I've been trying to do some kind of strength training 3 days a week, but I'm growing sick of the program I'm doing. Does anyone have any effective strength training routines that they would like to share? I hate strength training and get bored, but I love to feel the muscles burn, so I'm looking for something fun that will really get my muscles working that I can keep doing for a long period of time.
The issue that you will end up running into is the same for everyone.....plateau. By understanding that you can see gains and experience that feeling from things other than lifting you can choose many different things and avoid hitting a plateau. Its a matter of finding things you like. As an example, I only run 3 to 4 days per week. On the other days I lift weights, mountain bike, study martial arts. This mix does great things for me in terms of how I look and feel. Off trail mountain biking has turned out to be a tremendous full body workout for me. All that being said, if you are looking to stay with weights only, I would highly recommend a few sessions with a personal trainer. This will allow you to brush up on proper technique as well as ask all the questions you want. Good luck!
Get some DVDs! Jillian MIchaels has great strength training DVDs. They are inexpensive and easy to do, but will definitely help your running form and muscle building. I like "No More Trouble Zones" and "6 Week 6 Pack", but her "Yoga Meltdown" is a great stretch for after hard runs as well. You will feel the burn and they are quick and fun to do!
I had the same problem when I was stuck in the routine of going to the gym for an hour each day and doing the same strength training exercises. Not only did it become boring but I eventually stopped seeing results. Then I found BodyRock.tv. This website changed the way I exercise forever. It's entertaining and motivating (and free!), while constantly mixing things up. I've lost more weight and becomed more toned with this program than from anything else I've ever tried. Now I can't imagine going to a gym or working out any other way! My favorite part about it is that the workouts are short (20-30 minutes usually), so they don't interfere with your schedule, but they're intense, so you feel like you've pushed to the limit each time. Plus it's done at home with very little equipment but gives you such amazing results. Strength training was never really something I enjoyed either but with this site I actually look forward to my workouts because you start to like the challenge. I'm like you in that I didn't like the exercises but liked to feel the burn. This is the program for you then because you work at your maximum effort - and boy, do you feel the burn (sometimes for days)! Hope this helps!