Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New Rules of Lifting for Women

This coming up Friday marks the one year anniversary of me having met my weight loss goal and maintaining a healthy weight. Wow, I never thought I would get here and stay here.

One of the things that I've taken up that has really helped me get to the goal and stay there has been weight lifting. It's not the first time I've tried it - unfortunately though I didn't stick with it and also didn't stick with the eating plan that time and gained all that weight, but I've found that now I've really come to enjoy it and look forward to hitting the gym, and hitting it hard.

At the moment, I'm following the program outlined in the book The New Rules of Lifting for Women, by Lou Shuler and Alwyn Cosgrove. The book lays out a well-structured program of building strength along with fat loss (not necessarily weight loss) strategies, specifically geared toward women. These workouts are almost all based on free weights exercises and are super-challenging. But I love it - I've seen my measurements improve even though my weight has not changed. And, my strength and ability has improved by leaps and bounds. Last but not least, my arms, which had been flabby, well er flappy if you know what I mean, are no longer so cringe-worthy, but are veritable works of art. Hyperbole aside, if it weren't so cold right now, I'd be going around showing them off.

I know that a lot of women are worried that they'll end up looking like hulking she-monsters but without the testosterone (and you don't want to be having any of that, right?) it just doesn't happen.

One of the things I love about doing this program is having found other women who are also working the program. There's a great online forum with lots of good advice, helpful videos and so on. I've also bonded with other women in the gym working in the "boys section" also known as the free weights area. Getting through this program - I'm starting the sixth stage out of seven - has also increased my mental toughness. Not that I thought I was soft before, but I did find that having to ask how to use equipment and how to do stuff and then making myself try it and push a little harder in an area that's maybe not so traditional has been a bit of a revelation for me.

1 comment:

Jaime said...

Aha! A while back - probably when this post was written - I put this book on request from the library. By the time it arrived, I couldn't remember where I'd heard about it! But I think I've solved that mystery. :) I've just finished phase one, and am so excited by the progress I'm making. I've also turned two male friends onto the not-just-for-girls book, and plan, like you, to move to that book's flexible plans after I finish this program. Not quite sure why the women's book can't include a mix-and-match, but whatever, it's doing me good. Thanks for getting me onto this!