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New Rules of Lifting for Women Stage 6 Recap

by Meghann on February 21, 2012

And another stage bites the dust.


Well, that didn’t take long. I swear these stages keep getting shorter and shorter!

Stage 6 is considered the ‘bonus stage’ of New Rules of Lifting For Women. The author gives you the option of skipping the stage and moving straight to Stage 7 or pursuing it with the goal of successfully completing one unassisted pull-up at the end. I was up for the challenge and decided to take Stage 6 head on.


So, with that, I guess the big question is….Did the stage work? Was I able to complete an unassisted pull-up at the end?

Well, no, but I did get closer to completing one than I ever have before. Progress is progress and I bet one more round of Stage 6 (which I debated doing) would have made it possible. Maybe I’ll go back for round 2 once I’m done. πŸ™‚

The Workouts

Stage 6 was a little different than the previous stages because the two workouts didn’t match up. Workout 1 (Stage 6A) only had 4 workouts with an A, B and 2 Cs, while workout 2 (Stage 6B) had 5 workouts with 3As and 2Bs. Usually the stages have an A, 2 Bs, 2Cs, and a D. From the outside, these numbers make the workouts seem short, but a higher numbers of reps and sets actually made them longer.

What really, really killed me were the 10 sets of underhand-grip lat pulldowns. Since the reps were low (only 2!) I was able to go heavier on the weight, but 10 sets of the heavier weights (with limited rests in between) were brutal. Plus, I felt kinda funny taking up the machine for such a long period of time. There were times where the rest times had to be longer because I was trading off the machine with someone else or had to stop and explain why I was only doing 2 reps at a time. Ha!



Stage 6
Workout A
Underhand-Grip Lat PulldownWorkout 170 lbs
Workout 585 lbs
Barbell Split SquatWorkout 140 lbs
Workout 580 lbs
Workout B
Reverse Lunge w/ One Dumbell on ShoulderWorkout 115 lbs
Workout 525 lbs
Dumbell Two-Point RowWorkout 115 lbs
Workout 520 lbs
Dumbell Push PressWorkout 115 lbs
Workout 520 lbs
Back ExtensionWorkout 110 lbs
Workout 525 lbs

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

There wasn’t too much wiggle room since the number of reps came down only as the number of sets went up.


Right Bicep11in11.25in11.25in11.75in11.75in11.85in11.8in
Left Bicep10.75in11.15in11.15in11.5in11.75in11.8in11.8in
Right Thigh21.5in21.30in21in20.75in20.75in20.5in20.5in
Left Thigh21in21in20.80in20.75in20.75in20.75in20.5in
Just a few changes here and there. There are never drastic changes in the measurements numbers, just small gradual drops over time.


(see complete set of photos and stage recaps here)

NROLFW Stage 5 Recap.png
End of Stage 6 Photos 2/20/12

IMG_7224.JPG IMG_7236.JPG IMG_7233.JPG

Not many changes, but it’s always hard to tell in the stage-to-stage shots. Plus, we’re almost to the last stage and I’m genuinely happy with the transformation to my body thus far.

Especially the transformation to my arms and shoulders – which allowed me to rock the blue sweetheart number at my brother’s wedding this weekend – talk about a huge confidence booster to keep the strength training routine up until my own wedding next year.


(p.s. my mom is almost done with stage 1 and looks pretty rockin’ herself! πŸ˜‰ )

Final Thoughts

I had written our a whole two paragraphs here before pressing publish ate everything up. No I’m having a huge brain fart and can’t remember a lick of what I said. Isn’t that how it always go?

I guess I can say that even though Stage 6 didn’t result in an unassisted pull-up – I’m ok with it. That’s just a goal I’ll have to keep reaching for and hope to achieve one day. Until then, I’m ready for the new adventure that Stage 7 will bring and can’t wait to see this program through to the end!

1 Samantha February 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Congrats! I am terrified of weights, but you are taking these challenges on with such ease it seems. Can’t believe you are almost finished. Any ideas what you’ll do next?
Samantha recently posted..The Daily Brew: Coffee Cups – Ghosts and Legends

2 Caitlin February 21, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Haha dammit publish button! You totally rock that dress, wow, lookin’ good girl πŸ˜€ you’ve definitely got a jump start on the wedding dress upper bod!
Caitlin recently posted..Wine Battle: Sharpe Hill vs Jonathan Edwards

3 reader February 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm

You’re doing great! Just out of curiosity, do you measure first thing in the morning and before you eat/drink anything? Same goes for your weight (although I know you don’t talk much about that). Thanks!

4 Meghann February 21, 2012 at 10:10 pm

I usually measure between breakfast and lunch. I don’t really step on the scale enough to have a consistent schedule – the last time I was on a scale was at the doctor’s office in January.

5 Carolyn February 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Great transformation! You definitely rocked that bridesmaid dress.

Do you think the weight loss is because of NROWL or because of dietary changes?
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6 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife February 21, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Nice job! You look great in the dress for sure πŸ™‚

7 Jen February 21, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Pull ups are really freaking hard! You look awesome!

8 poptartyogini February 21, 2012 at 4:31 pm

i have no doubt that you’ll rock a pullup soon. i can’t even imagine. watching you work towards something makes it easier to put the effort in to conquer headstand and crow in my yoga practice. one of these days. you looked beautiful at your brother’s wedding.
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9 Erin February 21, 2012 at 4:32 pm

You look so great, Meghann!! I love the cut of your bridesmaid dress.
You have really inspired me to try this program. I have always been a little afraid of going to the weight lifting side of the gym for anything other than free weights, but it’s really time to face my fears πŸ™‚
Erin recently posted..Cannellini Bean and Tuna Salad

10 Kristen @ notsodomesticated February 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm

You looked gorgeous in that dress, and I’m glad that you’re happy with your progress. When you FEEL good, you look good! πŸ˜‰ And on your actual wedding day, you will seriously be GLOWING, which will make you look your most beautiful! πŸ™‚
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11 Billie February 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm

I love brain farts.
Billie recently posted..What a Rollercoaster that was…

12 Karen February 21, 2012 at 5:05 pm

You really lost significant inches from your waist since starting. Do you credit it to NROWL, diet, or a combination of both? I’d really like to shed a few inches from my stomach. Any tips?

13 Meghann February 21, 2012 at 10:10 pm

I think it was a combination. Changes in diet helped shed the inches, while NROLFW helped tone it up.

14 Christina February 21, 2012 at 5:08 pm

I admire the ability to stick with an exercise program, especially one this long. Seeing the gains you have made makes me want to work with weights, something I’ve never done before because I didn’t care to.
Christina recently posted..Running Recap

15 Maddie February 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Girl. Do you realize your waist went from 31 in. to 27 in.!? YOU ARE AWESOME! Weights are where it’s at!
Maddie recently posted..Water water everywhere.

16 Jess@atasteofconfidence February 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm

You look great! I’ve done a few of the workouts but am working up the courage to start ( I feel a little uncomfortable in the weight room). Could I possibly email you questions I have? Especially things about cable sets (I have no idea what I am doing, what weight to start at…etc…I usually just kind of wing it!)

Love you in that dress! Reminds me of our dresses in my brother’s wedding in August. πŸ™‚
Jess@atasteofconfidence recently posted..Our Lent Challenge

17 Meghann February 23, 2012 at 11:49 am

Hi Jess! Don’t feel uncomfortable in the weight room! There is no reason to be. Unfortunately I am not an expert, so if you have questions regarding the equipment, I suggest asking one of the attendants at your gym – they are great for showing you how to properly use the equipment and I promise they are just there to help, not judge – it’s their job after all! Good luck!

18 Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl February 21, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Oooo. I need to try this. I tried doing a pull-up at the gym. Ya right. I don’t think I budged an inch. LOL. Underhand-Grip Lat Pulldowns make perfect sense. Okay, will need to hoard machine tomorrow (tonight is abs of steel workout).

Great job on your workout!
Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl recently posted..Craving Citrus

19 RunEatRepeat February 21, 2012 at 6:11 pm

{{whistles}} Looking good πŸ™‚
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20 Hillary February 21, 2012 at 6:42 pm

I hope this isn’t creepy, but I was totally going to comment on how good your arms/shoulders look when you posted the wedding photos. Looks like the plan is working—I’m thinking of buying it for myself to work on after I run this half marathon I’m training for—you know, one training plan to another!
Hillary recently posted..Trade Off

21 Lauren @ Sassy Molassy February 21, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Yes, I totally noticed yesterday in all of your bro’s wedding photos that your arms were rockin! It’s crazy how much of a difference weight lifting paired with cardio can make. Nice work, Meghann!
Lauren @ Sassy Molassy recently posted..Thoughts on Hagg Lake

22 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama February 21, 2012 at 7:05 pm

You rocked your dress! Your shoulders and arms look more defined for sure. I hope this series inspires more women to pick up the heavy weights at the gym.

Btw, it’s awesome your Mom was inspired to start NROLW!
Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Two-fer Tuesday

23 Katie @ Livehalffull February 21, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Wow, your arms look amazing!!!! I need to do this for my wedding!!!
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24 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats February 21, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Haha you looked awesome in that dress!
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25 JennyV February 21, 2012 at 8:25 pm

I think it’s great that you’re doing an honest review of this program with both measurements, photos, and your own thoughts/impressions. I would live to see more bloggers share these types of posts. If you know of other similar reviews I’d love to hear of them.

26 Marie February 21, 2012 at 8:31 pm

You seriously look awesome! Congrats on making it to Stage 7; very inspiring!!

27 Brooke February 21, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Looking at your photos is a total inspiration! The gym that I go to is owned by Alwyn Cosgrove and his wife, Rachel. When I was following my workout plan designed by them I lost two pant sizes in 8 weeks. It’s the motivation that’s killing me, but your awesome progress is definitely helping!

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