Lifehacker Fitness Challenge, Week 4: Boost Your Strength

Sick of running yet? We hope you're not, but either way, here's a new challenge for you. We're going to do a mini strength workout that is not tied to running. You can even work out indoors if you feel like it. Here's the deal: You'll do a 10 minute workout that focuses on building strength. We'll make this multiple choice. Do one of the following:

  • In Sworkit (iOS/Android), select a Strength workout, choose Full body and set the timer to 10 minutes.
  • Choose a strength workout in Nike Training Club (iOS/Android) that matches your fitness level and available equipment. For example, the Abs & Arms workout is 12 minutes, moderate intensity and uses dumbbells. Or (don't) try the Bodyweight Only Benchmark, at high intensity. It's listed as a five minute workout but it took me nearly 15 and I almost died.
  • Do any other 10-15 minute workout you like. Perhaps that's this 15-minute no-equipment workout, or a round and a half of the seven minute workout. You can even open up your favourite Youtube workout channel and pick a video.

We're doing this for a few reasons. One is because it's always good to work on strength. Another is because running works certain muscles more than others, and a well-rounded strength workout will help the rest of your body catch up. And a third, bonus benefit is that strength and cardio workouts have a sort of synergy. If you can combine them in the same workout, you'll get even better cardio fitness while also boosting strength.

For that last reason, we have a bonus challenge. If you feel up to it, do your 10-minute strength session in the same workout as a run. You can either do the strength segment as a warmup, or insert it into the middle of your run (10 minutes running, 10 minutes strength exercises, 10 minutes running). It should go without saying that a running/strength combo is a perfect way to break up those rainy day treadmill runs.

If the combo sounds overwhelming, don't worry. Doing the strength workout by itself is fine. Either way, try to pick something you enjoy! If you like it, see if you can wedge two 10-minute workouts into your busy schedule every week.

As always, let us know how your week is going. We're almost halfway through, so take a look back: Have you gotten more comfortable with running? Figured out the best routes in your neighbourhood? Perfected your post-workout snack recipe? Tell us all about it.

This post is part of the Lifehacker Fitness Challenge, a series of mini challenges to spark (or reignite) your love of running.


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