As promised, I’m back to talk about my Week 2 on the New Rules of Lifting for Women (NROLFW) program. It has been a difficult Week 2 and I’m still really struggling with the idea of weight lifting being an adequate workout – especially when the scale doesn’t show any favor.
Thank you for all of the suggestions on the Part 1 post about how to make it a more intense workout. I learned a few lessons this week and I’m excited to talk about them!
1. Lifting heavier weight gives me a better workout.
2. Quicker intervals (time between exercises) give me a better workout.
3. Lifting at 4pm is different than lifting at 7pm.
4. The scale isn’t moving.
Okay, so my 1st lesson: Lifting heavier weight gives me a better workout. During one of my workouts this past week, I upped my weight in the 1st set of exercises. In the past, I would have lifted the same amount of weight I had done during the 2nd set, the previous time… For example, shoulder press – on Monday I used a 7.5 lb weight for the 1st set, and a 10 lb weight for the 2nd set, and so on Friday I would start with a 10 lb weight for my 1st set) But during my last workout, I started with a 12.5 lb weight for my shoulder press – and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be! And it kept my heart rate in Zone 3!
I definitely had it wrong in the beginning. I can lift/squat/push/pull much more weight than I thought. And it kept my heart rate high! In my Week 3 workouts, my goal is to continue to push myself to lift heavier weight, as long as I can manage it. Plus, I get 15 reps in almost every exercises. If I lift heavier weight but only do 13 or 14 reps, it’s better than using light weight and not really seeing the results, right?
Lesson 2 - Quicker intervals (time between exercises) give me a better workout. I allowed myself time to change the song on my ipod, take a drink of water, and start the next exercise. Previously, I would watch the clock, stretch a little bit, and wait for the full time listed on the sheet – 15/60 – 15 reps, and 60-second rest, may or may not be too much time. If I’m really panting and sweating, I don’t mind taking the extra time. But when I move a bit quicker, it keeps my heart rate up and helps me burn more calories. Plus – it FEELS like a better workout.
The 3rd lessons is - Lifting at 4pm is different than lifting at 7pm. This isn’t so much about the NROLFW program itself, but my comfortability level. I’m still nervous about being in the “free weight” area with all the weight cages and big barbells. I’m scared of the big, muscly guys who lift a lot of weight for a single rep and then slam it into the ground. I’m intimidated to set up my own NROLFW “circut” of weights and be in their way. I’m worried they might try to talk to me about my form or laugh at me and my book. I’m still self-conscious about how I look and what I’m doing -
“Hey, there’s that fat girl who thinks she can lift weights.”
“yeah, she’s a total joke!”
To be fair – I’ve never actually HEARD anyone say those things, nor has anyone made me feel anything but welcome and included in the weight area. It’s 100% in my head. Plus – there are about a thousand more people (okay – a bit of an exaggeration) at the gym at 7pm than there are at 4pm. The space and equipment is limited. Even if I’m doing something that doesn’t require free weights, like the Prone Jacknife – my NROLFW nemesis – there are much more people and trainers around at 7pm and it’s more difficult to focus on myself and my moves. As shown above, I get very preoccupied with what people are thinking of me, and not the exercises I’m actually doing.
For me, it’s easier to hide in a bank of treadmils than it is in the middle of a bunch of guys in a weight room. This is something I’m continuing to work on – and just because this is an issue with me, at my gym, doesn’t mean it necessarily affects anyone else.
And my final lesson learned in Week 2 – The scale isn’t moving. Okay – so again, not really a lesson about NROLFW, but it’s an admission of my own place in this weight-loss journey. I talked about my “infamous plateau” that lasted for months and months. During that time, I was within the same 5 lb weight range – day in and day out. Now, I’ve gained atleast 10 pounds above that weight range. Eating is a huge problem for me. Motivation to workout is another big problem.
I’ll be the first to admit – I struggle with the daily food choices, and the goal to move my body. When I was training for the half-marathon or the Ragnar, or even for the 5ks, it was a built-in reason to exercise. It helped me have a goal, a purpose, and a measurable event (e.g. time in a race) – with weight lifting, it’s not as clear to me. I struggle with the idea of “lifting more weight” as a tangible goal.
I’m scared that I won’t lose weight. That if I put myself into the NROLFW program, I will plateau again. I haven’t seen any of those immediate indicators of success (i.e. rapid dropping weight, the way my clothes fit, crazy high calorie burns) and I’m really scared it won’t work.
With all of these lessons learned, I’m looking forward to moving onto Week 3. I’m going to trust the NROLFW program and start looking for other indicators of success. Here’s to a great Week 3!