I’ve been a runner for a few years now. For my foray into fitness, I fell squarely into the endurance-junkie camp. I indulged in articles, books, and blogs pertaining to better distance running, half marathon and marathon training, and even some triathlon/ironman blogs (mostly for inspiration on that last one, I’m not swimming anywhere anytime soon).
However, as injuries cropped up and runner burnout set in after my first marathon, I started to delve more deeply into other sorts of fitness. I started lifting a lot more, focusing on building strength – initially focusing on core and legs, but quickly moving on to build my upper body strength as well. Now, I also indulge in articles and blogs regarding weightlifting as well as my runner resources.
As I have done so, I have found out that there’s some hate and ignorance going on out there. I cannot entertain this notion of “I don’t want to lift weights because I will get bulky.” Anyone who has this notion, I offer a challenge. Engage in weightlifting for, oh say 1 month. Give it a go for FOUR WEEKS. Let me know how much you bulk up, because I bet the answer is 0. Especially if you’re a female. You have to eat a certain way (more protein for starters, a lot more, and calories in general), and limit cardio, in order to “bulk up” in the way that many of these naysayers are afraid of doing. You know what will happen if you start lifting? You’ll lose weight and inches. Your metabolism will increase, and you’ll be stronger – the HORROR!
However, I’ve recently come across this other sort of “hate” from the other side of the camp. The weightlifters who bash on “those girls on the treadmill.” Running has its pros and cons. If all you’re doing is running, and running a lot, you’re not likely to lose a massive amount of weight. While you might lose some, running only won’t necessarily make you look “awesome” in your bikini, you need to build and shape your muscles for that to happen. Not to mention, if running is your sole or the vast majority of the exercise you’re going to do, you are likely to get injured – core strength is important.
But what I’m frustrated with is the weightlifting camp judging the runners as wasting their time. You’re annoyed with those “girls running for hours on the treadmill wondering why they aren’t getting results”? Interesting, do you know they aren’t getting the results they want? Some, I’m sure, complain to their weightlifting friends, or trainers. Some don’t. Please don’t assume that because I’m running “every” time you see me at the gym, means I’m not getting the results I want. What if the results I’m seeking are longer runs, faster runs, or a competition with myself to get a better half-marathon time, and have nothing to do with the size of my ass? Stop judging endurance-junkies. And runners – stop judging the lifters.
Here’s the deal, not everyone at the gym has the same goals. Not everyone’s goals are to look like the images on TV. Some people are working out for stress relief, some are working toward a personal goal (being able to bench x pounds, or run x miles). Some are just getting started. Some just like the feeling of getting in a good sweat. Yea, I like to run half marathons. It’s my thing. I like the challenge. That’s why I do it. But who am I to judge you because you don’t? Do I judge you because you only walk on the treadmill at the gym, and don’t run? No, that’s a jerk thing to do. At least the people working out are doing something. Shouldn’t we be celebrating fitness and activity instead of judging people by our own standards and goals of fitness? Stop with the hate, people.