaller waist.

Pilates is good for flexibility and I know it’s good to do it besides running but so is yoga.

Pilates hasn’t shown any improvement at  my upper body so far.

I think I need to start strength training again to get a stronger upper body which will give me benefit at my runs too.

I don’t have the time and honestly I don’t want to add another workout to my workout schedule for the week. I run 4 times a week, go to Pilates once a week and sometimes do a short yoga session. I love running the most, everything else I do is to get better at running.

Another benefit of strength is that I will get more muscles instead of fat and muscles burn more energy. And I still want to lose weight but right now I’m either maintaining or gaining my weight. I need a boost (and watch my food intake) to start losing weight again.

This means I have to choose: Pilates or Strength.

I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of weeks now and I’m almost certain what I’m going to do but I tell you about that tomorrow. I also want your opinion before I make my final decision.

My question for you: if you are limited in the time you have to workout and you don’t want to skip runs, what would you choose: Pilates or Strength training and why?
And if you suggest strength, should I work on my legs too or focus on my upper body?

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14 responses to “Tuesday post: advice/opinion needed

  1. If I were you I’d drop the Pilates and add strength training. Put most of your focus on upper body, but also include lower body as it’s always good to strength train those muscles too.

  2. You know what I am going to say…as doing it myself and its working for me!!!!

  3. I started getting serious about strength training about 2 years ago, and it really made a big difference. My arms, back, and core look so much better. But, honestly, I don’t like to lift weights very much. In fact, it bores me. I try hard to mix up my workouts so that I don’t get too bored and that I continue to see progress. I used to lift at least three times per week, but it’s a lot less now as I love my Pilates/yoga/barre classes, which also include some weights.

    One thing I have been doing lately is doing three sets of fifteen push ups as well as several sets of squats and lunges (either back to back or broken up) on days I don’t lift weights. It’s very doable and “painless” and does add up.

    Could you maybe add some free weight exercises to some of your running days? Maybe break up body parts (back, shoulders, arms, etc). That way you’d be done quickly and you may still be able to keep your Pilates class??

    I’m sure you’ll figure out what will work for you!

  4. I think by switching up your routine you might notice some different changes. I would suggest trying out strength training for a while and see how you feel with that. Maybe even keep a little journal and note how your body feels as you add in the weight training. That way you can really see look back and see the difference. And note how it effects your running too. Good luck Fran!

  5. Well, you know what I think. Drop Pilates and lift! I also encourage full body strength training, even with running because it will make a difference in your runs.

  6. I’m with the drop pilates crowd, although I wouldn’t do anything more, strength-wise, on your legs. But that’s just me – mine get enough of a workout with the running and I don’t want them to be sore all the time…and they always are after any kind of workout. I’d just do core and upper body – it won’t take that long, and you will most likely love how you feel.

  7. Like others, I think I would try strength training for awhile to see if you notice a change between that and pilates. You could also consider keeping light weights nearby so you can do some exercises while watching TV or a movie – I try that, but could do better at it myself!

  8. This is tough. Because you really enjoy your Pilates and you don’t like doing weights so much…but you would probably get more results out of some upper body strength training. It’s hard to fit it all in. I used to love doing Tai Chi but I finally had to give it up because I just couldn’t fit everything I wanted to do into my week. And I guess you have to go with what you like but also what will benefit you the most. Good luck with your decision!

  9. This is a tough dilemma…I think I’d keep the pilates (you’re happy with the results for the most part) but add in sets of push-ups every other day. Get out of bed in the morning, drop down and get them done!

  10. I think the fact that you are questioning it makes me think that you have already come to a conclusion. I say do what’s right for you.

    I do take Simba for walks but not every day, he’s not a very good walker and right now the sidewalks are filled with puddles and mud. Once the weather gets better I will definatly be taking him out more.

  11. I never done Pilates, just Yoga. But if I have to chose between Yoga and strength training, it will be strength training. I think if I did Pilates and strength training, my decision would most probably be strength training. Sorry that I can’t be of any more help.

  12. I have never done pilates, however I suggest strenght or, better, swimming because it is a complete job for your body (especially the upper).

  13. If I had to chose, I’d chose strength. I can’t believe the difference I’ve noticed in my upper body and core (abs/back) since I’ve started. I’ve not done as much with the legs, only because I strength train on my non-running days, and I want to give my legs a break.

    If you’re bored with Pilates, maybe take a break and substitute strength training. If anything, it will give you a break from Pilates, so you’ll enjoy it more when you get back to it???

  14. Strength all the way! I think it is so important to srength train. Pilates is great but you can make a lot more progress overall with stregth training!

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