Pump Me Up

in All Posts, Trip to London

I got my non-running workout on this morning!  Sometimes, it just so nice to do something besides run.


My legs were very stiff when I woke up at 10 AM.  Running 4.1 miles + climbing 500+ stairs to the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral did me in!  But I knew that getting some light movement in would take away the stiffness and make me feel better.


Before I went downstairs, I had 1/2 a Clif Bar:


Hotel security has to escort me to and let me in the private gym.  I thought it was a little strange that security has to show each guest where the gym is, but I do get nervous alone in tiny gyms… I guess it makes sense in a big city like London.


I did 30 minutes on the elliptical while reading the new Dan Brown book (which is good!).  This was my view as I worked out:


It is windy and COLD in England today! Brrr!


Then… I tackled the weight room.  I have no idea what to do with weights.


I did some chest presses, tricep kickbacks, bicep curls, and lat pull-downs.  I really, really want to integrate regular strength training in my workout schedule once the marathon is over. 


Running has given me powerful, strong legs, but I’ve been slacking on my strength training and feel soft everywhere else (sit-ups crush my soul!).  It would be fun to see if I can transform my body and give myself rock-hard muscles with a little dedication.  Perhaps a blog challenge is forthcoming?  🙂


Brunch meant going back to Pret’s:


I had 1/2 a mozzarella sandwich:


And 1/2 of this salad, which included hummus, a pita, feta, butternut squash, and other veggies:


Off I go!  We are having a relaxing day today, meeting up with some of the Husband’s old friends and touring the street markets.


Do you feel clueless about strength training?  If you’re a weight guru, how did you learn how to strength training effectively?



  • Evan Thomas December 27, 2009, 8:04 am

    I feel like I hardly know what I’m doing with pushups so weights really confuse me.

  • Jenna December 27, 2009, 8:13 am

    Great view while working out! Brunch Looks good as well;)
    have a nice day!!

  • Fit Lizzio December 27, 2009, 8:22 am

    I learned strength training through different trainers i have had. As I learned more, I wanted to learn more and researched and most importantly guinea pigged my way through many different strength training workouts. Hiring a trainer (one who actually KNOWs what they are doing) is really helpful to learn.

  • Kelly December 27, 2009, 8:26 am

    I definitely do not know anything about strength training, but like you it’s been bugging me lately. I decided to sign up for a class at my gym- 3 days a week of weight training. I’m hoping I’ll be a bit of an expert when it’s all over 🙂

    • Caitlin December 27, 2009, 4:58 pm

      i want to do something like that!

  • Quinn December 27, 2009, 8:35 am

    LOVE Pret a Manger! We have one around the corner from my office in DC and I love the half sandwich portions. Definite fave. Have so much fun!

  • CJ December 27, 2009, 8:42 am

    drink lots of water – Pret food is notoriously salty

    you look like you’re having fun – enjoy your relaxing day!

  • Sammi December 27, 2009, 8:42 am

    There is a reason I only use the treadmill when I go to the gym and that reason is no one ever showed me how to use the weights and other machines and I’m too embarrassed to ask! You should have seen me trying to lower the bike seat… I did ask for help on that one though. I do want to buy 5lb weights and use them at home though. That is an awesome view! I basically just stare at the cars in the parking lot when I go to the gym! (at least I’ll know if someone hits my car though!)

  • Erica December 27, 2009, 8:45 am

    Hey Caitlin! Looks like you two are having so much fun. Love all of the pictures. I think its awesome that you’re still getting in your workouts too!! Weight training is fabulous. I truly believe you need a good balance of cardio, weights, and flexibility training.

    That mozzarella sammy looks so good! Enjoy the day

  • The Hot and Fit December 27, 2009, 8:47 am

    I am the same in the strength training department, but its my fault. I like cardio (running, specifically) too much, so I end up slacking when it comes to strength training. I am really trying hard to incorporate it, though!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is December 27, 2009, 8:55 am

    I’ve been strength training since I was about 16 – I learned from lots of my own research and then been a personal trainer. I’m doing a big workout challenge on my blog in January with strength training workouts for beginner, intermediate and advanced plus plyometrics! If you want some workouts, they are in the fitness section of my blog!

  • Lizzy December 27, 2009, 9:00 am

    when i was training for my half strength training always fell to the waste side and i totally regret that. but just doing simple weights like you did today is always better then nothing!

  • Cassie @ A Very Busy Mind December 27, 2009, 9:04 am

    I’m down for a strength training blog challenge! I’ve incorporated some strength training in my workouts lately and LOVE IT, but I’ve mostly learned from online research and watching others in the gym. I think I’m going to add “improve strength training” to my “10 in 10” list! (And Jessica, I’m heading to How Sweet It Is right now to check out your strength training workouts!)

  • Erica H. December 27, 2009, 9:06 am

    I was a big basketball and field hockey player in high school. Especially in basketball is where I learned to strength train (squat press, shoulder press, lateral raises, etc). I am looking to find new ways though, since I’m graduated from college! I’m always lazy on my abs too, since they tighten up by running. But i’d love a blog challenge.

  • Matt December 27, 2009, 9:08 am

    I am not much of a strength training guru. I go to the gym to lift weights, but I just kind of make it up as I go.

  • christie @ honoring health December 27, 2009, 9:09 am

    I do power yoga as strength training but feel very comfortable with weight machines because I worked with a personal trainer for about six months. I don’t feel as comfortable with free weights, though.

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) December 27, 2009, 9:13 am

    That’s a great mini strength workout, Caitlin!
    That view is so cool. Have fun today!

  • Barbara (Blood, Sweat and Heels) December 27, 2009, 9:17 am


    I am loving reading about your trip, so exciting.

    I used to be clueless about weights and was VERY intimidated at the gym. I started Body-for-life 5 years ago and got into lifting. I almost did a figure competition and have many friend who compete. Now I do Crossfit which adds olympic weight lifting into most workouts…I LOVE IT!

    There is something so empowering about seeing your muscles when you lift AND lifting with the big boys at the gym.

    Sometimes I lift more than they do..hehe OH, and NOTHING burns fat and slims you down faster than muscle!


    • Caitlin December 27, 2009, 4:59 pm

      that’s kind of how i feel… intimidated!

      • Barbara (Blood, Sweat and Heels) December 27, 2009, 5:11 pm

        Keep in mind, it takes a woman about 8 weeks to start adding muscle, but once it happens you WILL notice a difference. Also…its almost “impossible” to build muscle and train for a marathon. You will turn into catabolic woman, eating the your new muscle away with long runs. I say check it out after your marathon!!!!

        Enjoy London!!!!


  • Heather @ The Joyful Kitchen December 27, 2009, 9:25 am

    For the longest time all I did were the weight exercises I did in volleyball, but when you do something for too long you plateau (which I did). Then I became a personal trainer, and realized how little I actually knew about weights. You should see if you can find an exercise textbook b/c it’s so important to know WHY you’re doing specific exercises with a certain number of reps at a certain speed with a certain amount of rest time. Or just hire a personal trainer for a few sessions 🙂

  • Danielle (Coffee Run) December 27, 2009, 9:26 am

    I don’t know much about strength training but I need to take it up a notch. Please do a blogger challenge!

  • Allison December 27, 2009, 9:33 am

    If you can’t afford a trainer Oxygen magazine is a good place to start to learn about
    the basics of weight training.

  • Devon December 27, 2009, 9:43 am

    I hope you’re having a blast! I’m so jealous 🙂

    As for strength training, I tend to do circuits like so:
    Circuit 1:
    -Some sort of squat (I switch it up every time so I’m not doing the same thing over and over again)
    -Crunches on the ball
    -chest flys/chest presses
    -:30-:60 plank
    Circuit 2:
    -Some sort of lunge
    -Twisting crunches on the bosu
    -Some variation of a row
    -Side planks (1 on each side)
    Circuit 3:
    -Calf raises
    -Bicycle crunches
    -Push ups

    • Caitlin December 27, 2009, 4:59 pm

      do you do this in one go? how many times a week?

      • Devon December 27, 2009, 5:12 pm

        Yes, I do it in one go. It takes about 30-45 minutes. I swap out the moves, but the structure stays the same. I try to do it twice a week, but at very minimum, once a week!

        • Devon December 27, 2009, 5:13 pm

          I also like it because I can do it anywhere… not just the gym!

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances December 27, 2009, 9:46 am

    I learned how to strength train by taking group fitness classes at my gym called “Sculpt” that absolutely kick my butt. I learned how to tone several different muscles that I didn’t even know I had!

  • skinnyrunner December 27, 2009, 9:46 am

    i definitely need to strength train but never do! i always choose cardio which i shouldn’t…

  • Cyclist Kate December 27, 2009, 9:56 am

    I used to hop on the Nautilus machines at the gym and just do whatever the directions said.

    Now I realize that while those machines can be great, doing free weight or other strength training is a lot better because you have to engage more muscles. When I was doing more free weights, The Body Sculpting Bible For Women was really helpful to teach me what to do (and you might like that they have a six week training plan included). I also really like Self magazine’s tear out cards each month…they’re all different strength training moves from a bunch of different disciplines. I know their fitness director keeps them all jumbled in an envelope and pulls out a few for quick surprise workouts.

    I may have mentioned it, but I also really like the Squeeze DVD’s. Very challenging but very effective.

  • BethAnn December 27, 2009, 9:58 am

    My good friend is a personal trainer and I go to Planet Fitness…for 20 dollars a month you can bring a free guest every time you go (one per day)…they also have 10 dollar per month memberships which is affordable for being a college student…the only downside is that there are no group classes which I love. My school offers cycling/zumba/kickboxing..which is free so I’ve got that part covered. Anyway…he taught me how to use the weights and I do one set of each machine I use until “muscle failure” which literally means you can’t lift the weight anymore. It should take between 8-12 reps to get there. If it’s taking more, you’re not lifting heavy enough..if it’s taking less…it’s too heavy. Basically, the heaviest weight you can lift without injuring yourself and you should still be able to do the move properly. You should also push out for 4 seconds and come back in for 6. The reps are REALLY slow so that you don’t use adrenaline to lift. I’m in and out of the gym on lift days in 30 minutes. Fab. I also learned about weight lifting doing Josh Hillis’s The Stubborn 7 Lbs. I loved his e-book and learned some awesome exercises from him. Otherwise, I do a lot of squatting and lunges for legs…I can do a one legged squat now! For abs I need assistance with gym equipment but sometimes when I don’t feel like venturing out to the gym I do P90x ab ripper videos 1-2 on google vid. I use only free weights and the row machine for arms. Hope that helps..I’ll be going on my own Eurotrip Tuesday…I’ll be in Amsterdam/Paris for 12 days..=) Looks like you’re having a great time! Enjoy!

    • Caitlin December 27, 2009, 5:00 pm

      hahah i feel like i have muscle failure approx 2 reps in.

  • Amanda December 27, 2009, 9:59 am

    I’m super jealous of that sandwhich and salad. I wish we had easily accesible things like that where I live. It looks delish! Maybe if that was more accesible instead of a McDonalds on every corner we wouldn’t be the fattest nation in the world.

    I’m clueless when it comes to strength too. I really don’t enjoy it at all, but I wish I could get into a regular routine with in. Maybe someday …

  • tra December 27, 2009, 10:09 am

    i am a total strength training junkie. =D i’m jealous you’re in london! no fair! =D
    i got really into when i started learning personal training, and continued on. i started with machines in a circuit room and now i lift “with the big boys” partially because my best friends are guys who lift heavy. =D i LOVE SITUPS.

  • Allison R. December 27, 2009, 10:13 am

    I say a blog challenge sounds perfecto! 😉

  • Katie O. @ Fit to Wed December 27, 2009, 10:26 am

    I am definitely down for blog challenge! I have been trying to tone my arms with limited success. I stick with pushups and a body sculpt class- a challenge can definitely help me take it to the next level!

  • Tina December 27, 2009, 10:28 am

    Stop eating at Pret’s! You’re going to regret not eating at other places.

  • Diana (Mymarblerye) December 27, 2009, 10:30 am

    i am lost in the weights area! I end up using simple moves I found on oprah’s website..YEA i’m an old lady.

  • GirlonRaw December 27, 2009, 10:32 am

    Honey, if you don’t know what to do with weights you should totally check out a Body Pump class like here http://girlonraw.com/2009/11/23/todays-eats/

    I love it and it works every muscle in your body.

    Use this to find a class in your area


    Totally LOVE BODY PUMP!!!

  • Erin December 27, 2009, 10:38 am

    Go to Borough Market if you can — the oldest food market in London will absolutely overwhelm you with all of the choices and fresh produce. Plus, lots of free samples. 😀

  • Marisa (Loser for Life) December 27, 2009, 10:40 am

    Awesome workout view!

    Focusing on strength training is one of my goals for the new year! I’m officially in on any upcoming challenge!

    Your eats look FANTASTIC!!!

  • Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now December 27, 2009, 10:42 am

    I’m not sure whether I’d feel safer or more nervous having to be escorted to the gym haha.

    It looks like you’re having a great trip. Enjoy it!!!!!

  • Sarah (Finding My Balance) December 27, 2009, 10:47 am

    oooh, I love Pret a Manger! SOOO good! And that salad looks great.
    Keep enjoying London, Caitlin!

  • BethT December 27, 2009, 10:52 am

    I’m not exactly a guru, but I learned a lot about strength training by spending just a few sessions with a personal trainer. She really taught me a lot about form and about how to properly work each muscle group.

  • BethT December 27, 2009, 10:53 am

    Also, I know you like Jillian Michaels…her book, Making the Cut, has a KILLER monthlong set of circuit exercises.

  • Kelly December 27, 2009, 11:22 am

    I love, love, love strength training. I learned most of what I know from Oxygen magazine and personal training sessions at the gym. When I first started working out, the trainers really helped me with form, but now that I’m more advanced, I’m able to do it on my own with ideas/suggestions from Oxygen mag. I love it!
    I also highly recommend the book New Rules of Weightlifting for Women. It’s awesome, and can be used by anyone at any level. 🙂

  • Susan December 27, 2009, 11:40 am

    I learned a lot of my strength training from a book called The New Rules of Lifting for Women. Highly recommended!!! As already mentioned, Oxygen magazine is a great resource. Now I’m studying to be a personal trainer – that helps too 😉 I’d love to see some sort of challenge on the blog, strength training is sooooo beneficial.

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl) December 27, 2009, 11:47 am

    I pretty much just play around with some free weights and I feel like I’m helping my body, but in actuality I have no idea what the heck I am doing haha.

  • Melissa S. December 27, 2009, 11:52 am

    I play around with my resistance band and weights that i have but i don’t think i’m doing anything right. haha. i think it would be bet to see a trainer, or someone who does that normally.

  • Amy (REVAMP_I) December 27, 2009, 12:09 pm

    Wow – you look like you are having an amazing time, you will be on first name terms with the workers in Pret soon LOL. I am in the UK so it is nice to read your blogs on my time as you are usually 5 or 6 hours behind the UK.

    I too am keen to learn about strength training – i have just purchased P90X, which i am hoping will give me all the information that i need, i will let you know what it is like.

    I have to admire you – working out on your holidays, i really am learning a lot from your blog! I hope to be as commited as you are to my diet and fitness in the new year – YOU ROCK GIRLIE! x

  • Emily December 27, 2009, 12:14 pm

    I agree that sometimes it’s just nice to take a break from running.

    The carrot cake clif bar is definitely one of my favorites, although I’m into Larabars more recently.

    I’m not very good at strength training. When I was a gymnast, we always went by the “low weight, high repetition” rule, but I don’t strength train regularly anymore. I get a pretty good arm workout by doing yoga, though. 🙂

  • j.l. December 27, 2009, 12:24 pm

    yay, caitlyn. take the plunge. i’ve been weight training for 2.5+ years. its the best thing i’ve ever done and has improved my running.

    simple tips. work opposing muscle groups. focus on different body parts on different days. arms + chest, abs and back, legs. alternate high reps at low weight with less reps at a heavy weight. try super sets, two moves done immediately following one another with short rest between sets. torches calories. and most importantly, work with a trainer a few times. form, form, form is the most imporant part of strength training because it is easy to injure yourself. have him or her write a few programs out for you to follow and he/she should demonstrate them and walk you through each to make sure you are doing it correctly. i still can’t hold my lower back correctly for some exercises and i pay for it.

    p.s. myth busters!http://bodybuilding.about.com/od/womensfitnesstopics/a/womenmyths.htm
    p.p.s check out that book on kath’s blog. i’ve read it. thumbs up. the new rules of lifting for women.

  • j.l. December 27, 2009, 12:28 pm

    btw, knowing what to do in a weight room is so empowering for a women. i’ve had men tell my trainer they want to be as strong as i am. and no, i don’t look like a she-beast or any of those other stereotypes. i’m curvy, feminine and strong.

  • Mrs. Muffins December 27, 2009, 12:30 pm

    I love Dan Brown, I got the new book the day it came out! I loved it!
    Anyways, I really love pilates and what it does for muscles, especially the core. I like using free weights though too, it’s so easy to have a set lying around the house and just pick them up and do a set here and there. I like to do exercises that incorporate more than one muscle group, such as squats and military presses at the same time. Or lunges and bicep curls. Basic stuff…. By the way, that sammich looks soooo yummy!

  • chandra December 27, 2009, 12:33 pm

    I LOOOOOVE strength training. 🙂 I learned a lot from working with a trainer, and through getting my own certification. And of course reading other magazines & books. If you ever want any advice or guest posts on strength training let me know!

  • Karla December 27, 2009, 12:35 pm

    Strength training is tough for me. I ignore it a lot but I’m making an effort not to forget about it. I learn a lot of moves in magazines and online.

  • Jessica December 27, 2009, 12:36 pm

    I took a strength training class in college as a phys ed elective, which was great for learning the basics. After that, I followed the first half of the New Rules of Lifting for Women, which teaches you how to use all of the ‘scary’ free weights like the squat rack. Now, since I’m training for a half, I just grab some dumbbells and do some upper body work a couple of times a week, or do a 30 day shred video.

  • Britt (Runnerbelle) December 27, 2009, 12:39 pm

    I’ve just learned over time from others, from classes, from working with trainers…. proper form, routines, etc. Also of course magazines are great too. I do get bored easily with it at times though, so I’ve started taking kettlebell classes. They rock. Also it gets me to lift far more than I might on my own…. it is very easy for women to lift too light. I lift much more heavy now than I ever did and I’m not huge, I’m just MUCH stronger. My biceps do scare my husband just little bit though 😉 But he likes them.

  • Tay December 27, 2009, 12:44 pm

    With weights, I’ve just learned simple moves over time and from doing multiple different DVDs. Now I can just remember them easily.

    Have a fun day!!

  • Sara December 27, 2009, 12:52 pm

    Hi! New commenter (I think…?) here. I’ve gone to tons of different strength training group classes at my gym (Healthworks in Boston). Some are more structured (Body Pump) and some are different depending on the day/instructor. I figured out quickly who the best instructors are — the ones who watch what you’re doing and correct posture, answer questions, suggest modifications, etc. and stuck to those. I still much prefer to lift in class but when I lift on my own, I do exercises I learned in classes.

    • Caitlin December 27, 2009, 5:01 pm

      gahhhh i want a gym-like class without actually joining a gym!

  • Christy December 27, 2009, 1:22 pm

    Yeah, it always seems like there’s tons of different strength workouts and/or moves to do! I usually rely on my friends majoring in Exercise Science and the articles in Women’s Health magazine.

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg December 27, 2009, 1:57 pm

    Hey Caitlin– Just now catching up on your London posts– looks like you’re having a blast! Good for you for staying active during your vacay!

  • Jenny December 27, 2009, 2:29 pm

    That’s kind of nice about the security escort to the gym, haha I’d feel like a celebrity! 😉

    I LOVE working with free weights, I usually peruse online for new moves. Tina (Carrots N Cake), and fitness magazines are where I’ve found some of the best routines. Put me on a weight machine and I’m totally lost though!

  • Carolyn December 27, 2009, 3:15 pm

    I actually LOVE lifting weights! I’ve heard good things about the “New Rules” of weight lifting for women. It’s a book you might check out.

  • MelissaNibbles December 27, 2009, 3:28 pm

    I love the shape and definition strength training has given me. The Body For Life strength training program is what I follow. It’s great for a complete body toning program.

  • kilax December 27, 2009, 6:53 pm

    Looks like you are having a great time in London!

    I am kind of clueless about weight training. I just try to work my whole body, a few times a week. That is probably not the best approach, but I figure it is better than nothing!

  • natasha December 27, 2009, 8:24 pm

    I’m a weight training guru I suppose as I do it every day of the week for at least two years. I also started in a weight training class at the local community college, and learned by my body builder friend, and just asking the coach in charge of the class what the strange machines were, that aren’t strange any more! You should register, and when you don’t feel like strength training, just go in the cardio room!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) December 27, 2009, 9:09 pm

    I learned how to lift from a combination of a Trainer and Physical Therapy post back and hip injuries. I have to convince myself to do it but I love the way my body can do more (including better Chaturangas in yoga) when I do weights.

  • alli December 27, 2009, 11:29 pm

    i recommend p90x! i lost 5.5 inches in 90 days, which i think is pretty good seeing as i didnt ‘need’ to. it’s great! all you need are some free weight and a pull up bar. i loved it and loved the results i got!

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) December 28, 2009, 12:44 am

    I feel completely clueless about strength training. I use the machines because free weights scare me 🙂

  • Lara December 28, 2009, 4:06 pm

    not to sound like a broken record but please pick up the book New Rules of Lifting for Women. It will teach you all you need to know about weight lifting and has a great 6 month program in the book.

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