Weight Lifting and Routines

It’s been hard to get into a regular routine since getting laid off–every day has been a little different. Sometimes I have an interview or a meeting or sometimes I have time-sensitive errands that need to be run.

The one consistent thing has been that I need to work out in the morning or by lunchtime. This has mostly worked out because I’ve had plans almost every night, but it’s worked out for the best, because it makes me feel like I accomplished something for the day.

This morning, I had plans to wake up early and take a class at the gym before an interview. I laid in bed for too long and missed the class, so I finally decided to brave the weight room on my own.

I had a Luna bar and banana for breakfast before hitting the gym in my apartment building to try a strength workout from The New Rules of Lifting for Women.



I took a look at the workout in the book and then wrote it down on a piece of paper to bring with me.


P.S. My writing is usually a little neater than this! I was in a rush. I looked at this workout and thought it looked pretty easy but I’d give it a try.

I did the squats, push ups and seated row as prescribed, but the step up and prone jacknife were where things got different. I thought I knew what the book was asking for with the step up, so I just did the 2 sets of 15 step-ups on a bench. When I got back, I looked at the book and saw that it recommended using weights, which I did not. No wonder it felt so easy. As for the prone jacknife, the building gym didn’t have a workout ball, so I had to improvise. I ended up doing a 60-second regular plank and then a 60-second plank on my forearms. I also added in 50 jumping jacks between each set for some cardio intervals.

All in all, I didn’t find this workout very challenging at all, but since it’s the first workout of the program, maybe it’s not supposed to be. The one thing I realized is that I do need to be more consistent with my strength training. I need to either stick with this NROLW program or find a gym strength class I really like and stick with it so I can challenge my body.

15 comments on “Weight Lifting and Routines

  1. Jordan P @ food, sweat, and beers

    I think that’s a reasonable assumption that it’s meant for first-timers, but that being said, if you feel more advanced… could you add some things or skip to the next more challenging level?

    I’ll be honest, I’m not familiar with the book enough to know, but it might be worth giving a try!

    I like how the handwriting started off pretty neat, then gradually got crazier, like you realized what time it was but had to get outta there!!

  2. Jamie

    I have been doing the workouts from this book and if they aren’t difficult enough, maybe increase the weight that you are lifting. I have been lifting much heavier weights since I started this program, and I will be sore the next day for sure!

  3. Kimra

    I just did this in my living room! (I had to leave the gym early and figured I’d be OK doing workout #1 with the 9-lb weights I have at home.) Here’s the crazy thing: I looked back at the spreadsheet I kept when I was doing this program last year, and my weights went up *dramatically* between the first and the last workout of phase 1. I think where it switches to fewer reps/heavier weights is when I really started to challenge myself.

    I’m not sure if I want to do the whole program again because phase 1 felt so looooooong to me last time; I’d like to actually get beyond phase 2 sometime! But I also don’t have another great strength-training plan right now. I’m curious to hear what you end up doing!

  4. Kate Mosbarger

    I’ve been stalking you on tumblr for a few months now, but have never commented. I don’t know if this has been mentioned before, but have you tried bodyrock.tv? Zuzana and Freddie post new workouts nearly everyday that are made up of primarily body weight exercises. I’m a professional dancer and I still find them very challenging! Might be a good way to supplement your workouts while you’re in this funky in-between period.

  5. Brie @ Brie Fit

    Weightlifting is infinitely challenging! You can ALWAYS add weight. If it didn’t feel challenging enough, you need to seriously up the weights. The last two reps of the set should feel almost impossible (but not actually impossible). Seriously, I grunt!

    1. Theodora Post author

      @Brie @ Brie Fit: Well, most of it was body weight, except for the row and the step-ups (which I messed up.) Each set felt pretty intense on its own, but the workout overall didn’t feel super intense, if that makes sense.

  6. [SMASH] at Sweat. Style. Swoon.

    Good for you for braving the weight room! I always hated doing weights at a big gym — felt intimidated by all the boys around. I sort of love our tiny apartment gym because I know how to use everything and there are usually few people around.

  7. Jenn Brigole

    I’ve been pretty predictable and constant with my workout so far. Maybe I, too, should consider upping my program a bit. And I agree, it’s all about consistency and keeping up with the program. I’ve a tendency to be self-conscious when around strangers, so I don’t think going to crowded and known gyms is among my options.

  8. Jas

    Spreading the comment love to my fellow 20sb June advertisers. Chocolate rasberry Lunabars are THE BEST.

    I like your blog. It makes me want to get off my ass and hit the gym!

  9. ellen

    i think i’m going to have to check this book out too. i tend to prefer strength classes, but can’t always do that… errr almost never can get to one. i should really get into the habit of lifting. it really really works wonders.

  10. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine

    I was looking through the NROLFW and I was tempted to do the workouts, but for some reason I didn’t love them. I adore the info, just not the plans themselves! Have you read Body For Life? I really adore the workouts in there!

  11. Kori

    I’ve had some really good results with that book. With the squats and rows, what kind of weight are you using? I just looked at my notebook for this and see for this same workout I was squatting with 50lbs and rowing with a barbell with 40lbs.

  12. Holly

    I struggle with consistency with strength training, too! I have the NROLFW book and considered trying the program, but I just started marathon training and don’t want to get too burnt out. I want to find something that compliments my running–something keeps me strong, but allows me to get the most out of my running workouts, too, without fatiguing me too much for quality runs.

    Still on the lookout!


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