New Rules of lifting for women

(26 Posts)

Anyone out there with knowledge or experience of doing the programme in this book, but not as someone new to weight training?

I am a regular lifter but feeling in need of a little more direction/focus in my routines. I have read it and think it would fit well into my schedule as it is similar in structure and timing and the inclusion of the interval training. I just wondered about the results it gets if you aren't doing it as a beginner.

In my routine I typically include 50kg+ deadlifts, can do unassisted pull ups (only 2 at a time but...smile), squat 50kg, bench 30kg+ and clean and push press approx 25kg. Is it stil worth doing from the beginning? Would I be better off getting a PT to design a programme?

Lazysuzanne Mon 02-Sep-13 00:40:05

Sleep, as a regular lifter I'd imagine you know yourself better than a PT, I'm not familiar with the book but it sounds as if you are training your whole body in one session?
I found I made more progress in terms of strength gains when I used a split routine, just basic body builder style.

I'm not really sure that the rules of lifting are all that gender specific, I'd say they depend more on what you want to achieve
(or am I missing the point of the book?)

Hi Susan, from what I understand, new rules for women is in fact very similar to straight 'new rules', the author does advocate very similar training for both sexes but the book particularly addresses how women typically view strength training-eg where he talks about the question of how much weight to use he says that typically he would advise men to take 25% off the max they could lift and women to add 25% (!), also gender specific differences such as women having more dominant quad strength...

Anyhow, the routine I do now, approx 3x per wk, is full body. So is NRFW but you alternate between two routines with at least a day rest in between (important for me, that's when I kickbox, which I love). You increase weights as you feel able and change to the next pair of (more challenging) workouts approx every six weeks. So first for example is squats/lat pulldown/push ups/seated row and prone jacknifes. There are seven sets of workouts.

I guess my concern is that I might lose strength in certain areas until I get to the later workouts, but messing with the program seems daft confused.

How many times a week do you train if doing splits? Would 3x per week alternating upper/lower body work do you think?

Sorry Suzanne, I got your name wrong, blame sleep deprivation, I have been up since 3am with DS with earache sad.

And I also should have written 'the weight men or women think they can lift'!

Lazysuzanne Mon 02-Sep-13 11:20:20

Sleep, I hope you got some and the earache is resolved!

OK, well, as far as there being much in the way of rules for lifting at all, I'm not so sure, there's alot of 'bro science' and a fair few guru's in the world of exercise.

But I appreciate that the main problem is getting women to do any weights at all!
I can only speak for myself, but I have 20 years of training & working in gyms, mostly as the only woman in the weights areablush
When I was exclusively strength training (ie no cardio to speak of) I used a 4 way split, and train 4 x per week it was something like
calves/delts
legs
chest/triceps
back/biceps

in the past few years wanting to downsize & be leaner I used a 3 way spit and trained 3 x per week
legs
back/delts/bicep
chest/tricep

right now I am obsessed with swimming and not wanting to overload my shoulders I'm doing an upper body / lower body split and training 3 x per week.
I've backed off intensity wise because I want to save my energy for endurance type cardio.

I vary the exercises according to what works for me (ie what hurts the next day) what injuries I'm working around.
For pressing I use cables, dumbells or the ez bar (easier on the wrists than a barbell)
I dont squat anymore, I like the leg press but I also like one leg stuff like bulgarian split squat, I like glute ham raises, I like that hip thrust thing that you do with the bar bell grin
www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8nFGuY77CE

as for how much weight to use, I do a few progressively heavier warm up sets (stopping far short of failure) 2 or 3 sets to failure at the heaviest weight, then rep out with a few progressively lighter sets.
Broadly speaking I keep in the 5-12 rep range.

I just go by how I feel, I've only ever used my own program because it's been carefully designed by me to suit me and it's constantly evolving (oops, now I sound like some kind of self appointed gurublush )

Unfortunately just one hour's doze and DS still pathetic and on sofa. We got back from holidays last night and after over a month of intense carb (and everything else) loading grin and almost no exercise I was planning to hit the gym with a vengeance but that's out of the window now sad.

Thanks for the rundown on your routine, that's really interesting and I think could also work well for me, particularly with kickboxing on the off days. I am also usually the only woman in the free weights section of the gym and have pretty much made my own routines up as I've gone along too. Also a big fan of split squats and (nearly) pistols - its a love/hate thing though grin! Not sure I am brave enough to try the hip thrust thing with the male audience but it looks very effective!

How come you don't squat any more? I have cut right down too because I was having some knee pain but now I am pretty sure that is down to the rotation that happens doing spinning kicks/hook kicks at kickboxing rather than the squats sad - I know which I would prefer to ditch! Most stuff you read seems to classify squats as one of the sacred exercises you shouldn't leave out though - along with deadlifts and bench press confused. As you say, so many theories on the best way to train!

Presumably you do your swimming on in between days? Would you do any other cardio at all on your lifting days? I usually do 15-20 minutes of intervals, but maybe I should just push myself to the limit on the weights as kickboxing is more like interval training than endurance cardio anyway...

Lazysuzanne Mon 02-Sep-13 13:47:57

yes the men in the gym seem to think the hip thrust is meant as some sort of a come on, I just ignore them..plug into ipod and they're not there anymoregrin
deadlifts and squats, make my lower back feel very iffy, I had some problems with sciatica and I dont want to spark that off again.

Not sure about sacred exercises, sure there are basic principles ..eg train heavy enough to work the muscle, compound movements are more efficient.
I've learnt the hard way that unless you are careful to avoid injuries you'll end up not being able to do anything.
I spose it comes down to what means more to you, if kickboxing is what you are most passionate about then I guess you'd want to train around that...it sounds quite knee stressfull!

I swim 3 days a week for about 70-80 minutes, 3 days a week I do weights followed by up to hour of cardio in the gym (currently uphill walking on the treadmill)
I take one day off..sometimes more sometimes not, it depends how I feel.

When I had the demands of husband/house/young children I had much less energy for exercise than I do now.

I do think that 'taking it to the limit' with strength training in my 30's has left me a bit injury prone now

Wow, huge dedication! I manage about an hour every weekday, sometimes a day or two with weights in the morning and an hour's kickboxing in the evening whilst DS1 does his kids class. Sometimes an additional session on the weekend if I can fit it in and feel up to it. My 3 dc's are still quite small, 8-5-3, but I can't imagine devoting much more time to training, although I am looking at doing a nutritionist course over the next six months, to which I will then add PT qualifications. Have you trained as a PT?

I also love swimming but you are doing loads! Are you aiming for a race or is it just for the love? I think I may need to substitute a kickboxing session or two for swimming for the sake of my knee sad.

Interesting what you say about pushing limits. Along with New Rules I also just read 'Thinner, Leaner Stronger', the first tells you NOT to aim to go to your max with weights/reps (although it says its just fine if you do end up reaching point of failure) but the mantra of the second - more hardcore approach - is 'just one more rep'. I am 40 now so I tend more towards the former, only too aware of, as you say, injury stuffing things up completely and possibly for a long time - and its not as if I'm plannning on bikini modelling grin.

Lazysuzanne Mon 02-Sep-13 15:13:22

i swim for the love of it and the post swimming euphoria, it's better than all the other post exercise highs grin
i tried to love running but gave up and went back to my first love.

I did a bawla course years ago, no other formal qualifications.

I will add that i find yoga useful for injury prevention, try to do half an hour a few times a week.
Dont know about dedicated...more like addicted!

I agree with the post swim high, I always get that more from a swim than a run too grin. Also get the addiction! Yoga though...meh..even though I can "do" it as I'm very flexible, so far it always leaves me cold, I rely on the stretching in kickboxing and post weight training.i should try some different classes I know...

Thanks for your advice, really useful smile

Lazysuzanne Mon 02-Sep-13 19:04:56

no probs, I'm happy to share my past mistakes if it helps someone else avoid themgrin

It's just so rare to find any women who's idea of weight training goes beyond doing flyes on a stability ball with 1kg dumbells shock

to be fair the weights area in the gym can be quite intimidating, it uses up quite alot of my 'inner grit' and I am always grumbling about the looks and the attitude blush

That's a shame - the one I go to is pretty friendly but it's not a 'meathead' type gym like some. The downside of that is a lack of certain equipment - such as a squat rack hmm, though they did recently put in a smith machine and a rack for bench press. The upside is I get a kick out of lifting the same as some of the guys grin. They are usually quite funny, always checking themselves out, lifting their tops up to check abs, as if they are going to be so different to how they were before you did that set of pull ups hmm. I've had almost only positive reactions there, apart from the odd one who thinks they can just walk in and use the bench or weights I'm stood next to between sets without checking to see if I'm using them hmm. I pretty much stick my iPod on and get on with it (with better form than most of them grin.

Lazysuzanne Tue 03-Sep-13 12:44:50

'hardcore' equipment does tend to attract the proto-hominid clientele
I'm not keen on extreme meathead gyms, I can cope with about a level 6-7 of meatheadedness..then again perhaps the serious dedicated lifters would see past gender and accept you as a fellow?

Hmm, I dunno, in my experience men who lift weights tend to have very traditional attitudes to gender roles and look at me as if I ought to be punished for daring to leave the kitchen.

Where as women who lift weights seriously are by definition people with unconventional and non traditional attitudes towards gender roles?

Sorry I am wandering off topic here, and there's still no one else joining in the conversation!

Nope, just us and tumbleweed..like in the gym grin.

That's a real pity you have lots of guys with that attitude, they are definitely in the minority where I go. Mostly I get a sense of respect and not infrequently, they comment on how hard I work, probably because I am mostly in motion, keeping rests to absolute minimum for example, unlike some guys who spend what seems like 5 minutes sitting in between sets smile.

MtbMagic Sat 14-Sep-13 21:44:30

I've lurked long enough..... I've just read New Rules and love it! Indeed since I've been reading these threads I've completely changed my training. I'm 44 with 4 DC's 8,5,3 and 3 months. Since my early 20's, and up until my 3rd DC I've biked, and done adventure racing (similar to triathalons).

Through my pregnancies I've done swimming and pilates but I needed a new challenge .. and I was one of those people who thought cardio was king. And weights if you wanted to look like Geoff Capes..... what revelations I've learnt from these boards and this book...

I've created my own home gym and spend about 30 mins 5 times a week doing bodyweight and kettlebell strength and interval training. My glutes have perked up considerably ; I'm on the way to doing my first pull up but I feel really really good.

Middle aged and frumpy no more. Thank you ladies. I really mean it thank you. Indeed I'm even inspired to train as a pt!!!

Lazysuzanne Sat 14-Sep-13 22:38:13

<high five> Mtb grin

Ekduo Tue 17-Sep-13 20:41:56

I did NROL for women last year.I'm 49 and was getting very tired and back aching at work ( I'm a nurse ) and can honestly say it gave me loads more energy and better posture and no more backache. There is a lot of emphasis on the posterior chain muscles. I've just started doing the NROL for abs but am finding the "dynamic warm up" a bit embarassing to do in the gym. Have you discovered the free work out logs on the website?

OhDearNigel Tue 17-Sep-13 23:42:09

Ooo, can i join this thread smile i am also a free weight lover, did a lot of powerlifting in my 20s and, like you was the only woman in the free weight gym. Loved it smile

After a break of 8 years, 1 baby and too many dress sizes to think of i'm back pumping iron so it's nice to see a thread with some likeminded women to swap tips.

OhDearNigel Tue 17-Sep-13 23:48:05

I find it curious that you've had bad experiences with the men working out - they were all lovely to me and were tripping over themselves to give me tips or a spot ! One of the guys compteted nationally at strongman competitions, i went along one year. it was always the same people every night; when a new bloke would come in and see me there you could see the "look" in their eyes, like i didnt belong. This was always my cue to get on the squat rack to pull out my 1 rep max...

I owe my love of AC/DC to that motley crew.

Lazysuzanne Wed 18-Sep-13 01:34:39

it must just be me then, I must look grumpy or something confused

MtbMagic Thu 19-Sep-13 12:59:27

Ekduo thanks for tip for the workout logs. I've printed off a load and filed ( in anticipation of them being filled).

Ohdear, What's in the dynamic warm up which is embarrassing?

I am looking to get a barbell and a few weights... Does anyone have any suggestions? As yet I have not lifted one!! Before 4dcs I used the gym but avoided the weights area like the plague. Now it's impossible to join a gym so I'm slowly getting a few things at home. So far a step and an 8 and 16kg kettlebell. It seems to be working and I am really enjoying myself.

Ekduo Sat 28-Sep-13 18:40:59

The dynamic warm up seems to involve curtseying and goosestepping! Try doing that and then stepping up to the squat rack with any semblance of dignity! I have decided to stick to the warm up from NROL for women. 2 weeks into the abs programme and I have pains in muscles I never knew I had. I have also rather optimistically taken some before photos. How are you getting on?

Lahti Mon 28-Oct-13 17:52:03

Ooh I've just found this thread. I love strength training and have just entered my 1st strongwoman comp. will read through properly once DD is in bed.

MtbMagic Thu 31-Oct-13 20:49:59

Yay, just finished the first 6 week phase of new rules of lifting for women. I have not dieted at all and eat a lot (and am breastfeeding which increases my Appetite fourfold!). And I feel GREAT... Lost about 4 pounds, which I was not expecting but I feel strong and fit and supple. My mobility and movement is really good just as good as when I did yoga?

Best of all my abs (after 4 DCS) are really toned and my 44 year old flat backside has been well and truly lifted.

And only 3 lifting sessions a week 45 mins each. Followed by a 10-15 min finisher such as skipping, hill sprints, kettlebell swings etc.

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