I am so excited to be the Mama Guns motivator for Mamavation. Giddy, actually. Strength training is something that I love for so many reasons. I love to feel strong, I love to see the way adding strength training to my workouts has changed my body. Outside of my pregnancy, I have never been overweight however, I was carrying around a lot of excess fat due to poor diet, zero exercise and lack of knowledge regarding healthy living. When I finally started strength training, the difference in my body was amazing. Suddenly these muscles were starting to show and the inches were coming off (bye-bye muffin top!). I actually gained some weight but it was muscle, not fat. Believe me when I tell you that working hard and seeing the results of that hard work was empowering. Strength training gives you a high that’s hard to duplicate any other way. The best part? It’s not a high that tapers off after a few hours like a sugar high. This high stays with you.

So, are you ready to awaken your inner Mama Guns? (the answer, of course is Yes!) Then you are about to enter (cue the music!) the Buff’n’Tough challenge.

Here is my challenge to you! Don’t worry, it doesn’t involve a picture of your scale, but you DO have to post a picture of yourself (more on that in a bit). I want you to add in 3-4 days of Strength Training to your weekly workout schedule. These sessions should be 30-45 minutes long and work all the major muscle groups (shoulders, triceps, biceps, chest, back, abs, quads, hamstrings, calves…did I miss anything?!). Remember, this is in ADDITION to your regular cardio workouts, not instead of. Strength training is an important part of the healthy living puzzle but it is only a piece of it. The key will be to find balance and incorporate this into what you’re already doing.

I also want you to come up with a strength routine that works for you. Strength training isn’t just lifting heavy weights in a gym surrounded by big hairy dudes with face tattoos and B.O. (or maybe that’s just my gym). You can do this at home with minimal equipment (like your own body weight!), and you can incorporate it into a cardio workout (a great example would be Janice-the Fitness Cheerleader’s Walk and Tone workout, or Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred). We’re all at different levels of fitness and what works for one won’t work for another. Think about what’s available to you either at home, or at your gym. Don’t worry, I’m not throwing you to the wolves, but I strongly encourage you all to find a type of strength training that interests you. (I’m here to help steer you in the right direction though so don’t feel that you’re on your own).

Now here is where I come into play. I will be on Twitter, offering up facts, tips, support, encouragement and so on (you’ll be sick of me). I want everyone to take part in this but more than that, I want everyone to succeed and love it. I’m also here to help you out in any way that I can. Tweet me (@fitmomtraining), DM me, e-mail me (fitmomintraining(at)gmail(dot)com). I am here for you guys 150%. I’ll be posting occasionally on Mamavation in addition to posts on my own blog about strength training.

When does this challenge end? Well, technically, it doesn’t 🙂 But! in the interest of setting goals and deadlines for meeting those goals (because as we all know, those are the goals we are most likely to attain), we’re going to have a little fun with it. By signing up for this challenge (see Mr Linky at the bottom of the post), you’re committing yourself to strength training 3-4 days per week for 30-45 minutes. You’re committing to tweeting about it (use the hashtag #mamaguns ALONG with the #mamavation hashtag) and you’re committing to blogging about it on your Mamavation Monday posts so we can all follow your progress, cheer you on and support you on the tough days. You’ll also need to post a pic of your Mama Guns now and 8 weeks from now. I want to see your best Mama Guns pose and if you’re consistent with your training, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised as the results in 8 weeks. There will be other challenges along the way but for these next 8 weeks, I want you to focus on getting into the habit of adding weights to your workouts, finding your Strength Training Soul mate (free weights, machines, classes at the gym etc.).

To get you started, here are some Mama Guns for you guys! Come on, out-do these…if you dare 🙂

So what are you waiting for?! Hit the linky below and get Buff’n’Tough with your sexy Mama Guns! Picture needs to be posted in your September 13 Mamavation Post. Have fun everyone! 🙂

JOIN THE MAMAVATION COMMUNITY!

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Leah Segedie is the Founder of Mamavation and Bookieboo, a blogger network. After losing over 100 lbs, she started a career mentoring women in health and since then has assisted in over 3,500 lbs lost via the Mamavation community. Leah and her work has been mentioned in Ladies Home Journal, Reader's Digest, Fitness, Women's Day, CNN, ABC, CBS, the O'Reilly Factor, AOL, Entrepreneur, and Yahoo to name a few. She works from home in her fuzzy slippers.
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