I’m One of ‘Them’, They’re Some of ‘Those: A runner amongst weight-lifters

“Dude, I was so pumped. Yesterday, I squatted 375 after eating a crap-load, not even warming up and yea…my PR is 380, I did 375, so I was stoked,” I was standing next to a trio of what were obviously fitness folks who used that ‘other’ part of the gym. You know, the weight section, where the plates runneth over and the shirtless mean grunt and groan.
track glasses
“Interesting,” I thought, “they use PR too. But I still think running PR’s are cooler.” I’m right you know, even though I hail from ‘our’ side of the gym. The one where treadmill belts runneth forever and the swift people pound on them until they short circuit.

There I was, in line to get some physio treatment, standing amongst the weightlifters feeling horribly out of place. I caught them doing those quick, side glances my way; I got the once over and they made the obvious assessment: she’s one of ‘those’ people.

We then had both come to the same conclusions and I smiled because the charade was too funny not to. We both thought that ‘our’ kinds of workouts were better and, if we’re being totally, brutally honest, think that ‘their’ kinds weren’t just boring but…lesser than our own.

Ouch. There. I said it. Hate me.
run fast
Squatting, maxing out on the bench press, dead-lifting, all that jazz burns, it hurts, the muscles scream for mercy. I get that, yes. I’m not saying it’s easy. Though, I have a hard time believing that doing milers, feeling on the verge of throwing up, and then heading into the fifth one is not on a deeper level in He**. One unwritten about by Dante.

A squatting PR may leave you feeling like you’re going to get a hernia, but a squat lasts, what, a second or so? How long do you have to wait out the pain in a 10k? A marathon? And you can bet digging for that 11th gear down the home stretch of a 1500 could leave a hernia feeling like a picnic. ;)

We both smiled at each other. We were allowing the charade to continue, but we both knew we were on opposite sides of the fence here and we clearly believed the grass was not greener on the other side.

“So,” he asked and shrugged in a slightly smug manner, “you, like, run or something?”

“Yup,” I answered back in my own, slightly smug, manner.

1) Do you find it funny when you’re standing in a group where everyone is into fitness, but you can clearly sense who the cardio junkies are and the weight lifting folk?

2) Would you ever even use the term PR in reference to a certain amount you lifted in the weight room?
Oh yes, I PR’ed the other day with the 30-pounders. ;)

3) While I’m a bit snarky, I do still toss those weights around, but not the same way they do. Runners still need a strong core and upper-body, but usually doing more functional type exercises are up or alley. What kind of strength or core work do you do?

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18 thoughts on “I’m One of ‘Them’, They’re Some of ‘Those: A runner amongst weight-lifters

  1. Love that picture!

    I am a bit of a weight dabbler, and I have no problem with ‘that’side of the gym, but I have never truly understood why people want to look like that. And let’s face it, that’s why they do it (most of the time!) it’s almost always for looks, which I think is why you have that feeling of superiority. You do it to be fit. Their strength and fitness only really applies to whatever machine they’ve been using.

    • okay, i support people doing watever kinda workouts they like best, but i just don’t get the strong aversion to cardio many weightlifters have :P

      glad u like the pic!

  2. Hey, thanks for your comment out my way.
    I ended up finally canceling my gym membership, and don’t miss it. I run outside most of the time, but spent the gym money on a real nice treadmill, and I have just enough weights to suit my needs.

    Usually gym muscle folks use the “how much can you bench” rather than a PR.

    How’s this for a question that is full of hidden or not so hidden arrogance: If we took a large enough sample of primarily runners, and primarily body-builders, who would have the higher IQ? I say that thinking I know the answer, but I could be wrong.

    • for sure on that comment, bud, keep up the great bloggidy blog…help push ur books out there! :)

      and that’s exactly wat i thought when the guy threw out PR, i’m sorry but runners own that term. u can use highest weight or something of the like. as for ur question, so to protect the both of us from having some haters after us with incredibly wide and veiny necks i will say we are both thinking the same answer.

  3. I hate the idea of strength training, but…I love the outcome when I do it consistently: tighter tushy, toned arms, and stronger legs (for running up hills of course :) ).
    My sister and I have just decided to start doing a strength training workout together twice a week. That way we get the benefits of spending time together, and lifting weights. Oh, and we get someone to whine about DOMS with the next day ;)
    I am definitely ‘one of the cardio people’, it’s my jam :)

    • i’m with u girls, i get bored with the strength work but i do it because i know it’s good for me and my running. and now i’m happy u at least have sis to help bust the boredom factor!!

  4. Love this! I am still so new to running, that I have never used the PR around any of my runs. Hmmm….I must get on that!! I love cardio! So I will always choose it over strength, but when I do some sore of strength I love to use my body weight instead of using weights. Not sure why, but I like it better. I still use weights with some things, but not all of the time. I am doing this push-up challenge with myself and I have noticed a big difference in my arms just by doing that! ;)
    You crack me up Cait! Yup indeed!!! :)

    • hehe…glad u could get some laughs! as for the issue of body-weighted strength moves that’s actually right in line with things; for running purposes you should think lower weight and higher rep’s…that’s for the lean muscle mass us endurance athletes strive for. so squats, lunges, push-ups, bench-dips…all of these can be done sans weights. :) keep it up girl!

  5. this is too funny! i have this same conversation with my brother-in-laws often that their kind of weight lifting isn’t actually a workout and that maxing out for 1 rep on a bench doesn’t have any hold on your actual fitness, but they think i’m wrong. i even challenged them to a push up competition last christmas as said i’ll do man pushups so we’re even and still beat them and i never do a bench press…EVER. they still think i’m crazy when i tell them that their sport of “lifting” where they do 1 rep of 3 exercises maybe 10x with 5 minute breaks in between each rep isn’t sport it’s just a lazy man’s (or meathead’s) way of working out.

    • okay, i’ll say it again: u’re sharing part of my brain just in a better runner body! ;) but seriously, my thoughts exactly!! or i totally laugh when i overhear weightlifter folk when they say they did their ‘cardio’ for the day and it’s walking on the treadmill! i just don’t get why they tend to fall into the false concept of sticking in the ‘fat burning’ zone. read as: heart rate of that of a vegging runner ;)

  6. Pingback: Keep Your Running Training Current But Not Trying to Re-invent the Basics |

  7. This is funny to me because I used to be the same way you are until about two months ago. A friend convinced me to try Crossfit and told me it would help with my running. I didn’t believe her. I didn’t even like it the first few times I went. Now I’m hooked. I think I like it so much because it’s all over strength work and intense workouts combined. I’m not big on the Olympic lifting part, but I do complete them (just at much lower weights than others there). But the strength training HAS helped my running. I have much stronger leg muscles and core. I can run faster and longer. I still love running, especially my long runs when it’s just me, my shoes, and my music. But Crossfit is fun and helps me too.

    • oh my gosh…u hit my cross-fit nerve!! jk. well, i guess i can’t judge unless i’ve tried it myself, and it sounds like u felt the same until u took a class yourself. glad that it’s helped ur running!

  8. Oh I have SO been feeling this way lately! We joined a gym again, mainly for the pool, but I’ve been adding some weight in to my strength training and definitely get some looks when my marathoning-self wanders over to the free weights and out of the comfort of the treadmill zone (I hate them anyway, but feel much more comfortable on “that” side). I don’t fault anyone trying to tone up, but I’m way more impressed by a marathon (or any running distance) PR than what you can bench press!

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