Two Years of Consistent Lifting

by - Tuesday, April 12, 2022

April marks the two year anniversary of when I started to really consistently focus on strength training as part of my workouts. What started as a way to get some physical activity and break up the monotony of the early days of the pandemic has now become a consistent part of my routine. 

Last year, I wrote about the progress I'd made after one year of consistent lifting. I noted that I pretty quickly progressed in my ability to increase the weight I was lifting, but that if you looked at me, there was no obvious physical difference -- which was fine. That wasn't my goal. 

This year, I felt like my ability to progress to heavier weights slowed a bit, but I've gained some noticeable definition, especially in my arms and shoulders. 


I noticed it first in this race photo from the Rock N Roll Half Marathon back in November. Never before in a race picture have I ever looked like I had strong arms. In fact, I used to routinely joke about my puny T-Rex arms. 

Baltimore finish

mile 25.5ish

While I know this is going to sound incredibly vain, being able to actually see some of the results of my hard work has been pretty cool.

In terms of what I'm doing, I'm still routinely lifting 2-3 days a week. Some weeks it's 4 days, some weeks I may only squeeze in one lifting session if it's a more running heavy week. But the most important thing is that it's been consistent. 

I'm still relying heavily on the HasFit videos that my mom found very early on in the pandemic. She and I still virtually work out together several times per week. We pick a workout we want to do and start the videos at the same time. It's been a good way to stay accountable and motivated. 

I use my strength sessions to break up my workday. On days I lift, it's almost always during my lunch break. It gives me a good excuse to walk away from my computer and get some movement in during the day so I can come back fresh in the afternoon.

To help me mark my own progress, at this point in time, I'm using the dumbbells I have at home. We have a bit of a variety, which is good for giving me options. 

I'm using 12-25 lbs for a many upper body moves. Biceps and chest are typically 12-15 lbs. Upper back like rows is consistently 20-25 lbs. And then smaller muscle groups like my shoulders and triceps are usually in the 10-12 lbs range. 

Lower body exercises I'm using anywhere from 30-50 lbs depending on the move. Deadlifts are routinely 50 lbs. Squats and lunges tend to be closer to 30-40. 

As for core work I'm able to hold planks longer and do some of the more advanced moves. 

Overall, I'm really pleased with my progress, and I'm excited to have another year of good, consistent strength training under my belt. 

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