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New Rules of Lifting for Women Stage 4 Recap

by Meghann on December 1, 2011

4 stages down. 4 more to go.


I’m quite proud of this stage. I only took one week off for the Savannah Marathon and was able to stick to the plan the remainder of the time – this is a big difference from the several weeks I had to take off during both stage 2 and 3. I’m still sticking to two days a week instead of three, but I’ve found that works best for my schedule.

The Workouts

Want to know a little secret about Stage 4 that the author fails to mention in the book? It’s the SAME workout as Stage 2. The only difference is the number of reps per set and the number of sets in total.

I knew the workouts felt very similar, but it wasn’t until I was inserting the data for this post that I realized they were identical. It made me realize that I should review old workouts before diving in to new stages. At the very least this should tell me where I was with workouts in previous stages and give an idea of what the weights should be.

One thing that threw me off during Stage 4 was the option of 2-3 sets for each workout.


Give me a little wiggle room in a plan and I panic. I like structure!

Since, there were no further instructions, I sort of played it by ear. I started with three sets at a medium-heavier weight for the first two workouts, then moved up to a heavier weight for the final two. I came down on number of sets as I went up with amount of weight, but kept the number of reps consistent.



Stage 4
Workout A
Front Squat/ Push Press Workout 1 40 lbs (3 Sets)
Workout 4 60 lbs (2 Sets)
Step-Up Workout 1 20 lbs (3 Sets)
Workout 4 30 lbs (2 Sets)
Dumbell One Point Row Workout 1 20 lbs (3 Sets)
Workout 4 25 lbs (2 Sets)
Static Lunge w/ Rear Foot Elevated Workout 1 15 lbs (3 Sets)
Workout 4 25 lbs (2 Sets)
Cable Horizontal Wood Chop Workout 1 45 lbs (3 Sets)
Workout 4 50 lbs (2 Sets)
Workout B
Wide Grip Deadlift from Box Workout 1 50 lbs (3 Sets)
Workout 4 70 lbs (2 Sets)
Blugarian Split Squat Workout 1 20 lbs (3 Sets)
Workout 4 35 lbs (2 Sets)
Underhand Grip Lat Pulldown Workout 1 60 lbs (3 Sets)
Workout 4 70 lbs (2 Sets)
Reverse Lunge from Box Workout 1 12 lbs (3 Sets)
Workout 4 15 lbs (2 Sets)
Dumbell Prone Cuban Snatch Workout 1 8 lbs (3 Sets)
Workout 4 12 lbs (2 Sets)

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

Honestly, I probably could have gone higher. Looking at my numbers now and comparing them to Stage 2 made me realize that I wasn’t pushing myself like I probably should have. I’m not as happy with my performance as I have been in the past. If I want results, I need to give it all I’ve got.



5/26/11 7/15/11 8/22/11 10/18/11 11/27/11
Chest 34in 34in 34in 33in 33in
Right Bicep 11in 11.25in 11.25in 11.75in 11.75in
Left Bicep 10.75in 11.15in 11.15in 11.5in 11.75in
Waist 31in 30.25in 30in 29in 29in
Hips 39in 38.65in 38.4in 38.1in 38in
Right Thigh 21.5in 21.30in 21in 20.75in 20.75in
Left Thigh 21in 21in 20.80in 20.75in 20.75in

Overall I’m happy with the improvement since May, but after seeing a consistent decrease, it’s hard not to see any results this month. This stage does come with a handful of excuses (Which one do you want first? Thanksgiving, all my traveling, or my marathon? I’ve got tons of them!), but I have to accept that not every stage is going to show a difference.

I guess the good news is all the results stayed the same. Better than going up, right? :)


(I’ve moved all the comparison shots to their own page and will just be posting the previous stage and current stage photos on the recaps from now on.)

NROLFW Stage 3 Complete.png

End of Stage 4 Photos: 11/27/11

IMG_0036.jpg IMG_0038.jpg IMG_0037.jpg

(all other photos)

I’m really not consistent with angles on these, am I? To be fair, I had just returned from my cruise for the Stage 3 photos so I was nice and tan. The winter paleness doesn’t have quite the same results in highlighting definition. At least that’s what I’m telling myself… ;)

FInal Thoughts

In conclusion, I’m happy how consistent I stayed with my workout commitment this stage, but I’m not as happy with my performance or results. Let’s hope I can learn and improve before I start Stage 5 next week. I’ll also be diving into the holiday season and half marathon training this stage.

It should be interesting…

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