Weight and Resistance Training - New Rules of Weight Lifting! (2014)

01-08-2014, 03:45 PM
I did see a few old threads, but I thought I could start a new one for the new year :D

Last year I bought the book and had such good intentions of actually doing it.

Well that didn't happen.

I still am not sure how to even begin. I am intimidated by the free weight area (although there was a lil ol' blue haired lady in there the other day that was kicking ***, I should have jumped at the chance to join her!)

I have no idea what I am doing for the most part... I am sure that I will make a fool of myself, and I go to the cheap gym so there are no trainers :(

Has anyone finished this and have any tips and advice?

Is anyone starting this out and need a place to keep accountable, coz that's what I plan to do here!

I have been considering getting up at the ungodly hour of 4 am one day just to go the gym in hopes that I'll have the place to myself to experiment and make a fool of myself when no one is looking!

01-08-2014, 07:02 PM
I just put the book in my Amazon cart! I am also very intimidated by the free weight area of my gym, so I'll either go late or early (when it's empty) until I get comfortable.

01-08-2014, 08:48 PM
I did about a month last year and really want to get back into it, I just wasn't pleased with my weight loss during the time. I'm hoping to start in the summer.

I don't know if either of you have facebook but there are 2 facebook groups dedicated to all the different New Rules books and there's a ton of information there. Those ladies know what they are talking about and are always willing to answer questions. They also have videos on how to properly do a lot of the more complicated moves which I found helpful.

01-08-2014, 09:57 PM
Silverfire I feel like we both have similar exercise plans (I also posted in your C25k thread). I bought New Rules of Weightlifting for women last year and plan to complete the first work out tomorrow morning. I have never lifted weights before so I will see how it goes as I am going to read the workout over tonight. I have weights in my basement so luckily I don't have to worry about other people while I am learning.

And ugh 4am!whatever it takes but wow that is early

01-08-2014, 10:07 PM
I lovethe book! And the weight lifting. You won't lose weight, not really, but will get insane results if you stick with it. If free weights intimidate you, look up Body By You. I only lift heavy now, and am still increasing on a regular basis. And FWIW....I am currently eating 2500 calories, more or less maintaining with very small loses ( like half pound a week after a huge gain when I first started) weigh 225.... But fit in loose size 14's. Not many people my weight and height can claim that. Program works...heck, it rocks!

01-09-2014, 03:36 AM
I started New Rules of Lifting for Women couple of years ago, but unfortunately injured myself whilst squatting and so I had to stop. Then I was told that perhaps the New Rules of Lifting for Abs was better, as it was aimed at strengthening the core. I started that one and injured myself deadlifting. This time it was a bit worse and I had to go see a doctor. It wasn't serious, but it did make me realize that I need to do things a bit differently.

Now, it wasn't the books' fault. It's my personality. In my mind, it was more important to add more weights and move the weights from point A to B rather than focus on my form and move in a controlled manner.

I kind of liked the books and there were couple of exercises I really liked and doing the supersets was really effective. I just don't think I'll go back to doing them and have now moved onto Bret Contreras' books. But that's just me, and I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy the workouts! Just don't be like me and keep it safe :-) Oh, and there are a lot of videos and animations on the web on how to perform each exercise, in case the illustrations in the book aren't enough. No need to be scared of the free weights.

01-09-2014, 11:11 AM
I think I am more intimidated by all the beefy boys in the free weight area more than the weights themselves lol. There are so many of them, and they are all so BEEFY!!! And of course because it is the start of the year there are twice as many people in there as usual....

Sparklybunny - Sounds like something I would do... go to hard to fast and hurt myself (kinda like I already did a little! lol, I got a little crazy on the rowing machine and pulled something in my arm! It's already much better today) I think I saw some of those videos and animations the last time I was preparing for this. I will have to bookmark those again.

I have found online a much easier (for me anyway) to follow log spreadsheet that I am trying to compact and print into a pocket sized booklet :) And started by taking photos of the each exercise page on my phone so I don't need to bring the whole book to the gym with me.

zoesmom I am glad you are happy and have had such good results! I really am looking forward to being stronger! My BF and I tried to move a couch and I got about 5 feet before I nearly dropped it on myself (It then sat in the kitchen for a few days until someone stronger could be found to help lol!!!) I will have to be more focused on measurements and how my clothes fit rather than the scale for sure!

Rated I think we have pretty similar plan in mind too, I sure hope its a good plan ;) Lucky you to have the stuff at home to get you started, totally jealous lol! And yeah, 4am is no pick-nick but to have the whole gym to myself for a couple hours may be worth it to give me enough confidence to strut my stuff when there are other people around!!!

Changergirl I didn't know that and I am checking them out RIGHT NOW. Coz to be honest, this program is kinda confusing or is it just me??? Good luck when you decided to get back into it!

PUPMOM5 :woohoo: I hope it arrives quick!!!

01-10-2014, 03:57 PM
I did the first two parts, and have taken a break over the holidays (my gym is at the university so not reliably open). I really really love it, and the only reason I haven't started back is figuring out how to fit the longer workouts (stage 1 is short, easy to fit in) with my teaching schedule. Heavy weights feel awesome.

I also track my weights etc on an app (jefit) rather than the sheets. You can add new rules as a routine and log everything right there. I also found an app for calculating weights to load on my bars super helpful (barcalc is what i use).

01-11-2014, 10:50 PM
Changergirl- thanks for pointing out the facebook group. it looks like a good resource.

dehtripper- I am going to have to find that app because I always have my ipod at the gym and pens are hard to keep track of.

I just finished the second workout in stage 1. My body is already feeling the results I AM SORE. But the best kind of sore where I feel that I have worked hard and accomplished something.

I am okay with not losing weight as fast if my body is changing. I took some before photos in case I am discouraged in 4-8 weeks hopefully I will be able to see changes even if they are not showing up on the scale.

This time around I am really trying to limit the scales power over me.

Moving Forward
01-11-2014, 11:22 PM
I'm so happy to see another New Rules thread! I finished the New Rules of Lifting for Women book several months ago and am now working through The New Rules of Lifting for Life. Both programs can be initially confusing until you get into a routine of using the logs and learn the exercises. After that, you will find there is repetition in the program which makes it easier. After doing both of these programs, I feel there is an advantage to the program for women because the workouts are laid out more for you (less thinking-ha!). The other program has a nice advantage in that you design your own workouts around your own needs.

I have gotten really nice results through strength training, even if in inches and not in pounds. I'll take more muscle any day! I also work out in my garage so I don't have to worry about the intimidation factor. At this point, if I had time for the gym, I might give it a whirl simply because all of the equipment is there and I'm a social person who us getting bored out in my garage by myself.

To those of you starting, go for it!

01-13-2014, 12:31 PM
Glad to hear that it worked well for you Moving Forward!! I'm have my log compacted and ready and I think I have a pretty good handle on how to do all the things... I am planning on doing C25K and this today, we will see how that goes :) :)

01-13-2014, 12:33 PM
YOU BRAVE SOUL! I've been doing heavy lifting and running for a while now and I don't do both on the same day....mostly due to time restraints though. But if I could...I dunno. I'm usually pretty wiped after one or the other. :lol: Good luck!!!!

01-13-2014, 01:01 PM
This is defiantly a trial run!! LOL I expect to sleep really well tonight!

01-13-2014, 11:13 PM
Silverfire- I agree you are brave doing both weight lifting and C25K in the same day. I briefly thought about it and then decided it was better to alternate days and have one rest day per week. Let me know how it goes for you though... since I would love 2 rest days per week if it was possible.

01-14-2014, 09:16 AM
LOL I totally chickened out. FAIL :( The gym was PACKED yesterday. Dozens of people lined up for new memberships, not a single treadmill free, iron area oozing with beefy dudes. *sigh* New Years...

C25K went great though! and I spent an extra few minutes rowing instead of the weights.

01-14-2014, 09:21 AM
Agreed with c25k combo. I kinda dovetailed starting new rules and finished c25k last time around an planned to keep doing similar length runs. But I found it too much (both time-wise and energy wise). BUT I was also training for derby and playing rec ultimate which limited rest days. I found quick intervals before as a warm up (~13min) much more doable.

Rated - yeah, the app is great! Its got timers and all that jazz. It can be a pain to set up alternating sets (unless I'm missing something) but its much more useful t me for logging than paper I'd inevitably lose.

I'm deciding how I want to start back into the program... I really just need to sit down with my current gym/work schedule and which days I can fit longer workouts in and decide whether I want to repeat some or jump right back into stage 3. (Is is wrong that I'm kinda pumped for the body weight matrix?? for now...). Time-wise, I think I'll so a S1 workout just so I stop making excuses and do some lifting :)

01-14-2014, 09:30 AM

I've found that the "meat heads" tend to be super helpful to newbies, especially women. They are full of pointers on proper lifting, form, how to increase, protein, and on and on and on. Surprisingly so, really. The runners/walkers tend to be in their own zone and not have much to offer, but the weight lifters LOVE seeing new meat trying to get healthy and fit. You'd be surprised by the welcome you'll get over there.

And seriously, if the thought of lifting at the gym intimidates you, your really should check out Body By You.

Today is a new day to try again. At least walking in the door was step one. You can do this!!!

01-14-2014, 10:07 AM
LOL I totally chickened out. FAIL :( The gym was PACKED yesterday. Dozens of people lined up for new memberships, not a single treadmill free, iron area oozing with beefy dudes. *sigh* New Years...

C25K went great though! and I spent an extra few minutes rowing instead of the weights.

Since I posted before you posted this - great job on getting c25k done. Sucky that the gym is still packed though. My gym seems to have already lost its most of its resolution rush.

01-14-2014, 10:45 AM
Thanks dehtripper! I have a feeling there will be a steady influx of new member's for a while yet :) Oh well. Also just downloaded that app you mentioned! Way better than taking a pen and paper to the gym I'd say :)

Zoesmom - I will try and keep that in mind! I'll get there, I just need to get over these silly insecurities and cross that threshold! And I think I have seen that body by you, it's all body weight exercise's if I recall?

01-14-2014, 10:49 AM
It is. But it is more than that. It is body lifting. And surprisingly more difficult than mere weight lifting. I started it recently to add into my regimine and was surprised to find how weak I was despite how heavy I lift. But it is great for the days I don't feel like hitting the weights at the gym (and for helping me reach my goal this year)

01-15-2014, 10:58 AM
That sounds pretty cool, I will have to check that out. I used to have a basement room with an old broken elliptical that I could sort of work out in, but in the last year it has become full of things destined for big spring garage sale!

01-15-2014, 02:20 PM
I spoke too soon about the end of the resolution rush - there's been no classes this week so the gym was PACKED yesterday... so I just played frisbee for an hour and didn't bother with the crowded weight room.

But I DID get my weights in today. I just went back and ST1 A1 again. I'm going to do B1 again this week too and see how I feel.

01-22-2014, 01:43 AM
How are the workouts going for everyone? I have completed 6 workouts and I already feel more confident. Since I am on Workout 3/4 I have upped the weight and I am proud of how I am progressing.

01-22-2014, 10:25 AM
Nice work Rated! I'm still struggling to cross the threshold. Yesterday was full of beefy beefcakes making sounds similar to that of giving birth. I steered very clear of that area again! I have been watching some of the regulars though, and I may have scoped out a couple of potential helpers. We will see how it goes. Yesterday, I watched very very closely how to use the squat rack properly. It's sort of off to the side, so I may be able to sneak in there without too much trouble :)

01-22-2014, 02:22 PM
Going pretty good here. I've been keeping on S1 again, mainly because the later workouts are sooooo friggen long. Ugggggg. I love the program but I'm having a hard time integrating long workouts into my current schedule in a way that is manageable. Anyhow, I LOVE stage 1 and its got bit of everything so I'm not really complaining.

I also had that moment today of remembering how much I prefer lifting while I was surrounded by a bunch of girls doing boring-looking cardio (the lat machine is in the cardio room at my gym). Not to poo poo cardio overall, I just love this so much more. I get plenty of fun cardio with frisbee and roller derby, but I love that I can get a whole-body workout AND some quick intervals or derby agility in during my lunch hour.

Rated - I'm glad you're enjoying it. Its such a great feeling to track your progress eh!

Silverfire - sorry that the beefer's are still delaying the plunge. I'm actually amazed at how few of them at my gym use the actual squat rack at my gym at least. Hope you can squeak in a claim that rack soon!

01-22-2014, 02:34 PM
dehtripper - I love your avatar BTW! I really really would love to try out for derby here. But unfortunately, we don't have good fresh meat sessions in these parts. Here you already have to have the gear to even have a go, while a friend of mine in Alberta says that they have a thing were even if you don't have the gear, they have old stuff for you to try on and try out....

01-23-2014, 12:19 PM
Thanks :) Man, I may be a bit biased, but I really think anybody who's wondered about it should totally try derby. One of the absolute best decisions I've made.

We're similar here (I'm in Atlantic Canada). Yes, you will have to get your own gear but general we try and do a gear lend for people to try it. And there's always people upgrading and selling off old stuff cheap. I'd ask around the league and see if there's even a regional used gear Facebook page/check kijiji etc. We have women of ALL shapes and sizes, ages, careers, etc. Not that its a cure-all for fitness (I gained weight through my first 2 seasons) but it is an amazing sport to be involved with. Anyhow, I'm always up for talking derby if you want to pm any questions :)

Today I think is a rest day from weights. My hamstrings were soooooo tight last night. Must get back on to foam rolling.

01-28-2014, 03:27 PM
How are people doing? I haven't done any strength yet this week. I did a 30DS at home over the weekend (b/c I didn't want to journey out in the cold), just with 5 lb weights and maaaaaaan something in that really gave my shoulders a run for their money. So I ran yesterday and then had frisbee today. Back to the weight room tomorrow.

01-28-2014, 04:36 PM
Hello folks. I am working through the New Rules of Lifting for Women workouts as well. I recently started over at Stage 1 after a three-week trip to India followed by some other stuff disrupted my workout rhythm again. I'm now at Stage 2 for the second time. I quite like the workouts.

01-31-2014, 08:00 AM
Oof, I killed the New Rules thread! :dizzy:

Just wanted to pop in to say that I hate lunges in every variety. If it weren't for following the New Rules workouts I doubt I would be able to make myself do them.

01-31-2014, 11:39 PM
Carter - I agree on the lunges. I hate them so much!! My legs feel like jello at the end. I also hate the ab exercise the "jackknife" in Workout A stage 1.

Silverfire - If you still haven't crossed the threshold yet you should do a "mock" workout at home. Go through the motions of all of the exercises, then that way you might feel more confident going into the area with all the buff guys. What I found most intimidating was that I didn't know how or where to start, but after doing each workout once I feel like knew exactly what I was doing.

I am nearing the end of Stage 1. I have 4 workouts left to do but I have to travel next week. so I haven't figured out what I am going to do yet. I might try to workout at hotels. If that isn't possible I might take a break for a week, then finish Stage 1 and move right to Stage 2 without taking a break between the stages.

Mad Donnelly
02-11-2014, 03:33 PM
How do you translate what you read in the books or see on a video into the gym? In other words, I'm not going to walk amongst the weights with a book in my hand; but I get in there and I forget everything I've read.

Moving Forward
02-11-2014, 04:05 PM
Hi Mad--I am constantly referring to my book throughout my workouts. I would just bring the book and not worry about it.

03-22-2014, 12:09 PM
OK -- I'll bite. I'm going to try to find the book today. I'm starting Week 8 of Couch25K (Hi Silverfire & Rated!)and need another challenge so New Rules sounds like something I'd like. I'm already doing 2 weekly strength training classes with free weights, so I'm interested to see where I'd start with this program. I love the results I've had with what I'm currently doing, and look forward to learning a new independent routine. Off to the bookstore....

03-22-2014, 02:41 PM
Hi all can I join in? I bought the book and did my first workout yesterday. The only thing I didn't do quite to spec was the seated lat cable exercise there was a huge crowd of beefy dudes all over those machines alternating so I used another lat pull machine for the time being. Oh and I used dumbells for the squats, too I should just ask the guys to help me.

I had been doing the weight machines for several weeks and I am not sore at all so I can definitely up the weights next time. And I have been doing Pilates which is a huge help for push-ups with the plank work and those jackknifes on the ball boy those are great.

I am pleased though! I think I can work through this. Anybody doing it at home? I have spent the winter in Florida but will be going back north in a few weeks and there I have quite a few weights including the ones my sons used in high school with the bar and I'd like to just do them there.

03-22-2014, 04:13 PM
Hello AwShucks!

I love having the program since I find I am less likely to skip if every thing is scheduled and laid out for me. I do my new rules workouts 3 times a week on alternate days of C25k.

I am doing the program at home. sometimes I have to do modified exercises but most of the time I can follow the program exactly

I am on stage 2 now (taking a weak off for spring break) and I have gone from being unable to even hold myself in pushup position to now being able to do proper push ups. Never before in my life have I been capable of a pushup so I love this book!

04-26-2014, 09:39 PM
Hi everyone! I'm making another attempt to complete NROLW, 8 workouts in to stage 1 right now, after having to take a week off for exams/ life. It is a lot harder when I'm at school - we have this crappy gym that is always full of guys using the one lat pulldown machine and the now singular squat rack. But I'm determined to make it past stage 2 this time.

04-27-2014, 10:28 AM
Joining this thread late. I'm just four workouts into Stage 1, having done 1A and 1B each twice.

So far it's making me conscious that these whole-body, compound exercises are a completely different animal from doing a split workout, which is what I've been trying for just over a year now. Inadvertently I've created some imbalances because I focused on upper body and ignored lower body, thinking cardio would take care of that. So lunges and step-ups are really difficult for me, while twice-weekly Pilates classes for the past three years made the prone jack-knife and the plank not so hard.

I'm also working to improve my squat form. One of my imbalances seems to be complete lack of flexibility in ankles and hips. I cannot get my butt down low into the hole. I keep practicing in the weirdest places, leaning onto stuff for balance.

04-27-2014, 10:45 AM
Saef, if you need ideas for improving those areas, check out mobilitywod(dot)com, and search the site for "squat", "hips" and "ankles". It will give you some good stuff you can add to your warm-up and should help you get into a better squat position.

Good luck with the NROL program, ladies, it's a good one!

04-28-2014, 02:19 PM
Cheryl, thanks for the link. I'm probably gonna end up watching every single one of these videos -- this is a really interesting subject for me.

I've got unusually sore forearm muscles this morning from workout 1B. I'm glad for the break till Tuesday!

04-28-2014, 05:10 PM
Glad you liked it. If you didn't know, the Crossfit Journal is free now, you do have to register to create an account, but even if you're not into CF workouts, there is some good content in there regarding all sorts of lifting, gymnastics, running, mobility, etc, and you can access the archives all the way back to the beginning.

04-29-2014, 10:20 PM
Second week of the NROLW program, still on 1A and 1B.

Here's an example of my imbalance from previous work with weights:

-Can squat 65 lbs. for 12 reps
-Can row 35 lb dumbbell for 12 reps
-Can do 10 prone jackknifes, no problem, thankyou thankyou again to two Pilates mat classes weekly since 2011.

BUT ...

Step-ups on plyo platform 18-inches high, while carrying a pair of 12.5 lb dumbbells: VERY Difficult to do for 12x each leg.

I miss doing curls because I always felt so tough while doing them. I had worked v e r y s l o w l y up to the 22.5 lb dumbbells for curls. NROLW doesn't have curls (yet, and probably at all, since it's a compound movement program) and I am curious about whether I will still be able to handle that weight. Or maybe do something heavier? We'll see. I am simply going to trust in the program.

05-02-2014, 03:15 PM
More NROLW reports of imbalance:

- 100 lbs deadlift for 2x12 reps, and am sure I can go up 5 lbs next time
- 80 lbs lat pulldown, and will figure out how to add to this one with those loose plates, as I'm not sure I can jump to 87.5
- For the dumbbell shoulder press, I'm on 22.5 lbs each, would love to make it to 25 lbs.

But weighted lunges at 12.5 lb dumbbells make my wrists tired. This now explains the forearm soreness. It was from holding onto these. If I were not strictly following this program, I'd do some farmers' walks to try to get a stronger grip.

Planks at 2 mins are no problem. Again, this is from my Pilates work. So I am now doing the single lifted leg, which makes this MUCH tougher.

05-04-2014, 02:35 PM
Saef, nice work on your deadlifts.

I was thinking, if your gym has kettlebells, you might try the lunges with those. They're less of a pain to try and grip and would probably let you up the weight on your lunges without grip being such a limiting factor. A little chalk would help, too, if you are allowed to use that in the gym. Some gyms will allow a chalk bag if you don't make a mess with it, even if they don't allow loose chalk. You don't need much, just a thin layer does the trick.

For the wrist pain, you might try wrist wraps or a couple passes with athletic tape. I wouldn't use them for everything, but if it comes down to being able to do the work you need to do, or not, then it's like a weight belt...put it on so you can get the work done.

Grip is slow to improve, but it will catch up if you just keep working. Maybe when you're done testing out this program, you can throw in the grip work after your regular lifting session a couple times a week, and help things along.

You don't say how many reps or sets you're doing with the lat pulldown. If you can't figure how to bridge the gap with loose plates, another approach would be to add an extra set or two with the 80 lbs, or jump up to the 87.5 and do fewer reps per set (then build up the reps from there), do a set or two to failure with the 80 lbs after your regular sets...any of those would get you stronger and pretty soon you'll be able to do the next setting on the machine in the rep range that the program calls for. :)

05-11-2014, 12:29 PM
Cheryl thanks for these tips on grip. This is great stuff; you clearly know your s4!t. Sorry, I just read them this morning. I hadn't been back to this thread, since it looks like I'm the only one doing NROLW -- or if the others are, they are probably posting to the NROLW Facebook group, which has lots of tips & encouragement. The NROL series authors Alwyn Cosgrove, Lou Schuler and Rachel Forsythe even check in from time to time, answering questions or offering advice.

No chalk available at my gym. They don't prohibit it, probably because no one there in living memory has ever used it. It's little NY area boutique gym on a really expensive piece of real estate, so the equipment is really crammed together on the limited floor space. It targets an audience that wants its spin classes and other classes it holds within its mirrored studio. It's just a block & a half from my house, and that's why I settled in there -- because until now, the best gym for me was the easiest gym to get to & fit into my daily routine.

The free weight section is a small afterthought, though I'm lucky in that there is an Olympic bar (just one, though). Yes. there are kettlebells -- so I'm going to check on those for step-ups and weighted lunges. Also it has two separate, really decent sets of dumbbells, one of which includes those precious fractional weights, like 12.5, 17.5, 22.5 and 27.5, which have really helped me progress along.

Still, in many ways, it is not a good place for lifting. I've faced the fact that if I really want to commit to lifting & NROLW, I'm going to have to join another area gym to access more power racks and other machines. There's one called Powerhouse Gym within a mile of me, though I'm not crazy about the neighborhood -- but look, if I get strong enough, I won't have to worry about the neighborhood.

I have made some progress since I last posted:

Deadlift 120 lbs 3 x 10
Dumbbell shoulder press 25 lbs. 3 x 10 (alternating with lat pulldowns, below)
Wanted to try 27.5 lbs but I'm not ready yet

Wide grip lat pulldown 3 x 10* (alternating with the shoulder press)
Finally made it up to 87.5 lbs. *Last set was supposed to be 10, but I made it to 7, needed to drop, then did the last 3.

Lunges, 3x10 (alternating with 2-minute planks), tried 17.5 lbs, only got in one set, had to drop to 15 lbs. for the other two sets.

I am going to try those wrist wraps, too. I think this grip issue isn't helped by years of repetitive stress from keyboarding all day -- just as I think my tight hips probably come from sitting at desks all day. All the more reason to get up and walk around more on the job. What the heck are we doing to our bodies with all the time we spent on devices and laptops and tablets?

08-31-2014, 11:21 AM
So it's now the last day of August, and I am well into Stage 6 of New Rules of Lifting for Women. I've been really enjoying having a routine to follow when I walk into the free-weight section. It gives me a sense of purpose and I never walk out wondering if I could have done more or if I did the right thing, if it was helping at all or if I was even progressing. So many of the women at my gym seem to be at a loss of what to do when faced with a rack full of weights, but they are impelled to go there nonetheless, because there is a craving for some kind of strength training.

For all that, I can't say this program has been easy. There are some fussy sequences, and some of the workouts kept me in the gym for more than two hours at a time. Now the workouts have gotten shorter again, but man, I thought I would give out or give up during Stage 5 -- I am glad I made it over the hump.

At the end of Stage 6, I'm supposed to be able to do an unassisted pullup. I'm doubting this one because of my bodyweight. But it's possible that I may manage a single chin-up. I will take my victories wherever I can find them.

I will report back then.

08-31-2014, 06:55 PM
I had a nice time at the gym today. Did an hour.

Did some nice squats.

09-12-2014, 12:55 PM
Thanks for starting this thread. I started NROLFW 3 weeks ago - Stage 1 doing 3x workouts per week, and I absolutely love it.

So, I'm really pleased I found this thread, and look forward to sharing info.

I tend to get weaker around period time, which is right around the corner for me, so I had to lessen the weights this week by about 5 pounds. But, overall, as long as I lift at my 15 rep max, I can feel those endorphins coursing through.

As for being at the gym in the weights section - honestly, the guys are very cool. No one bothers me, and if I need help they are every so helpful. I tend to be the only female in the section, but I have seen other females (the really super fit ones) in the weight training area from time to time.

I notice that the the vast majority of the overweight gals are on the treadmill or bikes - doing steady state cardio at a moderate pace. Otherwise, you get the odd slim one that is stomping away really fast for an hour on the treadmill - but these types never have muscle tone. I never used to notice these little trends in the gym before :)

What I really like about this NROLFW workout is that it's both resistance and cardio at the same time. Also, I can be out of there in 30 minutes (but tend to be out within 40 after my stretch and cool down).

I decided to do this workout after I read the rave reviews over on BB.com with amazing transformation pics. It took time, and it took dedication - but if the workout feels this good, dedication is not an issue (for me).

I haven't lost any weight YET, but then I'm not following an eating protocol either. I'm an 80/20 eater - 80 healthy - 20 indulgent. I have about 25 pounds to shed (or at least look like I've shed them!) I did take measurements before I started but I'm in no hurry to remeasure. (I'm secretly hoping that I will lose without having to go on some drastic keto diet!). I have upped my protein though.

I actually want to let my clothes tell me ultimately. I am hoping that I will be able to notice when my trousers get a little looser around the waist and hips.

Anyway, I look forward to posting updates from time to time. And, I also look forward to reading everyone else's updates as they go through the stages!


09-12-2014, 01:11 PM
Nearing the end of Stage 6, and it's interesting to see that my strength has increased since my earlier posts on this thread.

No problem doing eight consecutive underhand grip lat pull-downs at 112.5 lbs., then, after a pause, banging out three more.

On the Smith machine, weighted lunges with 27.5 lbs worth of plates on either side (25 + 2.5), I can do 10 consecutive without an issue.

Also no problem doing 20 consecutive pushups.

I do not think I can do an unassisted chinup. When I try the Gravitron, I still need about 20 lbs of assistance to do a chinup from a dead hang. I've gotta wonder, if I lost those 20 lbs, could I manage it? Something to ponder.

09-12-2014, 01:34 PM
Hey Saef,

Apart from gaining strength, any other changes you've noticed?

You are an inspiration :)

09-14-2014, 11:48 AM
Back here to report that I have officially completed Stage 6.

My encounter with the assisted pull-up machine confirmed what I wrote in my earlier post: I still can't perform an unassisted chin-up from a dead hang. If I set the pin at No. 5, which is 22 lbs. of assistance, that is, 22. lbs subtracted from my body weight, I am able to do a chin-up. So, yeah, I can get stronger, or I can lose about 20 lbs.

Mel, you asked what changes I've noticed since April, when I started the program:

1) My body looks firmer, particularly when I'm clothed. My back, shoulders, legs and butt benefited a lot from training.

2) I feel confident when walking into the free-weight section. I know what I'm doing there. Lots of people there look aimless. Not me. I'm not just picking up weights at random and performing exercises that I vaguely remember reading about someplace. I've got a mission, I know what I lifted the last time and I'm trying to go heavier or do more reps.

3) My ham-strings are stronger and looser than they've ever been. This is probably because I never trained my legs. I figured the StairMaster, arc trainer, elliptical and spin classes would take care of my legs. It was a revelation to me that a full-body program with leg work would really help me.

4) My aesthetic standards have readjusted themselves. Now that I understand how hard it is to build up muscles, that is what I value. I don't consider thinness or low weight to be my goal. In fact, I look at some women in the gym and think: "That's too frail-looking for me, that's not what I am working toward." This isn't a judgment on them as much as me saying, "No, that's not a role model."

5) You may not like this one: I've gained weight on this program. I'm up about 5 lbs. since April. Some of this is muscle, obviously, because I can see my trapezius is prominent and my arms have changed shape, as well as my butt. But some is fat, because I consciously upped my protein intake as advised. If I counted calories, that might not have happened, but I don't count calories, due to my history of eating disorders; I tend to become obsessive and miserable if I track everything. It's probably possible to maintain weight or lose weight on NROLW, but that wasn't my primary goal on the program.

6) I may have sacrificed some cardio fitness on the program. I can't tell, as I haven't gone for a run lately. My time in the gym is about the same, but I reduced my cardio work to fit in more strength training. I still do cardio four days a week, but not every. single. day. That's what I used to do. I believe I have a more balanced routine. But reducing cardio and increasing protein probably led to the weight gain I've experienced.

I still have to complete Stage 7, which I'll start on Tuesday morning, so I'll hold off a grand summation of NROLW till then.

10-16-2014, 06:03 PM
Done with Stage 7, and done with New Rules of Lifting for Women.

Took me from late April to October 14th, doing its workouts three times a week. On the other days, I took spin class or used the elliptical. I also took a Pilates class twice a week on my cardio days.

Weight gain, no weight loss, but considerable strength and muscle gain.

And I now realize that I never want to be without a strength-training program that is systematic and professionally crafted. There is a big difference between committing oneself to that and just messing around in the free-weight section randomly.

10-19-2014, 09:04 PM
And I now realize that I never want to be without a strength-training program that is systematic and professionally crafted. There is a big difference between committing oneself to that and just messing around in the free-weight section randomly.

I disagree. Any exercise is better than sitting on the couch (or being forced to do nothing, like you have to on IP).

The real keys to success are consistency (i.e. just keeping at whatever you do in terms of exercise, and constantly trying to push it to the next level) plus diet (i.e. eating right to fuel what you do).

The 'what' you do in terms of exercise does really not matter as long as you stick with it and it pushes you.


12-12-2014, 06:43 AM
And I now realize that I never want to be without a strength-training program that is systematic and professionally crafted. There is a big difference between committing oneself to that and just messing around in the free-weight section randomly.

I love to look at and adapt parts and concepts from specific strength training programs and methods put together by professionals, but for me, it's my own instinct and love of variety that keeps me committed and consistent. I rarely do the same workout twice and am always experimenting or just randomly getting something done. That works best for me, but there certainly is merit in adhereing to programs as well.

12-12-2014, 02:15 PM
Done with Stage 7, and done with New Rules of Lifting for Women.

Took me from late April to October 14th, doing its workouts three times a week. On the other days, I took spin class or used the elliptical. I also took a Pilates class twice a week on my cardio days.

Weight gain, no weight loss, but considerable strength and muscle gain.

And I now realize that I never want to be without a strength-training program that is systematic and professionally crafted. There is a big difference between committing oneself to that and just messing around in the free-weight section randomly.

I'm getting back into New Rules after a hiatus. I had made it through Stage 2 but am restarting Stage 1 following my old training log.

Since you have finished, and enjoy having a professionally-crafted training program, my question is: What have you been working on now that you have completed New Rules?

12-17-2014, 06:34 PM
I was working on Bret Contreras' "Strong Curves" program and was six weeks into it when I got hit by a car while walking to the gym one morning.

I have a tibial plateau fracture, had a rod, pins and plate inserted in my left leg, and I'll be non-weight-bearing for eight weeks at least. I'm using a walker right now.

So I'm not going to start a program until I've finished physical therapy and have a go-ahead. That may be some months ahead.

Today the physical therapist said I still have good upper body strength, even after a month of mostly bed rest or sitting up, and I have particularly strong quads, even on the injured leg despite some muscle atrophy. She usually gives people just four exercises but has given me seven to work on because I am more willing and motivated than many patients she sees.

I'm still glad for having completed the systematic, professionally designed program because it helped me balance my strength on all parts of my body, particularly in my posterior chain, including hamstrings and glutes, and my back muscles. I had to do the stuff that wasn't fun or interesting & that worked on parts of my body that I can't see. The physical therapist said this will help me a lot with rehab.