My New Rules of Lifting for Women Level 4

M27, The Dumbbell Nebula

M27, The Dumbbell Nebula (Photo credit: lightclad)

As I’ve noted before, I started New Rules of Lifting for Women in 2010 and then blew out my arm not by working out. So this is actually as far as I have ever progressed on this series of workouts.

After changing jobs a little over a month ago I am finally getting back into a groove with respect to working out. For me three times per week is great for making progress but it’s hard to fit in around work and civic pursuits.  Two times per week is sufficient to progress at a more moderate clip. Once per week is just not enough and I get very sore after lifting. I’ve been doing pretty well lately with workout frequency.

Today’s workout: Stage 4 Workout B

Wide-grip deadlift from box 3 sets 8 reps 87.75 lbs

Bulgarian split squat 3 sets 8 reps 18+lbs

Underhand grip lat pulldown 3 sets 8 reps 55 lbs

Reverse lunge from box 3 sets 8 reps 10 x 2 lbs

Dumbbell prone Cuban Snatch 3 sets 8 reps; 1 set 2 x 5 lbs; 2 sets 2 x 8 lbs

Swiss ball crunch Bodyweight 2 sets x 8 reps

Reverse crunch Bodyweight 2 sets x 8 reps

Oblique twist (my modification) Bodyweight 2 sets 8 reps

Prone cobra 1 set 40 seconds

I need to kick it up a notch with the Prone Cobra and the Plank. The durations expected and what I can do right now are pretty far apart. It’s totally normal to shy away from what comes with difficulty and that’s the case here.

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Finally Back to NROLFW

Front of right upper extremity.

Typically I learn the names of body parts by injuring them

I started New Rules of Lifting for Women the first time in March of 2010. I loved it. I was amazed by how quickly my body seemed to be changing. Then in mid April I was carrying some furniture at work to set up for an event and without realizing I was straining my arm to this extent, managed to tear both my right biceps and brachialis. This manifested itself in a bloody, purple bruise the origin of which I did not immediately grasp. Being me I figured since I didn’t hurt my arm working out, I didn’t have to stop working out. I know that makes no sense. But the injustice of doing something that isn’t really even my job at work, hurting myself and as a result being forced to stop doing what I love was just too harsh to accept. I kept working out another three months with a sore arm.

Around July I clued in that I was never going to heal this way and I dragged myself to a sports medicine physician who in turn sent me to a physical therapist (PT). When the latter told me our work together was to get me pain free I almost cried I was so tired of being in constant pain. I spent the summer doing my PT exercises and working on walk-run intervals and abdominal/core work.  My core was abysmally weak I had learned in starting New Rules and I was eager to improve that before getting back to it.

In November 2010 I took the plunge and started Stage 1 again. This time for any exercise that involved the  brachialis in any significant way I substituted my PT exercises.  I completed Stage 1 this way. As it was still clear that I was not going to be able to push myself in New Rules, I opted not to  continue with this program sought interval and body-weight exercises that I could continue to do without needing to push my arm too far.

I finally felt able to get going again in June 2011 when I started the Female Body Breakthrough program. Having just completed that I am now ready to return at last to New Rules of Lifting for Women. I am coming back to it quite a bit stronger than I was when I began. I also credit FBB with continually allowing me to progress in terms of strength without hurting anything.  I think this is due to the super long full body warm up that precedes and is part of each workout. Though it sometimes bored me– it remains the same throughout the whole program– I think it was the reason the program was so successful in allowing me to build strength injury-free. More on that in a future post.