New Rules of Lifting for Women – Day 1

So yesterday I finally ventured to the university gym to start The New Rules of Lifting for Women. I’ve really been looking forward to starting a weight lifting program, as I’ve heard it can help with loose skin issues, and I know from past experience (I used to lift when I was on a track team in high school) that it can really change your body – and I wasn’t even working on my diet then! It took me forever to get around to it, though. I am a bit of a nervous person, and while I was not super afraid of going in to lift (though I will admit I was a bit intimidated by the big weight room and went to the tiny one instead),I was afraid of other gym related issues. Where would I keep my stuff (I forced myself to rent a locker so that I would feel like I was wasting money)? How would I dry my towel (apparently everyone just hangs them over their lockers)? When would I have time (all the time I spend on the internet)? Would I still be able to run (yes, I found an example of a runner who did the program, and came up with a workout plan to combine half-marathon training and Stage 1 of NROLFW for the next 6 weeks)?

I also conquered some other, mostly logistical issues, finally going to the store to buy myself a gym bag, a mini water bottle for protein shakes, an ice pack to keep the protein shakes cold, and some protein powder. I’d say the protein powder was my biggest hangup. I just didn’t know what to get. I tried looking around on the forums that I frequent, and saw that Optimum Nutrition brand was highly recommended, but so were a million others. The NROLFW book also recommends a few brands. I’d really been putting it off because it’s “so expensive” and greek yogurt has a similar protein/calorie ratio. But then I realized that to use greek yogurt in the same way it would be even more expensive and I’d be spending even more on it per week which is pretty scary considering greek yogurt makes up about twenty-five percent of my grocery bill (I’m super picky and will pretty much only eat Chobani and Fage so it’s super pricey). I finally decided I’d just go to Target and see what they had there (I think I would have been overwhelmed if I’d gone to a store like GNC, honestly). I saw one of the brands recommended by NROLFW, EAS, but then I realized that the Market Pantry brand had extremely similar nutrition stats, so I bought it instead. I think it tastes pretty good (mixed it with almond milk), but I have nothing to compare it against. It was only like $1.50 cheaper than the name brand so maybe next time I’ll pick up the “pricey” version to compare. One thing I did notice is that it seems to have a really high amount of cholesterol. I used to have high cholesterol and last I checked it was the top of normal, so maybe I should look into powders with lower cholesterol content (the EAS had even more!)? This is one area where I am sure to experiment more.

So, how did the actual workout go? I thought it was pretty easy, so I probably underestimated what I can lift. I just know that lifting about 30 pounds (like if I was picking a box up off the ground) seems pretty doable but not easy for me so I decided I’d lift a little less since I was doing it multiple times. I didn’t even really feel like I worked out, though. Honestly, if I hadn’t also run three miles, I would have been terrified to eat any exercise calories yesterday (I’m still not sure about following their diet plan, they recommend I eat about 150 more calories than I do on rest days right now). I did feel a little sore and extremely super tired by bedtime, though. I’ll up the weights next time and see how that helps!

Here are some starting stats. I won’t post these for every workout – just for the first days of workouts A and B (each stage of NROLFW is split into two workouts that you alternate, basically).

First, my starting measurements, so we can see how they change by the end. Note that my waist/hips are probably a little bloaty because there are communists in the funhouse and I ate a ton of really unhealthy food last week. They are normally more like 26-26 1/2 and 35-35 1/2, respectively. Also, measuring my calves made me really happy! I had a terrible time getting them under 16 inches and had to search forever for knee high riding boots. Next year maybe more options will be available to me!

  • Neck: 12
  • Overbust: 35
  • Underbust: 31
  • Waist: 27
  • Hips: 36
  • Thighs: 21
  • Calves: 15
  • Upper Arm: 10
  • Forearm: 8.5

And here were my lifts:

  • Squats: 15 pounds for first set, 25 for second set
  • Pushups: regular form (poorly executed) for first set, knee pushups for second set
  • Seated Rows: 20 for first set, 40 for second set
  • Step-ups: 25 for first set, 30 for second set (I’ll probably also try to use the higher step, I used a lower one)
  • Prone Jacknife: I did all 8 for each set. I heard these were really hard but they didn’t seem that hard to me so maybe I wasn’t using good form? I’ll watch some videos.

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