healthy |ˈhelθē|adjective ( healthier , healthiest )in good health: : feeling fit and healthy.• (of a part of the body) not diseased : healthy cells.• indicative of, conducive to, or promoting good health : a healthy appetite | a healthy balanced diet.• (of a person's attitude) sensible and well balanced : a healthy contempt for authority.• figurative in a good condition• desirable; beneficial• A conscious choice; A life-long commitment.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess

I have been meaning to write this post for a while.... like almost 2 months. Forgive me? I have been working, and actually working out (*cough* doing these workouts) instead and have been quite lackluster in my posting as a result.

Here I am now though! Better 3 stages in than never... right?

So here's the deal: I needed to increase my strength training, but I was reluctant to follow anything Matthias put together for me (hello, he's a man, he likes to pump up his biceps and what not... I'm not in to the whole lady-guns thing), and I was too poor to buy some personal training sessions. I was scanning the message boards on MFP and saw a post with some before and after pictures of the ladies who followed this program. I thought I would check it out, ended up buying the book, and actually reading it while I was still in school. Crazy, right?

The book made sense in terms of strength training to me - It is hard for me to do it at all, why would I break it up in to different body parts if I can hardly commit to it at all? All over strength workouts are for me. I didn't agree with the nutrition part of it entirely - Increasing protein, yes, but I am not willing to turn to animal sources for that.

So I printed out my workout tracking sheets, filled em' in, and hit the weights.

Here's a breakdown:
  • 6 stages, alternating between 2 workouts (A & B)
  • In stage 1 you do both workouts 8 times (total of 16), in all other stages you do each workout 4 times (total of 8)
  • Each workout is all-over strength training and focuses on functional movements instead of useless movements (such as tricep extensions)
  • They structure the program so that by the end of the 6 sessions you should be close to doing an unassisted pull up (everyone is different though, and everyone comes in to the program with a different fitness level)
  • They recommend you do 3 strength training sessions a week, other exercise is "optional"
  • The book is easily written and has some good humor in it
I usually end up doing 2 strength training sessions a week (dragging out my stages a bit more), but I have found that this fits in nicely to my lifestyle and then I am able to maintain my other fitness loves such as Spin, Running, and Yoga (although I really need to do this more often).

I am currently in Stage 3. Here is what my workout looks like:

A - 3 Sets of 6 Reps
  1.   One-armed dumbbell snatch (25lb)
  2.  Dumbbell single-leg Romanian deadlift (30lb/hand)
  3.  Barbell bent-over row (55lb)
  4.  Dumbbell single-arm overhead squat (10lb/20lb)
  5.  Dumbell incline bench press (25lb/hand)
  6.  Plank (90s)
  7.  Reverse wood-chop (12kg Medicine Ball)
  8.  Body Weight Matrix (24 squats, 12 lunges/leg, 12 lunge jumps/leg, 24 squat jumps)
B - 3 Sets of 6 Reps
  1.   Barbell Romanian Deadlift/bent-over row (55lb)
  2.  Partial single-leg squat (25lb/arm)
  3.  Wide-grip lat pulldown (70lb)
  4.  Back extension (25lb plate)
  5.  YTWL (8lb - Think of your arms in each position, confusing to explain)
  6.  Swiss-ball Crunch (12lb weight held above head)
  7.  Reverse Crunch
  8.  Side Ball Crunch (5lb)
  9. Interval Training (15min - 1min hard, 2min recovery)
 Have I noticed a difference in my strength? Absolutely.

When I started doing Wide Grip Pulldowns the most I could do was 35lb. I am now up to 70lb.
I could bicep curl 15lb, now I can do 25lb.
I can do 10 real pushups, before the most I could do was 4.
My abs and my arms look more defined, however I don't have any pictures to prove this.
I can deadlift 70lb, and if my gym carried more heavy weights I would be able to increase that.
I can squat 80lb, when I started I could barely do 35lb.

I am enjoying the variety in the workouts and learning different strength moves. The workouts so far take me up to 80minutes, which isn't too bad considering its only 2/week.

For a beginner, who is looking for an inexpensive strength training guide, I would definitely recommend this book!

What do you do for strength training?