I’ve been rehabbing from plantar fasciitis for the last 3 months. Which means that instead of running, I’ve completed a lot of strength training and non-impact workouts. I knew that I needed to do something besides elliptical, stationary bike etc. So, after about a month, I researched the best strength training workouts to maintain my fitness.
I’ve watched a number of strength training videos (some of which are posted on this blog). I decided that circuits with minimal rest were the best workout. At least these types of workouts will raise my heart rate & get me sweating.
However, my research wasn’t science based. Instead, I’ve assumed that if my heart rate is elevated, I’m sweating and my muscles are tired at the end of the workout, then I must be doing something right.
The question for me was, “am I maintaining fitness and readying myself to run when my plantar fasciitis is gone?
The following article, recently published in Outside Magazine, actually looks into the science behind the perfect strength training workout.
The author attempts to answer questions like. what’s best?
–light weights to failure
-heavy weights to failure
–light weights not to failure
-heavy weights not to failure
When he put the results of his studies together he came up with some guidelines for people who want to get stronger but aren’t planning to enter any bodybuilding competitions.
I’ve been completing a lot of circuits where I perform various strength exercises (like push-ups, squats, overhead presses with dumbbells, kettle bell swings, etc) for 60 seconds, then 15 seconds rest, followed by another 60 seconds on another exercise, etc. I perform 3 sets with 3-4 different exercises each. I typically perform different exercises at least 3 times per week, so I need to get creative. Ultimately, I’m working a lot of muscles from lower legs, to my shoulders.
I can tell that I look and feel fit. I haven’t gained any weight over the last 3 months, however, only time will tell what kind of shape I’ll be in when I resume running.
Take a look at the following article for more details of how you should be strength training.