So. I read "The New Rules of Lifting For Women" over my vacation. The diet plan part really didn’t interest me much– I admit that I skipped all the recipes, because it was painful and I don’t really care about egg white omelette variations and whey protein shakes. I’m much happier saying to myself "eat plenty of of protein and vegetables" and calling it a day. Anyway, the part I didn’t skip was the lifting bit– most of the book seemed geared at telling women to put down the treadmill and pick up something heavy, and lift it using compound movements, not isolation. Fair enough. (Though I’m not giving up my sanity-inducing cardio– they’ll have to pry my running and swimming out of my cold hands.)
The challenge seems to be that I have 2 lifting days per week and the book recommends 3, with at least 1 day of rest between. However, J and I have been on a T/Th schedule forever and I don’t think he’d be able to go M/W/F and I feel like we motivate each other pretty well to go so I want to keep that. So I’ll try T/Th for now; some of the exercises can be done with body weight or home dumbbells so maybe I’ll throw a sprinkling in on Saturday too.
Anyway, Stage 1 Workout A is a warmup (5 minutes on the rowing machine, today) then squats, alternating pushups and seated rows, and alternating step-ups and prone jackknifes. I looked at the workout on paper and it looked sort of… easy. Squats? Rows? Sure, whatever. But it turns out I underestimated it.
I’m used to doing sets of 10 for squats; this calls for 15×2. I loaded up the bar with an "easy" 85lb and struggled to 15. I had to use a large angle to get to 15 for pushups, which made me sad. Seated rows were easy and I need to load that up next time. Step-ups kicked my ass! I did the first set with 20lb in each hand and barely made it through both sides; the second set I used 15lb and it still sucked. And I thought I was going to have big problems with the jackknifes, but it turned out that I did 10×2 easily instead of the prescribed 8 reps.
I didn’t follow the rest periods perfectly today since I was still learning how to set things up, but it turned out to be an efficient way of working all the major groups despite being only 5 exercises. The way the book describes the pattern of workouts is sort of confusing so I’ll have to read it carefully to make sure I’m doing it right. I’ll try to tag the posts as I go through (#NRoL4W).