How I got into lifting

Even though I’ve been putting it on my workout schedule each week, I’ve been neglecting my weights a lot lately. I may pick them up and do a few half hearted sets of some upper body work, but for most of the fall, it hasn’t been a big part of my workouts (at least until my TRX classes recently). This happened for two reasons. First, I’ve been busy with my teaching schedule, and I’ve been afraid to go to two a day workouts again since my overtraining experience last spring. Second, I’ve been wanting to try a new program, and I haven’t found one that seems like the right fit (and I’ve been too lazy busy to create one myself).

This week, I decided to stop waiting around and making excuses. Until I come up with something new to do, I’m going back to the original program that got me into lifting in the first place: ChaLEAN Extreme. I first started the CE DVDs over a year ago and completed the three month program along with a couple months of the “maintenance” schedule and absolutely loved it. I only stopped because I needed a new challenge because I felt like I had plateaued, which is the same reason I’ve resisted going back to it. At this point, however, it’s been about six months since I’ve done those specific workouts, so my body isn’t used to them anymore and I think it will be effective until I find something else.

chalean extreme lifting


I should clarify. I’m not affiliated with this program in any way, I wasn’t asked to write a review, and I bought it myself long before I started blogging. Other than teaching PiYo, I’m not even affiliated with Beachbody (and all teaching PiYo means is that I pay them money each month for the choreography! ha). It’s just a fitness program that I had a great experience with and wanted to share with you all.

As I mentioned, this is the program that caused me to fall in love with weighs. After I finished it, I moved on to more traditional lifting in the gym with a barbell and plates and all that jazz, something I never would have tried before. CE changed my entire mindset about the role of strength training in your fitness regimen. Here are some of the reasons I love it:

  • I’m a total Chalene Johnson fan girl. My obsession with her started when I bought TurboFire, and continued through this program. She’s also the mastermind behind PiYo Strength. I just find her super motivating, plus she seems to share all my fitness loves: kickboxing, lifting, dance, and yoga.
  • It convinced me that weights wouldn’t make me “bulky.” Yes, I was one of the millions of women who believed in that myth.
  • The workouts change frequently throughout the program so I didn’t get bored.
  • It taught me the basics of effective weight lifting: how to choose a heavy enough weight, the importance of lifting to true fatigue/muscle failure, etc.
  • I saw results quickly. You track what weight you use for each exercise in each workout, and Chalene is constantly reminding you to make sure your weight is heavy enough. I was really surprised by how quickly I was able to increase weight on all of my exercises.
  • When I lift heavy weights, I feel empowered. This isn’t specific to the CE program, but it was the first time I felt it, and it’s addicting.

The main lifting workouts are 30-40 minutes each, which is pretty reasonable in my opinion. I also found that lifting works really well for me for a morning workout. It’s quiet, so it doesn’t bother John, and there’s no jumping around, so I don’t have to worry about downstairs neighbors.

Even though I’d like to be doing something new, I’m excited to get back into this program in the mean time. I’m off to do the first workout right now!

Questions:Β What got you to start lifting? If you don’t lift, what’s stopping you? Have you tried this program or another home program? Do you have a fitness icon you’re obsessed with?

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15 comments on “How I got into lifting

  1. Amy @ The Little Honey Bee

    Thanks so much for this! I have actually been researching at-home lifting/strength workouts (I was leaning towards P90x) because I am not a member at a gym (as you know) and not sure if I want to be as of yet. BUT I feel like my “muscle” department has been lacking. Yoga is great for sculpting but I don’t see myself getting that much stronger. Anyways, I got into lifting because I HAD to for basketball in college. We had 3-4 days of scheduled lifts a week and I dreaded every day! I did bulk up (largely due to my poor diet) and then completely ditched the weights and just did cardio. This summer I started lifting a bit more (I had a personal trainer for a few weeks haha) but I have not done anything consistent — mostly because I don’t have the equipment. Woah sorry for the long comment — this actually inspired a post! πŸ™‚ Happy Tuesday love. xo
    Amy @ The Little Honey Bee recently posted…The Night-time Snack AttackMy Profile

    1. BusyBod Post author

      So glad I helped inspire a post! I looked into P90X too but the workouts are all really long and there is so much jumping, which normally I love but I needed something quieter when we moved into our current apartment.

      Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

    1. BusyBod Post author

      I find I need a balance of strength and cardio to really feel “right” but I’m so glad I have both now!

  2. Mary

    I started lifting back in January and started seeing results fast! I really like it and stuck with it until summer when I fell off the exercise train. I read New Rules of Lifting for Women and learned a lot from it but did not follow their schedules. Now I am trying to find the motivation to lift (and be active in general) again. My brain and not body are not communicating with each other at the moment. I need to just get up and do it.

    1. BusyBod Post author

      The results you see when you start lifting are amazing I think! I couldn’t believe how quickly my body changed when I started. I’ve heard good things about the New Rules of Lifting for Women, but I haven’t read it. I hope you’re able to get going again. Getting started (or restarted) is always the hardest part!

  3. Jan @ Sprouts n Squats

    I’ve not heard of Chalene before but sounds like a great workout series and sounds like it is going to be very motivating for you without getting you back into the overtraining mindset.

    I started with Jillian Michaels 30 day shred and it was what first got me properly into weights but not heavy lifting. Tara from Sweat Like a Pig really inspired me to take up a program with her which is all about lifting heavy and I love it after so long of being a slave to endless cardio.
    Jan @ Sprouts n Squats recently posted…Trial Tuesdays – Clearing out the backlogMy Profile

    1. BusyBod Post author

      Chalene is amazing! I’ve done Jillian’s 30 day shred too and liked it, but it’s been a while. I really need to find someone to make me my own program, until then, I have Chalene!

  4. Shawn @ Fruity 'N' Nutty

    I started lifting after I came across an issue of Oxygen Magazine. That was when I realized that muscles look great on women. πŸ™‚
    I’m a big fan of Chalene as well. I did Chalean Extreme almost half a year ago and absolutely loved it. Turbofire is also one of my fave forms of cardio.

    I’ve been in a workout rut myself lately and beginning a new program (best body bootcamp) has really helped keep me motivated. I just might do Chalean Extreme again as well since this post just made me fall in love with Chalene all over again. πŸ˜€
    Shawn @ Fruity ‘N’ Nutty recently posted…This Girl Is On FiyahMy Profile

  5. Jessie

    Ever since having to stop running due to HA, I’ve really enjoyed lifting. Call me crazy, but I think fitness modules are beautiful. Im not sure that lifestyle would ever be for me, but they are very inspirational if you ask me.
    Jessie recently posted…WIAW: The White BowlMy Profile

  6. Lisa @ The Skinny on Health

    Wow! This was SO helpful!! I have been dying to get into lifting at home but needed the right motivation/quick info about the best place to get started! Every time I lift at the gym I just feel inexperienced and get discouraged cause I look so ridiculous. That’s why I’ve never really gotten into it!

    Can’t wait to try out CLE!! πŸ™‚

    Lisa @ TSOH
    Lisa @ The Skinny on Health recently posted…So Where’s The Skinny’s Thanksgiv Post?My Profile

    1. BusyBod Post author

      I’m so glad it was helpful! I used to feel the same way about lifting on the gym. I just felt like everyone was watching and laughing (although I’m sure they weren’t). Definitely let me know if you try CLE, it’s a great beginner program!


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