A confession: I resisted my husband's suggestion year after year to work out differently, but this year, I finally agreed to try it his way. And after only a few weeks in, I can confidently say I love it.
I've seen more progress in just a few weeks of working out this way (heavy, Olympic-style lifting on a regimented schedule) than I ever have doing my light weight/high reps workouts in the past.
Can weightlifting help your yoga practice?
From my personal experience, for the more athletic poses, yes. The results I've noticed right off the bat are improved strength in my handstands. I've been practicing them for over a year but I just can't seem to hold them for more than a second. I have the balance and focus, but I just didn't seem to have the strength in my core, hands and upper body to hold myself up. In just a few short weeks of heavy lifting, I feel my strength and stability has increased dramatically, and it's especially noticeable when I practice handstands. Every time I practice them, I'm visibly more sturdy. This isn't to say that I'm a handstand master or anything, but each day I feel stronger and more solid when I get upside down.
Here are two exercises from our full body workout we did the other day. The first is a trap bar deadlift. This exercise is excellent for beginners, and is a back-friendly alternative to a straight deadlift.
The second exercise is a barbell shoulder press with a little jump. This was new to me, as I've only ever done seated shoulder press with light free weights. The barbell is heavier than what I'm used to doing, so the jump is helpful because a lot of the strength it takes to get the barbell over the body comes from the power of the legs.
The other exercises from this day were:
Plyometric jumps - 3 jumps straight up and then quickly bounding forward 3 times as far as you can go, and as fast as you can do it.
Plyometric box jumps - We did five sets of five jumps.
Battle ropes- Holy smokes this will get you sweating! We did 15 seconds (as hard and as fast as you can), and then 45 second rest, for twenty minutes.
Keeping it up
I'm looking forward to keeping up the gym routine and seeing how it complements my yoga practice. I really enjoy it - I feel like I'm learning something new each time I go. And it's nice to work out with someone who knows what they're doing and pushes you while making sure you're staying safe.
Do you enjoy working out? What do you do?
PS: Is yoga enough?