For various reasons, cardio based activity isn't really my best option at the moment so long runs and bike rides are out of the question. And if I'm honest, I've always been more of a fan of strength training than cardio anyway... give me weights and yoga over running any day!
NROLFW LoveI've ummed and ahhed over the New Rules of Lifting for Women for ages, but took the plunge and bought it some time before Christmas. My review? I fell in love and devoured the whole book in a couple of days - it's very down to earth and easy to read, with lots of excellent advice, information and myth busting. I've always been a firm believer that the weight room isn't just for male-bodied muscle-bound grunters, so it wasn't the revelatory experience that I'm sure it might be for some people, but it's definitely been a push towards using weights I'd been scared of before (barbells) and having the confidence to really feel like it's ok to be in the weight room.
I adore the workouts too - there's 7 stages, all of varying lengths and intensities, with the aim being to increase your weights as you move through the stages and to really challenge yourself to lift "like a man" (a phrase which, of course, I hate but I completely understand - this is the first time I've seen female-bodied people encouraged to lift in the same way as male-bodied and to not stick to low weights). There's no suggestion of what weight you start with, which is both frustrating and entirely the right thing. I've had to start out very, very low - lower than I've wanted to - because I'm in the process of helping my body to heal, and every person using these workouts will be different.
The Before PicturesAnd now, as is obligatory in all "starting a new workout regime" posts, here's some moderately embarrassing pictures of me in my underwear. This is actually a couple of weeks ago, before I started the programme. I didn't take measurements then, but I'll pop in my current measurements as of today as I've been working out sporadically and with low weights, so I don't think they'll be that different yet. Ignore the dodgy lighting/odd (miserable) facial expression/mess.
Beginning measurements: 10/01/13
Left Bicep: 10in
Right Bicep: 10in
Left Thigh: 21in
Right Thigh: 21in
(For reference, I'm 5'7"/170cm and weight 60kg)
I feel it's important to point out one final thing here as well - my goal for following the NROLFW isn't to lose weight. It's to be as strong and badass as I possibly can be and to have a more toned, more powerful body. A friend sent me this yesterday, which sums up my thoughts exactly:
Have any of you tried the New Rules of Lifting for Women? How did you find it?
What's your current work out routine? Are you trying anything new in 2013?