Tuesday, August 16, 2011

NROL4W – Progress: Workouts 7&8

That's it!! I've completed Stage 1 of NROL4W!

My goal was to complete these 16 workouts before traveling ... I can't believe I did it. I usually get frustrated so quickly and then go off plan out of frustration and lack of patience to actually wait and see if a program (exercise or diet) works ... and now finally, I did it, and I feel great.

Here's the breakdown of Workouts 7 and 8:

Workout A: 3 sets of 8 reps
Squats: 45/45/50; 50/55/55 [increase 43 kg since workout 1]
Push-ups: using body weight - but my form has improved big time; going much deeper now
Seated row: 41/41/41; 41/41/41 [increase 27.38 since workout 1]
Step up: 7/7/8; 8/8/8 [increase 4 kg and 5 steps since workout 1]
Prone jackknife: 2 sets of 12 & 2 sets of 15; 3 sets of 15 - no stopping; much better than 1st time
Workout B: 3 sets of 8 reps
Dead lifts: 40/40/45; 45/45/45 [increase 20 kg since workout 1]
Shoulder press: 9/9/10; 10/10/10 [increase 6 kg since workout 1]
Lateral pull 41/41/41; 41/41/41 [increase 13.76 since workout 1]
Lunges: 8/8/8; 8/8/8 [increase 2 kg since workout 1]
Swiss ball crunches: 3 sets of 25 for both workouts

So that's it! Stage 1 complete. I won't be starting stage 2 until I'm back in September, but I'm going to try and figure out what I can do to make sure I don't set myself too far back while being away for 3 weeks.

The numbers I'm most proud of -- my squats (can't believe I'm squatting 55kg!!) and my shoulder presses -- I could barely lift 3 kg before I started and now I'm lifting 10?! I really feel proud of that.

The exercises I had most difficulty with -- seated row and lateral pull. The exercises themselves were not that difficult, but the jump between 34 kg and 41 kg was a bit much so I found it difficult to do the sets with the heavier weights. At the same time, 34 kg was not challenging enough. At least I know that I've been working with a weight that is challenging and that my final sets of the exercises were much better than the first ones I did in workout 7.

Prone jackknives: I have to take a moment and just mention this exercise again. The first day I tried these I really thought they were impossible. I didn't think that my body could handle doing such an exercise. However, I think it's with this exercise that I noticed the most improvement. I noticed the increased strength in my arms as I held myself up for stability. I felt more confident and strong in my core as if I could stay in plank position on the stability ball for quite a while, and then the steadiness in my legs when bringing the ball in. The exercise really made me stop and think about how all the muscles were working together and how different I feel since I started this program just over a month ago. I never thought I'd be able to do 15 prone jackknives in a row. I sure did prove myself wrong!

So the NROL4W Stage 1 program ends with two challenge workouts. I'm going to attempt Challenge Workout A tomorrow even though I won't have taken a day off to rest, but I really don't have time and I want to use the challenge workouts to both measure my overall progress and use as a benchmark for when I get back to the gym in September.

I know I've listed my progress related to how much weight I'm lifting ... on Friday I'm going to measure and weigh myself to see how much weight I've lost. Stay tuned!


  1. That's awesome!!! Squats with 55 kg is very impressive indeed. Keep up the great work!!!

  2. Wow, that is so cool to see you doing a weight training program.

    Awesome job on the squats! And I looked up those prone jackknives on Youtube, you can do those?! They look like they take serious balance, muscle coordination, and strength.

    So very cool to hear about your progress... It's great to see you're hitting the gym, your hard work will pay off.

    And remember about the weight, the scale doesn't tell you much muscle you've gained... Sometimes weight training doesn't seem to show up for weigh ins, but you how you look, how you feel, and how much stronger you are are never ever reflected by a number on the scale! :)


  3. WOW! That's crazy good. I'm impressed.


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