Guest Post · training · weight lifting

Off Season Training (Guest Post)

by Sandi Conrad

The throwing season ends in the September/October time frame, and starts again in the spring.  The heavy events are so much about technique, but it’s tough practicing in the off-season.  The weights tend to dig up the ground, and we need a lot of space for throwing, so indoor practicing is not much of an option.  With the cold weather we’ve been having, only the diehards will go out in the minus degrees and practice.  This means we need a different focus for the off-season.

Lifting is the answer to the off-season training. Although the only real variable for weight is the caber, and the heaviest we throw is 28lbs, getting stronger will help to throw further and help with sustaining energy through a full day of competition.  We never know the size of the caber going in and I’ve picked up a few very heavy sticks.  The extra strength isn’t going to hurt at all.

We cover the basics like bench presses and squats, but also do a lot of weight training to mimic some of the movements in the sport to help build muscle memory.  I bought the book “The new rules of lifting for women”  to get started with the weights, but once I got up to speed switched over to the same rotation of the guys at the gym.  I’ve been meeting and setting new goals regularly and have some new goals set up to hit before the season hits again.  My muscle mass is slowly increasing and I’ve got more muscle than ever.  I’m pretty amazed at my strength, despite the late start of waiting until my 40s.  Even up to a few years ago, I wouldn’t have thought I could bench press 135, now that is an old goal and I’ve set my sights higher.

Why do I love lifting weights?

I’m getting older and need to pay more attention to my health.  It’s getting harder to lose weight and as I start my menopausal journey I realize that my chances of losing bone density and getting osteoporosis is higher.  Lifting weights will improve bone density and is making it easier for me to fight off weight gain.  The last time I had my cholesterol checked it was super low and even in times of great stress, my blood pressure is low.

I’ve eliminated many of my “quirky health issues”.  When I eat healthy and work out, I have more energy so I can work out more.  In my 20s and 30s I was frail, dealing with dangerous dips in blood sugar, general weakness and dizziness, especially during hormonal changes, digestive and elimination issues.  Now that I’ve made a few changes to my diet (including minimal wheat) and am lifting weights, these issues are gone.  It’s been over 3 years since I’ve nearly passed out due to low blood sugar. My energy levels and ability to adjust to hormonal changes has improved significantly.

I’m stronger than ever.  Despite the fact that I’m not a kid anymore, I can open most jars, carry all my luggage when I travel, grab a massive bunch of groceries to make only one trip from the car, help others who need it.  I love the independence I get from controlling my own personal strength as well as the ability to help out others when they need it.

I’m genetically programmed to be accident prone.  OK, I might be exaggerating that a bit, but the women in my family would side with that statement. I feel like my improved balance, strength and newfound body awareness are all contributing to fewer accidents and less injuries.

I’m more confident.  My posture is better, my capabilities are increased, my focus is no longer on my waistline, but is on building strength.  I could lose more weight, and have started to focus even more on food to reduce it.  I don’t have the toning that would make my arms look like Michelle Obama’s, but I don’t care as much anymore, because I know the muscles are there and that my strength is continually increasing.



Sandi is a feminist in the throes of what some would call her mid-life crisis, having gone from exercising only her mind to lifting weights and throwing heavy objects.  Her natural curiosity and need to know everything serves her well in a career in research as well as all things health, science and well…life really.

3 thoughts on “Off Season Training (Guest Post)

  1. Thank you for including the pic of you training, talk about a power stance! I hope I get to see you compete this season 🙂

    1. Hopefully! Once I’ve got confirmation of games, I’ll let you know. Most will be in Ontario, but am hoping to get a few out of town too!

  2. Reblogged this on "PLuSiZe" FAB FuN FUNKY FINDS and commented:
    This almost sounds like me. I’ll be 60 in July. I have Fibromyalgia now for over 15 years. I had to quit my job and have all but turned into a hermit. Well I just got so sick of feel like this I started going to the gym and using the heated pool for exercise. I was told not to use weights by my Doctor because of the Fibromyalgia. I was always active before this knocked me down, gardening, yard work, building, painting ( murals) and paining in my home, too. This year because of my granddaughter, we’ve decided to go to the gym and work out on the weights. She’s going to be 15 this year and she developed some medical problems and had to go on a medication that caused her to gain a lot of weight. She’s been so down on herself about the weight that I am determined to get her to feeling good about herself not matter what. I ordered the Total Gym for my husband and I’ve been working on it and it’s made me feel a lot better even thought I shake for about 30 minutes after I get off it. But I think most of that is because I really haven’t exercised in so many years. I know I lost my butt some where years back and I’m hoping this will plump it back out. Maybe I’ll get in shape enough to wear a Bikini and pose on stage at a body building show. Who knows. Yea, that would be fun and maybe meet “The Rock” and he could give me some training tips and show off those muscles… Oh I’m sorry, when you get my age…your mind sort of wonders.

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