Post-NRoL4W thoughts

Well, all the soreness of NRoL4W has dissipated, save for my quad and knee (foam roller, stretch, repeat, hope for the best). Now it’s time to take a look back at the year+ I spent working through the program.

Overall, my experience was that it was a solid and balanced workout program. It packed a full body, compound exercise workout into each session, which meant I could get a lot of lifting done in a reasonable amount of time. However, doing full body workouts meant that I was often using muscles sore from Tuesday again on Thursday. And the book recommends 3x/week; I was only doing 2x!

That leads me to another criticism: I was often sore enough that my other activities suffered. This is probably more on me than the program; I push myself hard and take a while to recover, and the regimen doesn’t really include other exercise. But I felt like I lost aerobic conditioning by not being able to run as much, though I gained tons of strength that helped me easily gain it back when I started training running again in the spring.

And I didn’t just get sore– I genuinely hurt myself a couple times, including something thing called meralgia paresthetica where my thigh went numb for a few weeks. (Actually, looking back I’ve had a lot of problems with this left leg, starting with this…) That’s another concern: illustrations in a book are well and good, but having a pro around to help with form would be super, especially with heavily-loaded exercises. I’m lucky that my gym staff has been helpful in this regard.

I saw genuine improvement in my lifting. Squats started at 85lb and finished at 125lb, and deadlifts started at 95lb and ended at 165lb (and a ton of that improvement came from better grip strength; I could barely keep hold of the loaded bar for 15 reps when I started.) Plus I can do things like pushups on the floor now (I just busted out 10 to prove it to myself!) The progress report tag is full of my breakdowns from each stage! This is the real proof.

The best part of NRoL4W has been gaining the confidence to throw myself at something that I know is going to be really tough– this entire program has been an exercise in getting through psychological hurdles. (Remember the chin-up stage? I finished it. It didn’t work, but I sure as heck got stronger.)

It’s tremendously reassuring to know my own strength! And hey, if I can stick with this intense lifting plan for over a year and finish it, I can probably do other hard things too. So what’s next?

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8 Responses to Post-NRoL4W thoughts

  1. I’m hoping to get a session with a trainer when I move, because that’s something that has held me back (among other things I’ve since shed). Only having books & websites to go to for guidance feels tricky. I want to be sure I’m doing things right, so I’d rather have someone knowledgeable there to help me get my form right. I don’t know anyone IRL who lifts, so I don’t have a buddy to help me. :(

    • G says:

      Yeah, this is a hard thing to do by yourself. We can look at pictures and gifs and videos all day but still have no idea how our body is moving! One thing I really ought to do myself is get a range of motion assessment, too… I have a feeling my limitations there hold me back some.

  2. ebay313 says:

    I’m having the same issue with stronglifts in terms of muscle soreness. DOMS usually don’t hit, at least not bad, until 2 days out. So doing 3x a week means lifting with DOMS.
    I also keep thinking I really need to try to find a coach somehow who can help me with form. I don’t want a personal trainer, I don’t need numerous sessions with someone creating a plan for me, I just want someone to help me out with making sure I have proper form so I don’t hurt myself. This is even more an issue for me, since I work out in my basement. The closest i can get to feedback on form is taking video and posting online for feedback (which I’ve never even done because I’m self conscious. I have recorded and watched myself to catch mistakes myself, but never shared).

    Good luck in the future! Are you familiar with the 5/3/1 program? http://www.muscleforlife.com/get-strong-strength-training/ Might be a good next step if you continue with lifting as it seems like it’s better for not working the same muscles multiple times a week.

    • G says:

      My DOMS is the same way! The day after I usually feel ok, but 2 days is when the pain sets in (often because I felt okay the day after and didn’t really rest properly, but that’s my fault for doing stupid things). Can you find a friend locally to lift with? Often just another set of eyeballs is enough to make corrections.

      That 5/3/1 program looks interesting, but a couple of things make it maybe not ideal for me? I always need a spot for heavy bench press so I hate doing that one, and I’ve heard mixed things about military press as a heavily-loaded primary lift. But I like the concept, maybe I can adapt it. I have no idea what my 1RMs are though…

      • ebay313 says:

        Yeah if I could find s more experienced lifter who would give some feedback that would be great, right now don’t really know anyone that well who could though :( (I have a friend who lifts some and is a personal trainer but honestly I don’t trust his advice. If seen visits of him lifting and it’s not in line with the lifting paradigm i follow – for example doing squats that don’t even get to parallel when I’m an atg fan. Which is also why I put little suck in being a personal trainer because that does not mean trained in proper form and technique according to the lifting I do. Also for example I am not sure I have placement right for low bar squats. Someone who is only familiar with high bar wouldn’t be of help there.)

        Trying for 1rms is really fun to me. Though I’ve only done this with deadlifts. I keep meaning to really try it with squats since right now I only know my 5×5 current pr.

  3. Pingback: 2014 Recap | Running While Fat

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