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New Rules of Lifting for Women Stage 3 Recap

by Meghann on October 19, 2011

It may have taken a little longer than I originally intended it to, but Stage 3 of New Rules of Lifting for Women is donezo.

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This stage proved to be a tricky one. The workouts themselves were great (I’ll get to that later), but the timing of it hit hard with training for the Augusta Half Ironman.

My original plan was to finish Stage 3 the week before the race and pick up Stage 4 the week after, but that didn’t happen. Instead I listened to my body and realized I needed to cut back if I wanted to survive the race. I ended up taking a two week hiatus before August and a week hiatus in recovery from it.

The extended hiatus ended up being just what I needed. I rocked the race and came back to NROLFW with a vengeance. :)

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The Workouts

Stage 3 was by far my favorite stage so far! It was very similar to Stage 2 with a total of 8 workouts (4 of Workout A and 4 of Workout B), but there was a tad more variety in each set. The workouts were also a bit longer with the introduction of longer D sets and an additional E set.

The YTWL move would probably go down as my least favorite move of the bunch. It’s not that it wasn’t effective, it just killed me every time. Ouch. It was the one I would loved to have skipped, if it wasn’t for the fact that I knew I hated it for a reason – because it worked. On the flip side, the reverse wood chop was my favorite. It hurt-so-good as well, but the target on my obliques made me want to do it over and over again to get that definition I crave.

The body-weight matrix at the end of Workout A was nice change-up to the typical routine with squats and lunges. It allowed me to step back from the weight area and do some of my favorite old school gym moves. The lunges (and jumping lunges) killed my glutes every time!

Weights


Stage 3
Workout A
One Arm Dumbbell Snatch Workout 1 12 lbs
Workout 4 15 lbs
Dumbbell Single-Leg Deadlift Workout 1 12 lbs
Workout 4 20 lbs
Barbell Bent Over Row Workout 1 30 lbs
Workout 4 50 lbs
Dumbbell Single Overhead Squat Workout 1 8/15 lbs
Workout 4 10/20 lbs
Dumbbell Incline Bench Press Workout 1 15 lbs
Workout 4 20 lbs
Reverse Wood Chop Workout 1 40 lbs
Workout 4 45 lbs
Workout B
Barbell Deadlift Bent Over Row Workout 1 40 lbs
Workout 4 50 lbs
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Workout 1 60 lbs
Workout 4 70 lbs
Back Extenstion Workout 1 6 lbs
Workout 4 10 lbs
YTWL Workout 1 8 lbs
Workout 4 10 lbs

*Note these are not all of the workouts from the plan, these are just the ones where I could track my weight increases.

With such a huge break in the middle, I’m not surprised with how small the increases in weight are. When I returned to the gym I was scared to try adding more weight on than where I left off and – for the most part – felt stuck where I was. Some of the moves (YTWL, Dumbbell Bench Press, etc) were pretty difficult with the weight I started at and adding anymore just seemed too much. However, when I did make the small increases I could feel the burn – a good sign I was moving in the right direction.

Measurements

Now, the moment of truth. Did the huge break derail any results?


5/26/11 7/15/11 8/22/11 10/18/11
Chest 34in 34in 34in 33.5in
Right Bicep 11in 11.25in 11.25in 11.75in
Left Bicep 10.75in 11.15in 11.15in 11.5in
Waist 31in 30.25in 30in 29in
Hips 39in 38.65in 38.4in 38.1in
Right Thigh 21.5in 21.30in 21in 20.75in
Left Thigh 21in 21in 20.80in 20.75in

Not a bit. :)

Actually, I had to measure twice here. Considering I just got back from a very indulgent vacation and took a good 3 week break from the plan, I wasn’t expecting any changes. I guess the numbers don’t lie?

Photos

NROLFW Before.png

NROLFW Stage1 Complete.png

NROLFW Stage2 Complete.png

End of Stage 3 Photos: 10/18/11

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Photos don’t lie either!. ;)

Ok, I know the changes are very subtle, but I swear I can see it! Particularly in my stomach, I’ve never had great ab definition before, but – if you look closely – you can see where the reverse wood chop is starting to pay off. ;)

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See it? Kind of? Sort of?

Weight

When I started this plan I was +15 lbs on the scale (re: Scales Lie) and when I weighed myself two weeks after Augusta I was -5 lbs from where I started, but still +10 lbs up overall (hence why I referenced only 10 lbs last week). Since I’ve stopped HIM training I’ve seen a huge difference in the foods I crave, the energy I have, and the results I’m seeing. It’s pretty incredible.

Ok, enough looking at photos and numbers. The real question is how I feel and – truthfully – I feel great. The results aren’t coming overnight – and sometimes it’s hard to see them – but I know they’re there. I feel stronger overall as a person and a runner.

I’m looking forward to continue on with Stage 4 and see where the remaining stages take me.

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen October 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Meghann-you look awesome! your numbers are super impressive over the course of the program. It’s funny b/c they are so different (in the way they’re moving, not the actual numbers) from mine. I actually think the YTWL move is one of my favorites! The body matrix is probably the most painful thing I’ve ever done. I literally cannot complete 2 sets without taking breaks during the jumping section of the lunges & squats, it feels like my legs are going to fall off. They are INTENSE! I’m excited to do my measurements and recap later this week of stage 3. Good luck with 4!

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2 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen October 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Meghann-you look awesome! your numbers are super impressive over the course of the program. It’s funny b/c they are so different (in the way they’re moving) from mine. I actually think the YTWL move is one of my favorites! The body matrix is probably the most painful thing I’ve ever done. I literally cannot complete 2 sets without taking breaks during the jumping section of the lunges & squats, it feels like my legs are going to fall off. They are INTENSE! I’m excited to do my measurements and recap later this week of stage 3. Good luck with 4!

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3 Shanna, Like Banana October 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Daaaang girl! I totally see it. And the quads and bootie are defined too..err, not that I’m looking at your arse ;-P

Nice work! Seeing all this hard core exercise is getting me motivated for after-baby!

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4 Jamie October 19, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Agreed, definitely see a lift in your butt and your quads look more toned too. Makes me want to re-start this program!

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5 Reenie October 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Ditto. I can see it in your quads and booty too!

Great job Meg!! :)

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6 Cait's Plate October 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm

You LOOK great so the fact that you feel great is just even better :)

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7 Kat October 19, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I can definitely see a difference! You look great! Strength training used to be my favorite type of exercise but I’ve fallen off the wagon over the past couple of months. You’re inspiring me to get back on!

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8 Courtney October 19, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Girl, you look great! I can definitely see the definition. Great work! :)

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9 Marlina October 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Way to kick ass !! You look great! I’ve been following your posts on NWOLFW and I’m getting more and more tempted to pick up the book myself!

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10 Amy October 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Look at you taking off two inches from your waist! That is amazing. That alone makes me want to try this program post-baby. I can’t remember – did you say it’s best to be in a gym for NROLFW or can it be modified to do at home?

At any rate, I do see a difference between your May pictures and your current ones – enough to encourage me to give strength training a try! Nice work!

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11 Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl October 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Yes. You can see the difference. Your stature it taller, too. More confident? ;)
Keep up the great work!

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12 Laura October 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Meghann you look amazing! I am impressed with your results!!! You can see those abs FOR SURE! I notieced them in vacay pics, too. Way to go girl!

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13 Amanda October 19, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I notice a difference between the start pictures, and the rest, but honestly I don’t notice a big difference between post-stage 1, stage 2, and stage 3 pics. The post stage 1 pics are taken from the most flaterring angle.

You look good/fit in all of the pics. You should be proud of your body! :D

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14 Kimra October 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm

OK, you’re making me want to do this program again. I wonder if I could start with Stage 2 or 3 rather than do Stage 1 again? Stage 1 is so long and so boring to me at this point, and when I restarted the program early in the summer, I stopped after Stage 1 because I was sick of it. But the Stage 3 moves sound really fun!

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15 Danielle October 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm

What changes have you noticed since stopping HIM training? I am really interested to know!

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16 Ashlee October 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Meghann! I can totally see differences! I am 3/4 done with stage 2 and feel so much stronger and more defined that I did before I started! I am excited to see you this weekend!

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17 Liz @ Southern Charm October 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm

How awesome!! Keep up the good work! Subtle changes are the best changes, in my opinion :)

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18 Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine October 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm

You look great Meghann—and the most important part is you feel great! Woo!

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19 Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) October 19, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Thanks for your honesty and feedback on this program.. I have been trying to implement more weight training in my workouts lately.

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20 Amanda October 19, 2011 at 2:07 pm

I can see a big difference in your overall definition. You look so toned and strong! Great job and thanks for keeping us up-to-date on your progress!

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21 Deva @ Deva by Definition October 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm

NROLW is what got me into lifting 4 years ago. I love it. YTWL is actually one of my fav exercises from the book. I wanted to warn you – the DB Prone Cuban Snatch in 4B? Is the L from YTWL :-)

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22 Jamie October 19, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Just fyi – I caught that appearing hip-ding before you pointed it out! Great job!!!!

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23 Hillary October 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Even the smallest changes count! I think it’s a great idea to track your progress this way (through photos and measurements as well as weight). I might have to take that tip for myself!

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24 Jessica October 19, 2011 at 2:36 pm

This post is really encouraging. I have been struggling with that last little bit of weight around my belly to come off and to see you get it down is really motivating!!

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25 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats October 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm

I’m definitely going to look into this book to mix up my weights routine! Thanks for sharing your experiences with it!
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26 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife October 19, 2011 at 3:00 pm

You look great!! Small changes equal big results in the end—and yes, I see the reverse wood chop move paying off ;)

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27 Liz @ circletwentytwo October 19, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Congratulations, Meghann!! You look great! Your reviews of this weight program are making NROLFW my next book store purchase. Realistically how many hours per day/week are you spending on this? I’d love to get started when I finish up my P90X cycle but work 2 jobs and worry I won’t have the time.
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28 Liz October 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm

You look fabulous, Meghann (in all the sets of photos) and you can definitely see a difference between the beginning & now :)

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29 gasem October 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Chop dat wood!!!

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30 Corey @ Learning Patience October 19, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Lookin great girl….your bootie is bangin! :-)
xoxo from Trinidad
Corey @ Learning Patience recently posted..WIAW – Morning Run, Cards and Packing

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31 Stephanie October 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Can I just say, you look TALLER! I was like “whoa, it looks like homegirl has grown a few inches!” lol Funny how that works. Very cool.

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32 Meghann October 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm

It’s the camera angles. That’s the one thing I wish I would have been more consistent with. Also, posture?

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33 Stephanie October 19, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Yeah, I think it’s the posture. You definitely look like you’re standing up straighter, which tends to make people look taller.

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34 Hope October 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm

You look awesome! :) You should be proud! I wish my stomach looked like yours!
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35 Army Amy* October 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm

If you feel good, then it must be working!*
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36 Marie October 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Wow! I totally see it! You look great and your abs look amazing! I can definitely see the change before you even pointed it out!

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37 Tricia October 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm

I think the photo changes are HUGE! Good job!

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38 Courtney @ The Petite AthlEAT October 19, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Since I’ve started Crossit – we do a lot of Olympic Lifting – I have put on serious, serious musle. And yes, this has been reflected on the scale. I have gotten larger in area (biceps, back, traps, thighs) and also slimmer in certain areas (neck, hips, butt) … We all know muscle is 3 times SMALLER than fat. And that it’s 3 times denser. But it sucks when the scale goes up. It just sucks. I feel ya. But I’m loving your progress – and from one iron pumpin’ diva to another – YOU GO GIRL!
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39 Alaina October 19, 2011 at 7:26 pm

You look amazing!! I bought that book a few months and haven’t touched it yet; I really need to get on that! I would love get stronger and toned. :-)
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40 laura October 19, 2011 at 7:27 pm

your progress is so encouraging! i’m almost done with stage 2 and really appreciate your recaps. they motivate me to keep moving!
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41 Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups October 19, 2011 at 7:48 pm

I can definitely see it–you’re looking great! And I bet you’re getting super strong too!
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42 Kristi @ Sweetly Fit October 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm

I can see the difference!!! Really, you look awesome and what’s even better is that you feeling awesome. Keep up the good work!!
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43 Shayla @ The Good Life October 19, 2011 at 8:13 pm

You look amazing Meghann!! I can really see the results in the photos and though you haven’t lost all the weight, you’ve totally reshaped your body and that’s the beauty of strength training…and that’s why scales lie! ;)
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44 Wendy October 19, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I have been a little nervous about losing my trainer when my gym buddy is too pregnant to work out and my trainer is too expensive for my lonesome. I think this will fit the bill. Now to dust the book off!

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45 Katie October 19, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Wow look at the results!!! My favorite part? The comparison of your expression between the first and the last. Especially the stomach ones! LOOK! :)
Katie recently posted..Let the Packing Begin!

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46 jo October 19, 2011 at 10:07 pm

oh yes, I see it. If you gained 10 pounds, it’s muscle lady!

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47 Ali @ Ali Runs October 19, 2011 at 10:13 pm

It’s amazing obvious the results are! I can’t wait to start this program after my marathon! :)
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48 Girl on the Run October 20, 2011 at 4:42 am

I definitely see the results, nice job!!
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49 Mary @ Bites and Bliss October 20, 2011 at 10:48 am

Amazing!!! I just started NROL a few days ago and am really hopeful for the results. Yours just make me even more excited!!
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50 Christie October 20, 2011 at 12:31 pm

That’s awesome. you look great!
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51 Ally is almost 48 May 8, 2012 at 8:36 am

Glad to be part of the group: NROLFW. I have been resistance training for years but never saw results like I have with this program. I have just started
Stage 3 and love the body matrix. The first recovery day was a shock. Finally,
I look in the mirror and see muscle definition whereas before, I had strength and overall fitness. I highly recommend this book, program and approach to gym workouts. If I can do this at 48, you can too. P.S. I actually did 6-7
jumping lunges the first day. Wow!

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