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 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.
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.
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. )
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.
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.
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
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