For those that don’t know what the heck I have been talking about when I write NROLW for the last 6 months, it is this:
I began back in April (where the *heck* have the last 6 months gone????). I came at this with a good solid strength training regimen already under my belt for the previous year, so I was no stranger to weights. However, I had just joined a gym and had access to stuff I didn’t have at home like the squat cage and a barbell.
What I really, really loved about this program was the combination moves. I haven’t done a bicep curl in 6 months and my biceps are as strong as ever. Combination moves really make the most efficient use of time in the gym, and really mimic real life muscle movements. I mean, other than lifting a cup of coffee, how often do you use the bicep curl motion? Also – just the freedom of using free weights and cable machines. There was so much balance work done (which I desperately need!)
I gained a lot of strength during these last 6 months. I know that I gained some muscle. I probably lost fat, but I don’t know for sure. My weight is 3 pounds over what it was last year at this time, but it is lower than earlier in the summer after I finished my triathlon. My lower body got really strong with doing barbell squats. My first ever attempts at those, and I hit a maximum of 110 pounds during stage 1!
I also graduated from pushups at an angle leaning on a box to straight military style. Women do not need to be on their knees to do pushups. Doing pushups and row work helped build up my lats and my shoulder muscles, making my waist more defined.
And my abs? I can now hold a 2 minute plank – and do 3 sets! There is a 6-pack under the loose skin.
I feel like I walk with a bit of a swagger now, or maybe it is just better posture from good muscle building. Maybe it is my secret superpower knowing that I can kick someone’s ass, even though I don’t look like it from the outside
What I didn’t like about the book was the length of some of the workouts. Stage 1 got a little long and boring to me. Stage 4 or 5 (can’t remember) was a longass workout. It was taking upwards of 45 minutes + just to get through it, which is a lot longer than I like to be lifting for in any session. I also think there should have been something in there about maintaining the strength after the program and what to do once you finish.
The nutrition part was also good and not a low-calorie program. Packed with protein and good information. I did not really follow the written eating plan, though.
Looking back, I probably should have started this program now to get through the winter instead of sticking it in there while I was training for the triathlon, running races, and duathlon! I had a really intense summer.
I am taking at least a week off from strength training (which I try to do periodically), possibly 2. I don’t necessarily want to push harder on lifting heavier, but I would like to work on chin ups (gonna do 1, I swear) and keep up a general conditioning program. I will for sure be sticking mostly with combination exercises.
I cannot recommend this book enough if you are serious about getting strong. It’s tough, really tough, but it will change you and your perception about what is possible.