New Rules of Lifting for Women: Stage 1

It has been eight weeks since I started the New Rules of Lifting for Women workout program. On Monday of last week, I finished the last workout for Stage 1 so it is time for a recap and to check in on my progress.

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Breaking It In

Before I started the NROLFW program, I was honestly intimidated by the free weights section of the gym. A long time ago, a sports medicine doctor told me that I needed to be careful with my shoulders because of a swimmer’s shoulder diagnosis. I definitely took that diagnosis a little to the extreme and shied away from anything related to lifting heavy weights. I was also under the impression that if I lifted heavy weights I would become “bulky” and look sort-of like a man. After reading the book and doing tons of research, I realized that none of my fears were actually validated.

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How It Works

Stage 1 consisted of two workouts (A and B) that were done a total of eight times each and followed by two special workouts. Each workout consisted of 5 exercises (10 different exercises total). The workout schedule prescribed the number of sets and how many reps per set that I was supposed to do as well as how much rest I was supposed to take between sets.

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One of my favorite things about this program is that everything is laid out for me. Before I even set foot in the gym, I know what exercises I am supposed to do and how many reps and sets of each exercise. The difficult part for me was deciding what weights to use. In the end, I think I did a pretty good job of figuring out what was appropriate for me.

The Workouts

So did I improve over the course of eight weeks? Absolutely!! By the end of stage 1, I increased the weights I used for every singe exercise. In my opinion, that is a significant improvement. The tables below show the difference between the my starting points and ending points. Workout 9, the special workout, was intended to show a difference and it did. I used the same weights as I did for Workout 1.

Workout A:

Workout 1

Workout 8

Workout 1

Workout 9

Dumbbell Squat*

Push Up**

Bent Over Row***

Step Up

Prone Jackknife**

50 lbs.

30* BW

20 lbs.

40 lbs.

BW

70 lbs.

Full BW

60 lbs.

60 lbs.

BW

15 reps

15 reps

15 reps

15 reps

8 reps

20 reps

20 reps

30 reps

20 reps

20 reps

Workout B:

Workout 1

Workout 8

Workout 1

Workout 9

Dumbbell Deadlift*

Dumbbell Shldr. Press

Wide Lat Pulldown

Lunge

Swiss-ball Crunch**

50 lbs.

20 lbs.

40 lbs.

40 lbs.

BW

80 lbs.

40 lbs.

80 lbs.

60 lbs.

20 lbs.

15 reps

15 reps

15 reps

15 reps

8 reps

30 reps

25 reps

25 reps

20 reps

40 reps

  • * These exercises were supposed to be done with barbells but my fitness center doesn’t have any so I used dumbbells instead.
  • ** These exercises are all body weight exercises. I went from doing my push ups at a 30* angle to a full push up.
  • *** My fitness center doesn’t have a cable machine so I had to do a modified version of this exercise.

The Results

These workouts were definitely about finding a good starting point and becoming comfortable with free weights. Along the way, I have learned to push myself and test my limits. I have also started to become more comfortable with my body which is huge! So are there measurable results? Absolutely!!

Before (1/23/12)

Stage #1 (3/11/12)

Difference

Chest

Rt. Bicep

Lt. Bicep

Waist

Hips

Rt. Thigh

Lt. Thigh

Wrist*

Rt. Forearm*

Weight

Body Fat %

35.00

10.50

10.50

29.00

39.75

23.50

23.50

5.75

8.375

151.0

26.8%

33.50

10.00

10.50

29.00

38.50

23.125

23.25

5.75

8.00

146.0

26.7%

-1.50

-0.50

-1.25

-0.375

-0.25

-0.375

-5.0

-0.1%

That is a whole of lot of numbers to process but essentially I lost a total of 4.25 inches, 5 pounds and 0.1% body fat during the first stage. I think I was hoping for a bigger loss in my body fat percentage but the again I wasn’t very strict with my diet.

Before and After Stage 1 Pictures

BeforeAfter Stage 1

BeforeAfter Stage 1

BeforeAfter Stage 1

The visible changes that I can see are very subtle. As my sister so wonderfully pointed out to me while taking the “After” pictures, I have back fat. Now that I look at these pictures side by side, I can see that I have less back fat. I can also see that my arms have more definition (yay!) and my stomach is slightly flatter (double yay!). The results that I want won’t happen over night so I am thrilled to see even the slightest changes.

WIAW: going green on instagram

It has been a while since I did a WIAW post but I have really missed it. Since I got an awesome new iPhone on Saturday, I couldn’t resist taking pictures with it of all the green things I ate on Sunday! Let’s see if you can find the green thing I ate at each meal.

 

After my Sunday morning long run, I was crazy hungry! I attribute this to the fact that I didn’t really eat anything before or during the run. Note to self: always have something to eat for breakfast and fuel for the run on long run days!

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I headed over to Starbucks to grab something delicious and refreshing for breakfast. I really like their Spinach and Feta Breakfast Wrap, which is made with egg whites and is full of protein. I wish it didn’t have so much sodium but I probably needed it after my sweat fest. I also enjoyed a Venti Iced Coffee with Sugar Free Vanilla and cream.

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After my late breakfast, I did a few sun salutations to stretch out my sore hips. I quickly showered and changed because I had plans to meet my boyfriend for lunch. Since he only has an hour long lunch break, we decided to go to the Applebee’s that is very close to his job. As soon as I saw the new Fried Green Tomato and Turkey Club Sandwich, I knew I had to get it. I don’t really eat a lot of fried food anymore but fried green tomatoes are delicious. The sandwich was a little on the greasy side (I think it was put on the grill with butter) but it was delicious!!

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When my boyfriend got home from work, we started working on dinner. He loves going to a local butcher to get fresh meat, which he had done earlier that week. One of his favorite things to pick up is bacon wrapped chicken. While he grilled the chicken, I steamed some broccoli and prepped a simple spinach salad.

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After dinner, we chilled out and watched some television for a couple hours before I fixed dessert. In my opinion, every day should end with something sweet. Winking smile We each had a slice of raspberry cheesecake leftover from last night’s dinner at The Lucky Dill Deli. I also added some fresh strawberries to the plate. It was the perfect end to a relaxing and yet active Sunday.

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