As promised, I am ready to post my review on Stage 1 of The New Rules of Lifting for Women. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, see my first post on this topic.
This stage is composed of two workouts.
As you can see, the workouts are fairly simple with a limited number of moves. I liked that because as a newbie to weightlifting I wanted to be able to remember the moves I was supposed to do rather than bringing the book into the gym. The book also provides instruction on how to do each of these moves. For some of them, I would also watch You Tube videos if I wasn’t sure on form.
One thing I found about this stage was that it became very repetitive after a while. In total, you end up doing each workout 8 times. So by the end of it, I was so ready for it to be over and move on. However, I understand why it’s done that way. You really do see progress in the amount of weight that you can lift and that in itself becomes very motivating.
Before, I show you my results and amounts of weights that I was able to lift I should mention that this isn’t the first time I’ve tried this program. I started this program initially in January of this year. However, I got through about half of stage 1 and ended up with a back injury from improper dead lifting form. So this time around I knew I was going to be more careful. Last time, at around the halfway point I was already dead lifting 105 lbs. This time, at the end I still only lifted 75lbs. I know I’m capable of more but I wanted to be very careful and ensure my form was perfect before I added additional weight. I did the same with squats, small increases in weight and focused more carefully on my form.
As I did the workouts I wrote down my weight amounts on a spreadsheet I created. However, for some reason I only included half the workouts in my spreadsheet so it became a real mess.
As a summary, I’ll post my starting and ending weights.
Squat 45lb 95lb
Pushup All girl style All man style
Seated Row 40lb 70lb
Step-Up 10lb 25lb
Prone Jackknife 2 legs 1 leg
Deadlift 45lb 75lb
Shoulder Press 10lb 25lb
Lat Pulldown 40lb 55lb
Lunge 10lb 25lb
Ball Crunch 10lb 25lb
As you can see there were some great improvements in my strength. Like I said, I feel I’m capable more with my dead lifts and squats but overall, I’m happy with these numbers. My one challenge is my gym. I go to a very small gym and am limited by the equipment they have. Therefore for some exercises such as the wide grip lat pull-down the weight goes from 55 to 70. That can be a big increase to make. I think I would likely be able to do 60-65 but I couldn’t quite make the jump to 70.
There were a few things I did differently than the book called for:
-I warmed up with a 1 mile run before every workout
-For the ab exercises, the book has you start at sets of 8 and work up to 15. I just started with sets of 15
-Pushups subsequently decrease number of reps, I didn’t see why I would do less, so I always did 30 pushups
-I stretched after every workout. The book makes no mention of post-workout stretching but I completed some everytime
And for results, I definitely failed in this department. Not failed as in I didn’t see results, but failed as in I forgot to take starting pictures and measurements! I did take some pictures about midway through stage 1. So I’ll use that for my before/after. Please be kind, it takes a lot of courage to share these photos.
The results aren’t drastic but I definitely notice some improvement and muscle definition. Most importantly, I feel better! Every time, I get ready for the shower and start undressing, I’m like “yeah, you look good!”
Now onto level 2. You only have to do each workout 4 times! Will post when that level is complete!
Have you ever taken before and after photos to compare your progress? Do you flex your muscles in the mirror every time you shower?