Thursday, October 16, 2014

The New Rules of Lifting For Life: Phase One Recap

From October 2012-June 2013, I completed the New Rules of Lifting for Women program and lost 9.25 inches and seven pounds.

After that, I purchased New Rules of Lifting for Life, intending to begin it in October 2013. I did one workout back then, but I found this new book confusing, and, to be honest, the only exercise I did last academic year was yoga twice a week.

After we returned from Europe, I knew I had to make some changes. My clothes were tight, and I didn't like it. I began The New Rules of Lifting for Life on September 6th, and I finished phase one, transform, today.

I'm really proud of all that I accomplished, and once I figured out how to do the workouts (there is a LOT more choice in this book than the women's version), it really isn't so complicated at all. I did New Rules in conjunction with RISE (Resistance, Intervals, Stretching, Endurance). New Rules takes care of resistance and intervals, since every weight lifting exercise ends with interval training, yoga twice a week takes care of stretching (and so much more!), and once a week, I've been doing running as endurance training (to prep for my next 5K). Overall, since returning to Midland on August 11th, I've done 33 workouts. Lately, I average four workouts a week.

As a result, I'm feeling great; however, I haven't put any emphasis on tracking inches or pounds lost. I find tracking inches confusing (how do you know that you're measuring in exactly the same spot?), and my weight has stayed pretty much the same. I just know that my clothes are fitting better (today, I put on a bridesmaid dress I bought this summer, and the seamstress wanted to take it in where it had been tight before). The most important thing to me is that I'm feeling strong and healthy. Here's a look at my improvements:

Stability: Planks from 30 seconds to 60 seconds
Dynamic Stability: Plank and Pulldowns from 30 pounds to 40 pounds
Lower Body Power: From level 1, box jump to level 3, kettleball swing with 15 pounds
Upper Body Power: Elevated Explosive Push Ups (I thought I could never do them, but I do 8 with ease...time to move up to level 2!)
Squat: From level 1, body weight squat, to level 3, front squat with 20 pounds
Pull: From level 1, standing cable row with 30 pounds to level 2, kneeling lat pulldown with 95 pounds.
Hinge: from level 1, swiss ball supine hip extension, to level 2, cable pull through with 30 pounds
Single Leg Stance: the dreaded STEP UP is back. I went from 10 pounds to 20 pounds.
Lunge: from level 1, split squat, to level 2, dumbbell reverse lunge with 20 pounds
Push: My push ups are awesome! I can do 15 with perfect form. I could hardly do 10 at first.

My tips are:
Plan for each workout to take about 1 hour.
Be committed: I've worked out in a super crowded gym and when I had to return home to get clothes because I forgot them. Take a no excuses approach.
Put a hair tie in your gym bag: always. Likewise, try to always have a snack on hand if pre-workout hunger strikes.
Write down your workouts on index cards, so you don't need to carry the big book around the gym.
Look through the book every couple of weeks to determine if you are ready to progress in level.

Now, I kind of wish I had taken good before photos, so I could compare them to after photos, but oh well. I'm excited to move on to phase two, develop, next week, but first, I'm prepping for a trip to Austin to present at a conference. We leave tomorrow after work, and I couldn't be more excited to see my family and friends.

Happy almost weekend everyone!

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