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The New Rules of Lifting for Women Plan

by Meghann on May 27, 2011

I, Meghann Anderson, hereby pledge to follow the strength training plan included in The New Rules of Lifting for Women. I promise to lift heavier weights three times a week, to alternate workouts, and to complete all 8 stages to the best of my ability. I WILL stick with this plan, I will NOT get lazy, and I HOPE to see results.



In the past, the closest I’ve come to sticking with any strength training plan has been the 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels back in 2009. I completed a certain level of the video everyday for 30 days straight and LOVED the results. After that I struggled to stick with anything that involved weights. There was the friend who taught me how to lift weights (but as soon as she wasn’t around I went back to being clueless) and there was that 6 Wk 6 Pack Challenge that I couldn’t stand for the full 6 weeks.

I want this time to be different. This time I’m making a vow to stick to this program, just as I would make a vow to stick to training for a marathon or any other race.


The Breakdown

The lifting plan prescribed in The New Rules of Lifting for Women had my attention from the get go thanks to the easy to follow breakdown of moves and workouts. I’ve been looking for a plan that will literally tell me what to do and when to do it (I think that’s what I like about training for races), otherwise I lose focus when it comes to lifting. Tell me to do XX on X day and I’ll do it, which is precisely what NROLFW does.

The plan is divided into eight stages and each stage consists of two workouts that alternate three times a week. Stage one is the longest in length (repeating each workout eight times), stage two – five repeat each workout only four times and it goes up from there. He recommends a week’s rest between stages (or when ever you can fit them in).

I went ahead and created a NROLFW calendar in Google Calendar to remind me what to do workout and when.

Screen shot 2011-05-26 at 4.03.32 PM.png

The book’s website has these great print-outs you can write the workout on and take to the gym to track your workout and remind you what to do.


I even took the initiative in writing notes and drawing stick person interpretations of the moves on mine. πŸ˜‰


What I love most about the book is how each move is broken down, not only by photo, but in detailed description, so you know you’re doing it right.

As always, the trusted phone is my back up in case I forget the way a move is suppose to look or how to execute properly while I’m at the gym. (you know, in case I can’t understand the stick figures. πŸ˜‰ )


Now, when I first started reviewing the plan, I was expecting A LOT. I don’t know why I have it in the back of my mind that a decent strength training workout should consist of over a dozen or so moves that will have you wandering around the gym for hours trying to figure it out. That is not the case here.

Each workout in each stage only had a handful of moves associated with it and strict guidelines on the order you should perform, how many reps, and the rest time in between.

Screen shot 2011-05-26 at 4.10.00 PM.png

The workouts eventually get tougher with more sets, more weight, and less reps, but so far each workout in stage one have taken no more than 30 minutes to finish. I like those numbers. πŸ™‚

Strength Training and Half Ironman Training

While I was in Nashville for the Country Music Marathon last month, listening to Kara Groucher speak at the expo really stuck to me. I forget her exact statement or the question, but I’ll never forget how toned and defined her arms look as she spoke of strength training. It was something along the lines of having a love/hate relationship with weights. She hated lifting, but she loved the results it had on her performance and body.

That’s the same attitude I want. The other triathletes, marathoners, and endurance athletes I’ve spoked to, read about, or listened to, all seem to have the common thread that strength training is important to build muscles, endurance, and just becoming an all-around great athlete. I believe that following the program while training will only boost my performance come race day.

I’m still working on my Half Ironman Plan, but the goal is to ease the NROLFW plan into it to prevent overtraining.

Here Goes Nothing

To help me stick with the plan, I’m going to give updates after each stage with my progress. I’m laying everything out on the table here – unflattering photos, real numbers, and all.

Beginning Photos: 5/23/11

IMG_6576.jpg IMG_6577.jpg IMG_6578.jpg

I will not making any comments about these photos…. I will not make any comments about these photos….

Beginning Measurements: 5/26/11

  • Chest: 34in
  • Right Bicep: 11in
  • Left Bicep: 10.75in
  • Waist: 31in
  • Hip: 39in
  • Right Thigh: 21.5in
  • Left Thigh: 21in
Edited to add… progress updates:Β 
1 Julie May 27, 2011 at 10:05 am

have you decided what size weights to use? what does the book recommend? i’m really interested in trying this out…

2 Meghann May 27, 2011 at 10:16 am

The book doesn’t give any certain weights, but makes a joke with suggesting take what you think you should be lifting and add 5 lbs on top of that to start off. He encourages you to feel out and make notes along the way whether the weight felt ‘easy’ or not. If it felt easy, then add more the net round.

3 Jessica May 27, 2011 at 11:49 am

Try to do a heavier weight every workout, if you can! You’d be surprised at how much you can lift! Halfway through Stage 1 I was squatting and deadlifting over 100 lbs, something I thought I’d never be able to do!

4 Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers May 27, 2011 at 10:05 am

meghann, your “before” pictures are rockin’. seriously. please don’t feel insecure b/c you really do look great! as someone who PREFERS strength training to cardio (this coming from a one-time cardio QUEEN), i hope you fall in love with weight lifting. it really does tone and shape your body in ways running or trucking away on the elliptical never could.

5 gabriella @ embracement May 27, 2011 at 10:06 am

I’m SO happy that a lot of bloggers I’m reading picked up this book too! I’m starting the plan right after my half on Sunday. I’ve seriously slacked on weight training, even though I do it regularly I’m not making improvements. My boyfriend, who is thiiiis close to having his degree in physical therapy reviewed the plan for me and gave it the thumbs up. He did think that the stage 1 routine was very “beginner” but that it would be good to start of start from scratch. I’m so excited to start the plan!
gabriella @ embracement recently posted..Pumping It Up

6 Meghann May 27, 2011 at 10:18 am

I thought it seemed very ‘beginner’ too, but I think that’s what I need. I also like that the beginner stage is just enough of what I need during HIM training.

7 Jessica May 27, 2011 at 11:52 am

It may be “beginner”, but it works! Think about power lifters, they focus on squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, and not much else….The best kind of strength training involves compound movements that are simple and easy to do. If you use heavy enough weights, you will definitely feel it the next morning, and will see results at the end of Stage 1!

8 Holly May 27, 2011 at 10:07 am

I just wanted to say that I admire your dedication to both the HIM training plan the the NROLFW plan! I can’t imagine doing both at the same time. I bought the NROLFW book a couple years ago and was confused/intimidated by it, so I never actually attempted the program. :/ Good luck! I know I’ve really let strength training slide during my half marathon training and I can definitely tell in my body comp, speed, and strength. It’s depressing but your commitment to including it in your endurance training is motivating and inspiring!
Holly recently posted..4 Days!! Eeee!

9 Min May 27, 2011 at 10:07 am

Aww! You look great! But I love your drive to be a stronger athlete! No matter what your “secret” motivation, let your desire to improve your athletic performance be your first & front focus to keep you work-out attitude positive. The other benefits will follow.

You can do this! You’ve run MARATHONS! A little time in the weight room can’t beat you πŸ™‚
xoxo min

10 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food May 27, 2011 at 10:08 am

I love how committed you are to your plan M! Kudos to you I know you’re going to inspire so many ladies to get lifting!

You’re going to do AWESOME! πŸ™‚

11 Kelly L May 27, 2011 at 10:09 am

You are beautiful. You have a rockin body!

12 Hope May 27, 2011 at 10:11 am

Good luck with all of your plans! I know you will do great! πŸ™‚
Hope recently posted..The Phillies &amp The Cadillac Culinary Challenge…

13 Holly @ The Runny Egg May 27, 2011 at 10:11 am

Good luck with the plan! I’ve been considering following this program once my marathon is over — this doesn’t seem like something I want to start now (marathon in 4 weeks!)
Holly @ The Runny Egg recently posted..Tomato Face

14 Dori May 27, 2011 at 10:13 am

You are going to have such amazing results. The transformation in my body (and my overall confidence) since starting strength training in January 2010 has been mind blowing. I could never give this up! Of course, I also don’t think I could do it on my own the way you are, so you are even more awesome. I stick to classes for this stuff.
Dori recently posted..Skechers Shape-ups for Girls- Body Image- Safety &amp Misleading Marketing

15 Carly D. @ CarlyBananas May 27, 2011 at 10:13 am

I love this! I’m really excited to see how you do, because I’m hoping to start the very same plan in the next week or two. I’m a little worried it will leave me too sore to run. I’m hoping not. πŸ™‚
And btws, your before pictures look fab. Seriously, your after pictures going to be so smoking you’ll burn a hole in your monitor.
Carly D. @ CarlyBananas recently posted..Running and Breathing… at the Same Time

16 Shanna May 27, 2011 at 10:14 am

Work it girl! You can do it. Can’t wait to hear about your progress πŸ™‚

17 Lauri May 27, 2011 at 10:14 am

I think your before pics are rocking as well…I think you’re going to love strength training and what it does for you! I always have loved how I look when I am regularly strength training, it makes SUCH a difference!! You also may have inspired me to buy this book…
Lauri recently posted..The rules of 3 year old soccer

18 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday May 27, 2011 at 10:16 am

I’m so excited for you. You’re going to see awesome results.

19 Carrie May 27, 2011 at 10:18 am

Great post (and you look GREAT)! I think you are going to love strength training, especially once you see all of the awesome thing it does for your body and for your mental health as well. I’ve been working with a trainer for the past eight weeks, and although I don’t really see any difference in the scale I feel so amazing and strong, and can see the difference in the way my body looks. It’s also really satisfying to progress and go back and do old movements that once felt impossible and now feel easy. Yay for strong ladies! πŸ™‚

20 Michelle May 27, 2011 at 10:19 am

Your before pics look great – seriously. I can’t wait to see what kind of results you get with this program.
Michelle recently posted..Armed Forces Day

21 Ali @ Ali Runs May 27, 2011 at 10:20 am

Good for you to put it all out there! You look great girl! Can’t wait to hear about your experience with this program!
Ali @ Ali Runs recently posted..My life

22 Alicia @ Aligirl Cooks May 27, 2011 at 10:26 am

I struggle with consistent weight training. I just have no idea what to do or when to do it. I think I might pick up this book and commit to it! Thanks for introducing it to me!
Alicia @ Aligirl Cooks recently posted..Edamame Hummus

23 Tara May 27, 2011 at 10:27 am

I’ve just recently bought the book too and I’m starting to read it. I am like you, I need something (or someone) telling me exactly what I need to do. I had started P90x last November and LOVED that… but it all went down the drain when I went home for Christmas and I never really got back into the momentum I had going on when I started. I’m looking forward to hearing all about how you are doing with it and what you think, as I hope to do what you committed to very soon. Quick question – We have a gym right where we live but there’s no freeweights – only a bunch of weight machines. Will I be able to complete most things that way (and/or improvise)? I am sure I will answer my own question as soon as I get a bit further into the book.

24 Meghann May 27, 2011 at 10:31 am

No, you need freeweights. He actually spends a chapter in the book bashing the machines. :/

25 Tara May 27, 2011 at 10:33 am

ah crap, guess it will be time to revamp my routine once I read through the book πŸ˜‰
What are your thoughts on p90x?

26 Meghann May 27, 2011 at 10:40 am

It’s $$$$ πŸ™‚ I’ve never done it! P90x requires a HUGE commitment and I’m not sure I can commit to it just yet

27 Julie May 27, 2011 at 12:56 pm

p90x suuuuuuucks! my bf lent me his and i couldn’t finish…mostly because the host annoyed the crap out of me, but that ish is hard!

28 Tara May 27, 2011 at 10:01 pm

haha yeah he is a little intense. I did really like the program but I missed running a lot. A good mix it of things was best for me.

29 K May 27, 2011 at 10:35 am

Lifting weights works MIRACLESSSSSSS!!! Especially lifting heavier πŸ™‚ I mean, I don’t lift super heavy weights but long gone are the days I only do 5 – 10 lb everything…if you really want results, do not be afraid to go up and challenge yourself. I spent the first few weeks realizing I have been lifting way to little the last couple years and that is why I never saw results…I was able to always lift more than I thought I could! I follow my fiances plan (he is a personal trainer and very VERY into strength training as a primary way to work out) and he had me start as a super “beginner” but it was worth it b/c it helps you to build stability and learn proper form before you move onto the harder stuff that can lead to injury if done improperly. When the reps decrease and sets increase, that is when I find it easiest to increase my weights too btw…anyway, you look great and good luck! Just wait until you can finally see a defined bicep, tricep, and shoulder…you will never want to stop lifting haha πŸ™‚

30 Meghann May 27, 2011 at 10:42 am

Well said K! πŸ™‚

31 Lauren May 27, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I wholeheartedly agree! A lot of women avoid using heavier weights for fear that they will get too bulky, but this almost never happens. I love lifting heavier weights — not only because it gives me good results, but because it makes me feel powerful. It’s a very satisfying feeling!
Lauren recently posted..Run in the New Year

32 K May 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Agreed, I am not looking to lose weight, just tighten everything up and so far the only thing that has helped me do that is continuing to increase my weights as soon as my previous weight feels easy πŸ™‚

33 Lee May 27, 2011 at 10:38 am

I’ve been doing the NRLFW plan too. I’m on stage 3. I do like it but sometimes it gets a bit repetitive.
Lee recently posted..Food Guilt

34 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 27, 2011 at 10:42 am

I’m so excited to hear about how you progress through this plan Meghann! For the record, your before pics are nothing to be embarrassed about – I think you look awesome already!
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35 Katie @ running4cupcakes May 27, 2011 at 10:42 am

You look awesome. . . good luck with the program. I love your idea to take pictures with your phone to take with you to the gym.
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36 Meghann May 27, 2011 at 10:47 am

I even use my phone at the gym to time the 60 sec rest between sets. lol

37 Tori (Fresh Fruition) May 27, 2011 at 10:50 am

This looks awesome! I want to get started with some sort of weight plan but nothing too serious.
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38 Angie May 27, 2011 at 10:55 am

Meghann, I always have issues with how I look. However, looking at your stats and realizing our measurements are about ‘exactly’ the same and seeing how great you look, makes me think I must be pretty darn hot too! πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for being yourself and being honest.
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39 Kimberly @ Healthy Strides May 27, 2011 at 10:56 am

I am so excited to read about how this program goes! I switched it up yesterday – using 10-pounders instead of 5 – after reading some of your posts. Question: Do you have to have gym access to follow the program or could you do it at home with free weights and minimal equipment?

And, by the way, I think you look fabulous. If you want to comment about your photos, you should say that!
Kimberly @ Healthy Strides recently posted..Three Things Thursday- Giveaway winners and a big hug

40 Jessica May 27, 2011 at 11:59 am

You could do a good amount of it at home if you have a good set of free weights that includes different weights. If you only have 5 and 10 lb dumbbells, you will very quickly outgrow those and will need to buy heavier weights. Some exercises you would have to substitute with something else, like the seated row and lat pulldown, since you need a pulley machine. Also, some of the exercises could be done with dumbbells, but are much more efficient and allow you to lift much more with a barbell and a squat rack.
Long story short: you could do it at home, but would have to make some exercise substitutions. It is much easier to do in a gym setting.

41 Claire May 27, 2011 at 10:56 am

Good luck, Meghann!! I am my worst critic and do not have the courage to post photos of myself. You are truly an inspiration!! I think you will knock it outta the park πŸ™‚
Claire recently posted..Eat Skinny Be Skinny- Spicy Tofu Stir Fry

42 Michelle May 27, 2011 at 11:04 am

Bravo to you for posting your before pictures!! I can’t wait to see your awesome results πŸ™‚
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43 Emma May 27, 2011 at 11:10 am

Great job Meghann! I just picked up the book myself after hearing your reviews. After I get done reading it I plan to start the program too so can’t wait to hear your updates. I really need the same step by step instruction & plan layout or I get to the gym and look at the weights like they are going to tell me what to do. So hopefully this will be a good jump start to building that muscle!

44 Sharon May 27, 2011 at 11:12 am

I saw this book too & I am intrigued! I will start June 1st! I will let you know how it goes. πŸ™‚

45 Jess May 27, 2011 at 11:23 am

Good luck on your strength training endeavor. While your photos are far from unflattering (remember that your body is strong!), I hope you find the results you’re looking for πŸ™‚

Also, I LOVE your honestly.
Jess recently posted..Gaining Approval

46 Sarah for Real May 27, 2011 at 11:33 am

I am so excited to follow you along on this challenge! I reserved the book from my library after your recommendation. Good luck!

47 Rebecca May 27, 2011 at 11:35 am

Meghann, you look amazing (well a smile could make it better!). Thanks for sharing, this is definitely an area where I am lacking and inspire to do better. Hopefully I can get something going as well. Thanks for the motivation!

48 Julie May 27, 2011 at 11:53 am

Hi, Meghan!

You are strong physically and mentally… you ran marathons! Go into this with a positive outlook and no negative thoughts… they can drag you down. Trust me, I know! Think what it can do for your core, posture and bones! Weight training makes you feel powerful and gives you great feminine curves. You got this πŸ˜‰

49 Jessica May 27, 2011 at 12:02 pm

I completed the program 2 years ago, and am now a certified personal trainer, so feel free to email me if you have any questions on the program or on lifting in general! Stick to it, eat lots of protein, and I’m positive that you will not only look great, but will be stronger than you thought you ever could be! πŸ˜€

50 Meghann May 27, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Thanks Jessica! And I appreciate all the great comments!

51 JessicaR May 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Don’t shoot the messenger, but some of the later workouts (I can’t remember the stage, but I think it’s some of the six-rep workouts) took me well over two hours to complete due to all of the rest involved (which you need, trust me!). I found myself moving the ab workouts to the evenings sometimes just so I could get out of the gym faster.

You look awesome… good luck, you will love the program! πŸ™‚ I have done it twice.

52 Meghann May 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Luckily the later stages don’t start until I’m done with my HIM πŸ™‚

53 kristi (sweet cheeks) May 27, 2011 at 12:13 pm

good luck Meghann! I’ve also found that strength training (and sticking to it!) has made the biggest difference in my body, in a very good way! I also feel better and stronger than I ever did just doing cardio. Just a chance and I think you just might be hooked too!
kristi (sweet cheeks) recently posted..Peanut Flour Baked Sweet Bread

54 Eva May 27, 2011 at 12:13 pm

I am ordering this book today — thank you for the inspiration!

55 Amber from Girl with the Red Hair May 27, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I’m starting to follow this plan again too! I did a few weeks of it 1.5 years ago but I’d like to follow it through for the whole 6 months. I’ve done workout A once and workout B once. I slept in and missed doing workout A again this morning – whoops!

I like the idea of scheduling it in google calendar!

56 Lo May 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm

good luck meghann! i think u look great… we already know how strong you are from the hundred marathons u do, so this is exciting to see your strength grow in other areas πŸ™‚ it is so inspiring to see you posting your measurements and pix! most women scurry from the thought of exposing their waist sizes, etc. Obviously you are already perfect, but i can’t wait to see your strength skills evolve over this next fitness journey.

57 Stephanie May 27, 2011 at 12:24 pm

You’ve totally inspired me on this. Thank you for your honest novice admissions and comments. I have no idea what I am doing but I am excited to have some tangible goals to work on. I’ve been running and doing yoga for a little over a year and all the goals I have in those areas are very vague….I am working toward things like confidence, healthiness, and balance. I don’t really want to bring measurement into those activities so I am glad to have inspiration of a new way to have measurable goals that will help my activities.
My copy of new rules is on the way! I can’t wait!

Please be sure to keep us updated so I don’t feel alone.

58 ~Jessica~ May 27, 2011 at 12:28 pm

While I think you’re nuts to say your photos are unflattering, I would be really intrigued to see how this plan works for you. I tend to stick to Body Pump and strength training DVDs (No More Trouble Zones and Davina McCall does some excellent ones if you use high enough weights for those like me from the UK) but I’d love to get into a more organised gym program with heavier weights and lower reps.

I know you don’t want to go into things re:that scale post and I respect that. It would be great to hear your perspective on anything and I don’t think we should be afraid to say when we’re dissatisfied with something, because we all seem to be expected to love our bodies no matter what. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to improve ourselves so long as it doesn’t become an obsession. Being unhappy with things doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you human. I recall Tina from Carrots n Cake had some scale issues too, so you’re not alone.

That said, I wish I was as strong as you. Twice I’ve been injured before marathons now and unable to run them: I’d trade with you any day. And through injury and overeating I put on 7lbs in five days. So I’m sure you’re nowhere near as bad as me!


59 Lauren May 27, 2011 at 12:30 pm

You look great, Meghann!

You’ve inspired me to buy the “New Rules of Lifting for Women.” I’ve yet to find a book on strength training that really resonates with me, but this one sounds interesting, informative, and practical. I actually love strength training, but I fear that I don’t mix it up enough (i.e., I frequently do the same moves — or very similar moves — for weeks at a time, as opposed to incorporating new ones into my workouts). I’m very excited to read the book!

PS — I love how you drew stick figures next to each move! I seriously don’t know why I’ve never thought of that! I’m ALWAYS forgetting how exactly a move should be done.
Lauren recently posted..Run in the New Year

60 Amy May 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm

You look amazing. I swear taking measurements requires a PhD for me. Where is exactly is a “waist”–the belly button? The widest part? How about the thighs? The top biggest width? Is there a how to measure somewhere so you know where to always take the measurement from so it’s the same every time? Can someone help a challenged tape measurer? Maybe that’s why I always stick with the scale. Less wiggle room, though it doesn’t tell the whole tale.

Seriously though you look fantastic!!

61 Jessica May 27, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Waist measurement is the narrowest part of your waist, usually about halfway between your ribs and your hips a little above the belly button, but can vary from person to person.

Every other measurement is the opposite, you want to find the widest part around your chest, hips, biceps, and thighs.

The key is to be consistent every time you take your measurements. Make sure you are standing up straight with your feet the same way every time, and decide whether you want to take measurements while your muscles are tensed or relaxed (this will make a big difference especially for biceps). Keep moving the tape measure around until you find the biggest measurement, but don’t pull the tape so tight that it is cutting into your skin. It can also help sometimes to have someone else take your measurements for you as well…

Hope that helped!

62 Nikki T May 27, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Looking forward to the updates! I just finished the book and I’m planning to do the program thru the Summer, starting end of June or beginning of July once my current trainer is off on vacation!
We’ll see how it goes!

63 Kate May 27, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Girl, you are brave and I love it- I took “before” pics and didn’t even have the courage to look at them, much less post them! Good luck and can’t wait to follow your progress!

64 Natalie May 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Seriously, hats off to posting “before” pics. I think you look great, btw. I know you’ll kick some A.
Git it!
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65 Amanda May 27, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Part of me wants to try to focus on weights and everyone is raving about this book. I don’t have a gym membership. How many different weights would I have to buy to do this program at home?
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66 Casey May 27, 2011 at 1:38 pm

That is a great book! I can’t wait to see your progress. It’s so funny…I think most endurance athletes I run into don’t really enjoy strength training and the opposite goes for people who love strength training- they hate cardio, marathons, etc. You could not pay me to run a marathon. LOL
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67 Laura @ Backstage Pass May 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Your ‘before’ photos are just fine, Meghann! You’re a beautiful, strong woman to begin with and you’re about to become even stronger and more beautiful.
Side note – thanks for including the measurements – I, too, have one thigh that’s a little wider than the other! I wonder what makes it that way… I always carry my laptop bag / purse / etc. on my right side. Maybe it’s got more muscle?
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68 Laura @ Backstage Pass May 27, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Also – I used to detest strength training, but have done a total 180 since trying out Body Pump classes. A total-body strength workout in one compact hour, set to fun music and in a group exercise atmosphere? Love it!
Laura @ Backstage Pass recently posted..Time for another Brian Wilson SF Giants post

69 Crystal May 27, 2011 at 2:23 pm

I think you’ll find the strength training makes a huge difference, especially in your swim times. I’ve been pretty consistent with strength training for about 3-4 months now and have seen dramatic improvements.

70 Margaret May 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Please be careful when you are lifting! If you are doing a lot of Olympic style lifts, make sure you engage your core for support. Also stretch your tush and hammies out! I ended my high school lifting career with back spasms for lack of flexibility and poor form! I wish that upon no one.

71 Courtney May 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm

At the beginning of this year I started a strength training program that Alwyn’s wife, Rachel Cosgrove, developed (The Female Body Breakthrough) and absolutely love it. I was skeptical at first as so many of the claims she makes seem drastic – but she was right. Heavy weights have transformed my body and I haven’t looked back. I am excited to see your progress.

72 Luna May 27, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Hello Meghann πŸ™‚ I was reading the post about hummus, there’s a secret in arabs recipes, they sometimes add yogurt!!Also, you should try to add garlic (juice/pureed) … just chickpeas, garlic, tahini, salt and, another trick if you use canned chickpeas, boil them for some time before using them, let them cool just enough not to ruin your food processor, you can add some of the “cooking” water πŸ˜‰ Olive oil, they spread it over the hummus with pine-nuts and some parsley πŸ™‚ yumyum … next up, you should try baba ghannoush; if you like eggplants, it’s just awesome!!

73 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife May 27, 2011 at 2:47 pm

weight lifting is the best! SO excited for you πŸ™‚ It has made me stronger, fitter, faster, toner(ed??), and slimmer.

SO happy you get to do this πŸ™‚

74 natalie (the sweets life) May 27, 2011 at 3:01 pm

i read the book a few months ago but haven’t started the program yet bc i haven’t joined a new gym yet…but i’m excited to read about your experience with the program.

i will say that since i switched from cardio only to cardio & lifting (over a year ago), i have noticed MAJOR differences in the shape and tone of my body…plus i find that my body reacts best to changing it up a ton…i can’t believe i used to run 6 days a week ONLY. now i run 3, and then incorporate lifting, biking, or insanity videos the other days…my body is always challenged which is super awesome!

75 Sam May 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I really want to read this book. From what you’ve revealed to us so far it looks like a plan I could actually get into. Like you, I do better when everything is laid out for me and it seems this plan does that. I also like that it’s time efficient!

Good luck! I can’t wait to see your progress/results.
Sam recently posted..Apple Topped Microwave Protein Muffin

76 Laura May 27, 2011 at 3:41 pm

“I will not make any comments about these photos….”

Well…good, I guess, if you were going to make negative comments! Honestly, you look great. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with anyone wanting to improve their fitness levels or build muscle, or whatever, but if you think there’s something wrong with the way you look in the ‘before’ photos – to be honest, that kind of says everything about the attitude to body image that worries me in the HL community!

77 RunEatRepeat May 27, 2011 at 4:06 pm

You look amazing. And I’ve seen you in person and know you’re teeny, so don’t let however you see yourself in those pictures fool you!
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78 Jess@atasteofconfidence May 27, 2011 at 7:06 pm

You can do it! Don’t feel insecure. You look great already!
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79 Mary May 27, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Weight training is amazing, and has made such a difference for me. I know what you mean about needing a plan to follow. I’m not sure I could even do it with a book. I followed Cathe Freidrich’s STS program. This does 1 rep max testing to determine your optimal weights before starting and lays out the plan exactly with 3 months of progressive DVDs. I have done it 2 times through now and I love it. Good luck with your plan and stick with it. The results will be worth it!!!

80 Katie @ Life... Discombobulated May 27, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I’m psyched to get updates from you on how this plan is working! I’m going to start the plan next week, too, and I can’t WAIT to see the results! I’ve always had great body results from lifting, so I have high hopes.
And WOO HOO TO YOU for having the guts to post pictures!!! You look great and don’t let yourself convince you of anything else! πŸ™‚
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81 Kath May 27, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Body Pump has changed my life! For the first time EVER I LIKE weight lifting!
Kath recently posted..Heart &lt3 Stomach

82 Jennifer V. May 27, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Good luck!! Kath I am thinking about taking some Body Pump classes and am a bit scared. Anything I need to know??

83 Carrie Durant May 27, 2011 at 11:08 pm

just got the book this week and plan to start next week on level 1 also!!

84 Courtney May 27, 2011 at 11:27 pm

i checked out the book today and can’t wait to start reading it. thanks for the inspiration, you’re awesome!
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85 Wendy May 27, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Good luck, you’ll probably surprise yourself as to how strong you really are! I think that you’ll be pleased about how it improves not just your performance but just your energy and strength in everyday activities. As others have mentioned here, good form is of the most importance to succeeding, continuing to lift, progressing on pace and minimizing injury. There is also merit to looking at the 1-rep max, women can lift a lot more than they think! I look forward to hearing more about your journey!

86 Gina @Runningtothekitchen May 28, 2011 at 10:50 am

I just finished reading this book too (after I saw Kelly’s review) and am very exciting to begin trying out the workout plan. I look forward to your updates on this. I currently don’t belong to a gym so I’m trying to figure out if I want to make a few more investments into my home gym to be able to all the exercises or just buck up and pay for a gym membership.

Good luck!
Gina @Runningtothekitchen recently posted..Ireland Day 6 &amp 7- Killarney

87 Hillary May 28, 2011 at 12:01 pm

I’ve been reading a lot about NRWLFW, and I decided to ask for my own copy for my birthday! I lift weights about 3-4 times each week, but I’ve stopped seeing results (mainly because I think I’ve stopped challenging my body). Weight lifting done right does WONDERS for your body, so I think this is a great first step!

Also, re: the emotions with the scale—I want you to know that your blog was one of the first that made me realize that numbers on the scale mean next to nothing. Think of everything your body can DO! Think of all the races it has carried you through. I used to weigh myself daily, and I finally stopped a few months ago. Now I pay more attention to other things (how my clothes fit, how much energy I have, how strong I feel, etc.). If one or more of those things are off, then I know I need to get myself back on track. If all of those things are on point, then I really don’t care about my “number.” In short, you look great and you kick ass. Keep it up : )
Hillary recently posted..A Reason for Writing

88 Sam @ Mom At The Barre May 28, 2011 at 12:07 pm

I’m a huge believer in strength training. Cardio is great but it’s only once strength training is incorporated that one sees changes in their body. You will have amazing results!
Looking forward to reading about progress!
Sam @ Mom At The Barre recently posted..Food and Fitness- Some Hits- Some Misses

89 Maria June 1, 2011 at 11:38 pm

I love NROL4W! I hope that you are enjoying your time lifting. Pre-baby I completed NROL4W and was in awe of the toned, muscular body that I developed. So, now post-baby I am on the final workout of Stage 6, which is my absolute favorite stage, and am feeling even more toned than I was pre-baby. Lifting really does shape an amazing body. Enjoy!

P.S. You are beautiful and lifting is only going to enhance your already nice body.
Maria recently posted..Coconut Cornbread Bake

90 Erika June 2, 2011 at 10:32 am

Although I’ve been a long time reader, I don’t think I have commented yet on your blog! So first, hi! Second, I’m really considering picking up this book! I think when I was at the fittest point in my life (college), I was doing a really good mix of cardio and strength, instead of just cardio all the time. I’m really all-for strength training workouts. Looking forward to hearing more about your challenge!!
Erika recently posted..Healthy! Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondie Pie

91 Emily @ One Sweet Vegan June 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm

This plan is just what I need. I’ve done the Body For Life program in the past, but wanted to try something different. Thanks to your post, I think I’ve found it.

92 Allie July 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Thanks for the tip on this book. I’ve been looking for some instruction to begin lifting. Does the book provide alternatives for people with bad knees, such as “instead of squats do so and so”?
Allie recently posted..Kicking my own butt

93 Meghann July 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Yes, he does give alternatives for several of the workouts. πŸ™‚

94 Tanya (Cape Town, South Africa) July 5, 2013 at 6:31 am

Hi Meghann

I joined the gym two days ago and I’ve just ordered a copy of NROLFW after reading all the positive reviews on numerous blogs on the internet. I note that the posts are all about 2yrs old…so I’m quite delayed!

I am a complete novice when it comes to strength training and I’m terrified of the weight section at the gym. I weigh about 82kg (180lb) (could be more)…hideous! I don’t have much strength in my arms, but I have very strong legs.

Can a programme like this work for me?

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