Tag Archives: New Rules of Lifting for Women

No Muay Thai? No problem!

At least on Wednesday it wasn’t a problem.  We’ll see once work starts… 

I do find that in general, I do a lot more at the gym when I have someone making me do it, than when I’m left to my own devices.  Plus, I like the variety an instructor/personal trainer provides on a workout – no two workouts the same.

But when on Wednesday morning I got a call that Muay Thai was canceled for the day (likely due to the loooong holiday weekend we’re gearing up for), I still put on my workout clothes, and an hour after I was meant to go to Muay Thai, I headed over to our building’s gym.

Remember way back when I was doing the “New Rules of Lifting for Women”?  So today I decided to pick it back up.  I never got far into stage 2 last time, so I did stage 1 again, but started towards the end of the phase, doing 3 sets of 10 for each exercise, and using the same weights I used after being a few weeks in.  I’m not that out of shape nowadays after all, since we do incorporate weights at some Muay Thai classes, and sometimes I do a circuit training with the TRX bands, so I have been doing something, but I’m definitely not where I was when I finished stage 1 last time (I was using heavier weights by then, and today things were definitely challenging, even though all weights were about 5 pounds lighter in each hand as it used to be 6 months ago).  On the bright side, the ab work from Stage 1 seemed ridiculously easy!

Just picking between workout A or B wasn’t enough of a workout (compared to what I have been doing), so I ended up doing both of them.  To finish things off, I added 500 sit-ups and crunches (since we usually finish our Muay Thai with ab work, and that was the one thing I found lacking at the end of routine). 

I left quite proud of myself for not taking a rest day when things got canceled!  (Because let’s face it, the first thing that crossed on my mind when I got that phone call was “YAY!  REST DAY!!!  WOOT!”)

And yep, you bet I’m walking around Jakarta quite sore…

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Weightlifting update

(Hopefully by the time you read this, I’m on my way to Cebu!)

It’s been about a month, since I started doing the workouts on The New Rules of Lifting for Women, I have two more workouts left on the Stage One then it’s a “do as many as you can with your original weight” set and I move on to Stage Two.  So far, I have used dumbbells for everything since there are no barbells in my gym, and it’s going ok, except for a few setbacks. 

I haven’t seen any changes in my body yet, but I also know that it takes a while for muscle changes to show (specially when you’re overweight, and I am still carrying those stupid extra 20lbs around…)

Biggest improvement…  It should come at no surprise that I HATE doing lunges.  I mean, no one actually likes them, right?  So are we all in agreement that lunges suck?  Though my quads are strong (I don’t have thunder thighs for any reason – there’s a lot of muscle under that jiggle!), my hips are weak and pretty much every other muscle involved in doing lunges.  But I went from being able to use my bodyweight only for the first workout, to holding 20lbs on each hand. 

Along with that, the “step ups” are another thing that was a big improvement, from holding 15lb dumbbells to holding 30lbs on each hand.  (And I could probably do more if I had a barbell, but sadly I have a weak grip, and 30lbs is the most I can hold.)

The one bad thing about those two?  They cause my hip to flare up…  I used to think it was just running, and now I found out, nope, not just running makes it hurt…  But hopefully keeping it up will make the hip stronger in the long run.

Least improvement…  I have pretty weak shoulders, thanks to many volleyball injuries (I’ve had shoulder bursitis and shoulder impingements at different times – my overhand serve is badass and sometimes I get lots of aces in a row, but my shoulder suffers from it).  So it’s no surprise that the shoulder press is the one with the least improvement…  I started with 10lbs weighs that I bumped to 15lbs on my second workout and I’m still only using 15lb weights…  Don’t get me wrong, I have tried to use the 20lbs – at first I couldn’t even lift it individually over my shoulder (I can carry very heavy things, but lifting things over my shoulder is a whole different story).  Now I can get into position, but then my shoulder just stays there, paralyzed.  In other words…  Very weak shoulders with still not much improvement.  (Emily is a great example of how weightlifting does not bulk you up – she’s teeny tiny – and she can do shoulder presses with 25lbs in each hand, though it’s lower now that she’s pregnant.)

Most frustrating…  Definitely the squats.  Why?  After some creative maneuvering, I am now able to put a 30lb dumbbell on each shoulder (I have to move the dumbbells to the upper rack, put my foot up there, and put my elbow against my thigh so that I can lift those weights over my shoulder.  Fun times).  So I’m squatting with a total of 60lbs, but I’m not challenging myself as much as I do with the other workouts…  With this, I’m limited to only what I can lift over my shoulders and to my weak grip.  Had I had a squat rack and barbells, I could be using a lot more weight!

I’m not looking forward to Stage Two, which includes lots of planks and interval workouts…  But I’ve been pretty good at keeping this up 3 times a week (I think only once I ended up with only 2 workouts, and that was after 4 hours diving at the pool).

Has anyone else started on this book and making progress?  (I know Tyly was doing it too!)

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My legs were beaten with a baseball bat

Ok, so my life is not that dramatic (and let’s hope it stays that way, ok?), but that’s how they feel like today.

Remember when I talked about the New Rules of Lifting for Women book?  Despite missing barbells, I figured I’ll try my best to do the exercises with dumbbells instead.

Using a 20lb dumbbell in each hand for squats was not that bad.  Using 25lb in each for step ups, was a tad more challenging.  So of course I was a bit sore during the last couple of days.  But then yesterday it was time to do “workout B” of the phase 1 of the book (you alternate A and B for the first 16 workouts).

So I had never done a deadlift in my life, and after looking for youtube videos of how to do it with dumbbells, I figured I was ready for it.

 

OMG THOSE THINGS ARE HARD.  20lbs in each hand doesn’t seem like much, but I didn’t realize just how much my quads would be used to lift up those stupid weights.

Then lunges with weights – that quickly went out the window and it became lunges with body weight.  I’m not bad at walking lunges, but turns out lunges where you go back to your starting position are a lot harder to do, specially when your quads are already sore.

So yes, this morning even reaching the toilet seat to pee was a challenge (TMI?).

It’s no wonder the book explicitly tells you NOT to do the program when training for an endurance event.  Imagine if I had to run a 20 miler with these DOMS legs?  Non-running related DOMS legs?  (Which is a lot harder to do!)

Then it got me thinking and I wonder if other people go through the same thing…

During marathon training, I was ALWAYS sore.  Not “I can’t walk” sore, but sore nonetheless.  It was like my legs were constantly making me aware that they were there.  My calves were always tight.  Sure, compression socks helped (a LOT), but it never solved the problem.  I just got used to living with sore legs.  (And to be honest I kind of miss it.)

Am I the only one, or does everyone get constant sore legs during marathon training?

And since it seems like I’m reminiscing a lot about DC nowadays, can I mention how much I miss this trail?  (Anything similar to it near Manila or is that wishful thinking?)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Filed under Marathon Training, Weightlifting