New Rules of Lifting For Women: Surprisingly ass-kicking

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).

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4 Responses to New Rules of Lifting For Women: Surprisingly ass-kicking

  1. Caitlin says:

    Yay! I also do not follow the diet part because meh, but the workouts have been awesome. I love that I get a full-body workout that gets my heart pumping in 30-40 minutes. It’s nice to not have a whole list of exercises that aims at every little teeny body part and instead to have a handful of really effective ones that work multiple muscles at wonce.

    I also am not giving up my range of cardio activities, but it’s good for someone to be out there saying that it’s not necessary to do those things if you find them boring.

    The NRoL4W Facebook group is good for helping to explain anything you might find confusing. I recommend joining it.

  2. This is the book I first bought last year when I decided I want to lift heavy, I never actually got round to following the programme but have heard lots of good things from women who have. Looking forward to seeing how you find it, but don’t forget it’s our hobby, something we do for fun and health so if you can’t do it 3 days a week all the time don’t sweat it just build it in when you can .

  3. Pingback: 2013 Recap Post | Running While Fat

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