Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Rules of Weight Lifting for Women, Stage 3 Recap

My Stage 1 Recap is here
My Stage 2 Recap is here 

Yesterday, I finished Stage 3 of the New Rules of Weight Lifting for Women. It was a little hard getting back to the gym after a 3 week hiatus instead of the recommended 1 week, but I did it. My results this month were mostly maintaining...I've lost a total of 2.5" from this program. I wasn't too disappointed by this because this month, I'm finally starting to see and feel the changes in my body. I am the same size, but I see more muscle than I used to, especially when I look at my legs and my back. Also, I am stronger, which I like, and feel more energized and fit overall. I haven't gotten sick (knock on wood), and I attribute part of that to working out regularly. I should reiterate here that I have not made any changes to my diet since starting this program in October. I try to eat healthy and balanced meals daily (the book has a recommended high protein diet). 
                     This Stage                        Total Change 
Bust               No Change                           -.50"                       
Band              No Change                           -.25"
Right Bicep       -.25"                                 +.25"
Left Bicep     No Change                            +.50"
Waist            No Change                            -.50"
Right Thigh    No Change                            -.50"
Left Thigh      No Change                            -.50"
Hips              No Change                            -1"
Weight           No Change                            +2 lbs

I started stage 3 on January 8th and finished on the 29th, so it took me exactly 3 weeks. Like stage 2, it consisted of 8 workouts. I mostly worked out twice a week (I worked out 3 times during one week) and continued to combine these workouts with 1 hour yoga classes on Mondays and Wednesdays. These workouts took between 1.5 hours to nearly 2 hours each time. I would estimate, I spent 14 hours in the gym to do this stage (and 7 hours in yoga class in the past 3.5 weeks). That gives me an average of 6 hours per week of working out. Not bad! However, I should also add, one reason this stage takes so long is because you are expected to rest 1 min and 45 sec between each set...and there are a lot of sets! I tried to follow the total rest period, but sometimes rested 1 min 30 sec and couldn't stand it anymore. Here are the results in my lifting capabilities: (sorry for the tiny font, I tried to fix it, but the blog has a mind of its own sometimes)

Workout A

One arm dumbbell snatch: from 10lbs to 15lbs
Dumbbell single-leg Romanian deadlift: from 10lbs to 20lbs
Barbell bent over row: from 20lbs to 50lbs 
Dumbbell single arm overhead squat: from 5/10lbs (you do different weights in each hand) to 10/20lbs
Dumbbell incline bench press: from 30lbs to 40lbs 
Plank: from being able to hold it 50 seconds to being able to hold it for 90 secs (3 sets!) 
Reverse wood chop: from 30lbs to 50lbs 

Body weight matrix (includes 24 squats, 24 lunges, 24 lunge jumps, and 24 squat jumps): from taking 6 minutes to taking 3 minutes and 11 seconds. <<The BWM was my nightmare. OUCH! 

Workout B

Partial single leg squat: from body weight to 30lbs 
Wide-grip lat pulldown: from 65lbs to 70lbs (started this in stage 1 with 40lbs) 
Back extension: from body weight to 10lbs 
YTWL: from 10lbs to 10lbs<no change, but I got better at it (hardest lift in the workouts!)
Swiss Ball Crunch: from 10lbs to 25lbs (started this with body weight in stage 1)
Hip Flexion (body weight...more prone jackknifes and reverse crunches)
Lateral Flexion (body weight...moved from easiest variation to hardest variation) 
Prone Cobra: held it 90 seconds for all 3 sets (in all 4 workouts)
Interval training, 15 minutes: I upped my recovery speed from 2.5 to 3.5 in this stage and upped intervals from a level 7 (6.0 on treadmill) to level 10 (6.7 on treadmill). The workout still calls for 1 minute hard/2 minutes recovery, so I stuck with that and went a little over 1 mile in each interval session. 

completed workout logs 
My stage 3 tips (these are in addition to tips from stage 1 and 2 recaps)

  • Get a pair of gloves for lifting. Trust me, your hands will thank you. Added bonus: engagement ring protection. I bought a pair at target by GoFit for $15. It was a worthy investment. 
  • Just accept that the workout is going to take a long time. Rushing through the rest periods will not be completing the workout as designed, so clear 1.5-2 hours from your schedule to make it happen. 
  • Bring an i-pod to the can use it to time your planks and prone cobras (without straining your neck to find a clock), and it is a good distraction for interval training as well. 
  • Not a stage 3 tip, but general gym in January tip: The gym in January will be PACKED. Don't let this derail you. Work around people to the best of your ability, and find substitute exercises if necessary. Don't fret...3/4 of these people will be gone by March. 
  • On being one of the only women in the weight room: again, don't let it bother you. Just keep on keeping on!

I'm really proud of my improvements in stage 3...I'm going to take my break between stages (I'll do yoga tonight and rest Thursday--Sunday--well rest from weight lifting at least, do yoga Monday and start stage 4 on Tuesday) and get ready for stage 4 (which looks a lot like stage 2, yikes, lunges!) I'm happy Brendan is still going to the gym with me. It makes it easier to commit and do my best. 

Here's to getting stronger, slowly, but surely. 

<3 S, B, (and sleeping right next to me L&Z)

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