Working It Out – Drop Two Sizes

My latest exercise endeavor: Drop Two Sizes by Rachel Cosgrove

The cover? Blech. The model? Meh. The title? Horrendous. (All of which Rachel has addressed here.)

The workouts? Killer. The meal plan? Good. The results? Worth it.

I picked this up after her husband, Alwyn Cosgrove, co-author of the New Rules books that I love so much, recommended it to our NROL4W Facebook group for fat loss. I was definitely hesitant but I’m glad I went for it. As a result, we created a separate facebook group for those interested in her program and it has been so nice to have a support system!

The workouts are tough! They focus a lot on mobility, complex movements, a lot of off-loaded weights, balance stuff. It’s deceptively challenging. Especially the weekly metabolic sessions.

The diet is mostly common sense stuff – lots of fruits and veggies, lean meats, some complex carbs, a protein shake daily, and limiting yourself to 2-3 “splurges” a week (which is my biggest challenge). There is a little bit more to it than that but that’s the gist. Nothing crazy here! It works out to be about 1800 calories a day for me.

I doubt I’ll actually drop two sizes (as my diet is not squeaky clean) but I’d be really happy with one. I’m halfway through the program (almost) and can actually button jeans that are 2-sizes-too-small though they are NOT comfortable or flattering. Hello, muffin top!

I love that Rachel is a proponent of ignoring the scale – something I am seemingly incapable of doing. Most women gain weight (~4 pounds) on the plan. But lose 2 sizes. I’m on track with the weight gain, that’s for sure. But these jeans don’t lie. Something is going on with my body composition!

But there’s a problem. I’m essentially no longer running now (thanks to my hips) and now, my knees are acting up again these past couple weeks. My current internal debate is whether to continue on as is, modify the program to ease up on my knees, or stop completely. I have an appointment with my physical therapist in a few weeks and we’ll see what he says. In the meantime, I’m going to dial it down a little.

New Rules of Lifting: Fat Loss II

Vlog:

Workout Calendar: (click to enlarge)

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Workout Log: (click to enlarge)

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New Rules of Lifting: Fat Loss I

Workout Log:

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Workout Schedule: (click to enlarge)

There were a few pretty intense weeks in there with my half marathon training and a couple of recovery weeks while I nursed a knee/hamstring flare up and took it easy on the weights. All in all, it took me 6 weeks to complete what should have theoretically taken me only 4 (lifting 3x/wk) but I’m okay with that considering I was training for the half, ran a 10k, stepped up my yoga game, and did some cross training.

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Please note: I am not following the diet plan and was training for a half marathon even though long, steady state cardio isn’t recommended with this program. You can follow my cross training on DailyMile. And for curious minds, I’m currently up a couple of pounds, still taking progress pictures, and not calorie counting or anything for the time being.

New Rules of Lifting: Break In

Since completing New Rules of Lifting for Women, I’ve started on the original (aka men’s) version. It has a lot more moving parts to the program and is much more customizable. I selected the path of “Eternal Beginner” which specifies doing the Break In Phase for 4 weeks, twice a week.

Workout Log:

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Calendar – click to enlarge:

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Please note: I am not following the diet plan and am training for a half marathon even though long, steady state cardio isn’t recommended with this program. You can follow my running program on DailyMile.

New Rules of Lifting for Women: Stage 7 Recap

And the grand finale for New Rules of Lifting for Women:

Workout Calendar:

June 2011 (click to enlarge)

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July 2011 (click to enlarge)

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August 2011 (click to enlarge)

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Logs (click to enlarge)

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Stage 1 Recap

Stage 2 Recap

Stage 3 Recap

Stage 4 Recap

Stage 5 Recap

Stage 6 Recap

BODYWEIGHT:

Beginning program: 163
End Stage 1: 161
End Stage 2: 160
End Stage 3: 159.5
End Stage 4: 158.5
End Stage 5: 157
End Stage 6: 155.5
End Stage 7: 152.5 (A month of a lot of running in there!)

Total weight lost: 10.5 lbs

New Rules of Lifting for Women: Stage 6 Recap

We’re in the home stretch, folks! Only one stage left to go!

New Rules of Lifting for Women Stage 6 Recap

Workout Calendar:

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(Click to enlarge)

Workout A:

Negative Chin-Ups: 3 sets, 1 rep 3 sec –> 10 sec

Underhand Lat Pulldown: 10 sets, 2 reps 105# –> 120#

Each of the following started as 2 sets of 10 and progresses to 4 sets of 4

BB Split Squat: 55# –> 75#
Push-up: Regular x10 –> Feet on step with 1 riser x4

Workout B:

Each of the following started as 2 sets of 10 and progresses to 4 sets of 4

Reverse Lunge w/ DB on shoulder: 20# –> 30#
DB 2-point Row: 30# –> 40#
DB Push Press: 20# DB’s –> 30# DB’s

Back Extension: 25# –> 35#
Incline Reverse Crunch: 25* angle –> 45* angle

Stage 1 Recap

Stage 2 Recap

Stage 3 Recap

Stage 4 Recap

Stage 5 Recap

Stage 6 Calories

Average Daily Calorie Consumption: Haven’t been tracking this Stage.
Average Weekly Calorie Burn: 2200-2700kcal

BODYWEIGHT:

Beginning program: 163
End Stage 1: 161
End Stage 2: 160
End Stage 3: 159.5
End Stage 4: 158.5
End Stage 5: 157
End Stage 6: 155.5 <- BooYA!

New Rules of Lifting For Women: Stage 5

Wow, we’re really coming along, aren’t we? Just chugging along and really excited to mix it up with Stage 6.

Workout schedule:

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(Click to enlarge!)

Stage 5A

4 sets of 4 reps

One-Armed DB Snatch 30#->35#

DB single-leg Romanian Deadlift (aka The Drinking Bird) 25# DB’s –> 30# DB’s
Barbell Bent-over Row 70# –> 85#

DB Single-Arm Overhead Squat 20#/10# –> 30#/15#
DB Incline Bench Press 25# DB’s –> 30# DB’s (with help getting them up)

Plank 60 sec –> 120 sec
Reverse Woodchop 40# –> 45#

Body Weight Matrix (24 squats, 24 alternating lunges, 24 alternating lunge jumps, 24 squat jumps) 2:16 –> 1:45

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Stage 5B

4 sets of 4 reps

Barbell Romanian Deadlift/Bent-over Row 75# –> 95#

Partial Single-Leg Squat Bodyweight (BW) only
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown 105# –> 112.5#

Back Extension 25# –> 35#
YTWL’s 5# DB’s –> 8# DB’s

2 sets of 8 reps because 4/4 was annoying!

Swiss Ball Crunch 15#
Hip Flexion BW
Lateral Flexion BW

Prone Cobra 90sec –> 120sec

Stage 1 Recap

Stage 2 Recap

Stage 3 Recap

Stage 4 Recap

Stage 5 Calories

Average Daily Calorie Consumption: 1600-1800kcal
Average Weekly Calorie Burn: 2000-3600kcal

BODYWEIGHT:

Beginning program: 163
End Stage 1: 161
End Stage 2: 160
End Stage 3: 159.5
End Stage 4: 158.5
End Stage 5: 157 (!)