Sunday, February 12, 2012

The New Rules of Lifting for Women

Today marked the first day of a new workout program!

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I’ve seen this book pop up on a couple of blogs over the past few months, and since I’ve been in a bit of a workout slump lately – I’ve been bored with my current routines and have been having trouble mixing things up – I decided to order myself a copy and see what it has to offer.

The New Rules of Lifting for Women is a comprehensive strength training and nutrition plan designed specifically for women to increase strength and muscle mass and burn fat. It’s actually been a very interesting read so far, and the author makes a quite a few points that I have really been thinking about the past few days. One that really stuck out to me is the fact that he absolutely despises calorie counting. He explains how this workout plan is intended to increase metabolism and build muscle, but it’s critical to take in enough calories in order to get the full effect. When the average woman (i.e., me) “diets,” she usually makes daily calorie goals somewhere in the range 1200-1500 per day. Well, one of Lou’s “rules” is that “calorie restriction is the worst idea ever,” and he says that by cutting calories you are going to lose muscle mass and slow down your metabolism.

What he does say is that balancing your macronutrient ratio is much more important that calorie counting. Carbs/fat/protein should ideally make up 40/30/30 percent of your daily calories, respectively. He advocates five to six small meals per day (rather than three larger meals) and emphasizes the benefits of consuming adequate amounts of protein. Some of these benefits include reducing your appetite, speeding up your metabolism, and helping you maintain muscle while losing fat.

While the book contains numerous recipes and a sample nutrition plan, I don’t plan on closely following it. I do plan on increasing my calorie goals to 1700-1800 per day on the days that I work out, with the majority of these extra calories coming from protein (i.e., protein shakes before and after my workouts). Yesterday I tried this for a day and actually lost two pounds while still eating over 1800 calories (and over 100 grams of protein). This guy might be onto something here Winking smile.

I do, however, plan on following the workout plan as much as I possibly can. The workouts are broken down into seven stages, and each stage contains two workouts that are alternated for a certain number of weeks. The program lasts for a total of six months. All of the workouts are total body workouts and include exercises that focus on the major muscle groups. I actually went to the website yesterday and printed out some training logs to take to the gym with me so I can track my progress.

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Lou says that the goal is to use more weight in every exercise, in every workout. I’m excited for the challenge!

As always, I’ll keep ya’ll posted on my progress and my thoughts about the workouts. I did the first one (pictured above) this morning and the exercises included squats, push-ups, seated rows, step-ups and Swiss jackknives. It felt awesome to do something different and push myself. I ended the workout with 15 minutes of incline walking on the treadmill.


Some recent eats:

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Last night was a sushi take-out kind of night. I guess Wednesday's dinner left me craving more!

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Breakfast today was a giant Greek yogurt protein pancake.

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I made it with Apple Cinnamon Chobani Greek yogurt and topped it with some maple syrup and my favorite apple topping. So tasty and filling!

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And lunch today was very similar to yesterday's:

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Only I made fried eggs instead of a pear sandwich.

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I’m off to prep some meals for the week and then I’ve got dinner plans later tonight. See ya later!

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