Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New Rules of Weight Lifting For Women (Stage 1 Recap)

Remember how I mentioned doing a new exercise program?

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
My results so far are not drastic, but encouraging. I have logged 32.5 hours in the gym this semester (with yoga and strength training combined), and I am pretty impressed with that! Stage 1 only took a total of 9 gym hours.

Measurement changes from 10/02 to 11/20

Bust: No Change
Band: -.25"
Right Bicep: +.5"
Left Bicep: + .5"
Waist: No Change
Hips: -1"
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:

Workout A 
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

Workout B
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). 
So, next week, I am on to stage 2, but for now, I am looking forward to relaxing and enjoying time with my family. In other news...

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.

April 2012 
Happy birthday to Sharon and safe travels to everyone on the road or in the air this holiday! This afternoon, we are Austin bound. This week felt like it took so long, but it's finally here, and we're ready to celebrate!
<3 S, B, L&Z

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