Iron Strength

I wanted to write in more detail about the Iron Strength work out I've been doing as part of my New Year's resolution to incorporate strength training into my running/exercise routine. Carla sent it to me just after New Year's and I've been doing it 1-2 times per week since then. Like I said before, I can only really do less than half of it.

The routine alternates between upper body and lower body exercises, with squats, push ups, lunges, arm curls and the like. You can watch a very even-tempered young woman named Meghan perform the whole thing on Runner's World while the doctor who designed it explains each move. Her contented facial expression made me think the whole thing might not be as torturous as it sounded, but I was wrong. It's much harder than that woman's face lets on.

I think this is called "Rows from plank."

I'll list the cons first.
  • It made me so sore the first time I did it that I could barely walk the next day. In fact, the act of sitting down was extremely painful, and it took a few days to recover. Ultimately this is probably a pro, though, because I think it's effective.
  • It's long and doesn't emphasize stretching much. I know it's a strength routine, not a yoga class, but I can only devote so much time to it on the off days from running and I prefer to stretch a little more. So I usually add my own.
  • The biggest con is that, because of my wacky motion sickness issues, I can only really do some of it anyway. Single-leg plyometric squats are definitely out, as are the Mountain Climber, lunges, sit-ups, and "Legs Down. " That still leaves 4 of the seven sections for me to do.

Trying to look happier about it. I LOVE rows from plank LOL!!!!!!

And the pros:
  • It's hard (also a con, I know). I feel really challenged by it every time, but it's not so hard that I dread it or give up completely.
  • I can do it at home with a yoga mat and my weights.
  • The online videos are pretty helpful and I feel like I know exactly what to do for each section.
  • Since I can do it at home while listening to NPR on the interwebs, I can customize it and omit things that make me sick, or do fewer reps of things that I'm not ready for. And even though I can't do about 3 of the 7 exercises, the other 4 are hard enough to make up for it, in my opinion.
  • Certain parts, like the "rows from plank" (good God), have already gotten easier, and that progress encourages me to do it again.
  • Someone posted a pdf of the whole work out in the RW comments, so I just open that when I want to do it rather than writing it all down myself or watching the videos. If you'd like a copy, I can email it to you.

After a couple of the work outs I've made this tasty fruit smoothie:

The giant bag of frozen strawberries from Costco: it makes winter bearable.

Combine in a blender and serve:
1 frozen banana, cut into chunks
5 frozen strawberries (or more if they're small)
1 cup almond milk, or non-dairy milk of choice
2 tbs peanut butter
2 tbs ground flax seeds


  1. Hi, could you email me the Iron Strength PDF? I'm looking to get into that routine as I'm starting to have issues with achilles tendonitis. Thanks!

  2. Hi, could you email me the Iron Strength PDF? I'm looking to get into it as I'm having issues with achilles tendonitis.

  3. Sure! Could you send me an email at soundslikecanada@gmail.com? I'll send it to you ASAP.