Well, here are the details, and my results from stage 1 (of 7) of The New Rules of Weight Lifting for Women. I just finished stage 1 this morning, and I'm happy and proud of myself!
I started the program on October 2nd and finished on November 21st. Total, stage 1 took 8 weeks and included 18 workouts. I did the workouts typically 2, but sometimes 3 times a week. I should add, I also did yoga twice a week (1 hour each class) during stage 1. I started twice a week yoga 5 weeks before embarking on New Rules of Weight Lifting for Women.
|A few of my gym logs, stage 1|
Measurement changes from 10/02 to 11/20
Bust: No Change
Right Bicep: +.5"
Left Bicep: + .5"
Waist: No Change
Right Thigh: -1"
Left Thigh: -1"
Weight: +2 pounds (not surprised, I am not trying to lose weight right now, but rather, my focus is on toning up).
I looked at the before/after pictures, and I couldn't really tell much of a difference yet, but my arms especially feel stronger and firmer, as well as my butt! Brendan says he notices a difference in my legs. I know that it isn't realistic to expect my body to transform in 8 weeks, so I feel pretty happy with these results. 2.25" off my body!
Now, here are the results of how much stronger I became in my lifting capabilities:
Squats: From 20lbs + bar to 50lbs+bar
Push Up: From doing 7 in a row to doing 15 in a row
Row: From 35lbs to 70lbs
Step Up: From 20lbs to 30lbs
Prone Jackknife: From 8 in a row to 20 in a row
Deadlift: From 20lbs+bar to 50lbs+bar
Dumbbell Shoulder Press: From 20lbs to 30lbs
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown: From 40lbs to 60lbs
Lunges: From 20lbs to 30lbs
Swiss Ball Crunches: From 8 in a row to 25 in a row or from body weight to BW + 15lbs
I didn't follow the specific diet from the book, but just continued to eat healthy. I did focus on eating more protein, and had a protein shake on days after I lifted (usually).
Stage 1 is the longest stage of the program, and I did get a little sick of doing the same moves. The book advises to take 1 week off between stages, and I am happy to use Thanksgiving break as my off week. Trust me, it is much needed!
My Tips For Stage 1:
- Don't be afraid to ask strangers in the gym for help if you don't understand a move. Since I work out in a college gym, I am fortunate that there are many athletes able to tell me if I'm doing something incorrectly! I also have Brendan, and he is knowledgeable as well. Plus, I always brought my book to the gym with me, in case I needed to reference it.
- Have an accountability buddy: Brendan knew that every Tuesday and Thursday were my lifting days. He went to the gym with me, and he was also a good motivation for the few times I was feeling lazy and didn't want to go. I usually didn't mind going. The workouts only took about 30 minutes each in this stage, so I didn't really mind. I wrote the workouts on my calendar; this was motivating, and made me stick to my plans.
- Lift on the same days of the week every week: Consistence is key! I think it is easier to just get into a routine with how your week flows. I did M/W yoga, T/TH lifting, and sometimes F lifting.
- Chocolate Protein Powder, ice, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 tablespoon peanut butter and 1 cup milk: awesome after workout recovery shake.
- Don't expect miracle changes: true change will take longer than 8 weeks to see. Don't freak out if you gain a couple of pounds and remember the old "muscle weighs more than fat" rule. (Note: It would probably be encouraging if I had taken my body fat percentage before starting, but I didn't have a way to do this).
Wishing a very happy birthday today to my future Mother in law, Sharon! I admire her because she always goes for her dreams: whether it is opening her own business (her preschool, Growing Garden, has been in business 30 plus years, and she just started a store called Anna Pearl's Curiosities), or making time to do the things she loves (yard sales, spending time with/supporting family and friends, and entertaining are a few passions that come to mind!) she has many interests that keep her young. She had much to celebrate this year: including her 35th wedding anniversary and opening her new store. I hope her next year is just as wonderful! In my life, she is a true gift and a second mother to me; definitely, she has always welcomed me with love and open arms, and I feel lucky to have such a wonderful woman in my life.
<3 S, B, L&Z