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NROLFW Stage Three Recap

May 28, 2013

And just like that, stage three of NROLFW is done and done. A few of my thoughts, in no particular order:

  • I liked that this stage was also short (only eight workouts), mainly because I strongly disliked workout B. The majority of the moves felt awkward and less effective than those from previous workouts, but I did make myself stick to them and try to improve as much as possible. I like that these stages are relatively short: it’s just enough time to get better at each move, but not enough time to get bored.
  • I didn’t make a huge amount of progress during this stage which I mostly contribute to the fact that I seem to be hitting my max on a lot of the moves (or close to it). For example, no matter how hard I try, I cannot do a lat pulldown any heavier than 90 lbs, at least not without seriously straining my back or compromising my form (neither of which are safe or effective). That being said, I definitely saw some improvements, even if they were small ones: I’m bench pressing heavier than ever before, holding a plank twice as long as I previously could, and am feeling pretty great about my interval progress. Little victories are still victories!
  • The bodyweight matrix at the end of workout A KICKED MY ASS. Basically, you do a series of 12-24 reps of four moves as quickly as possible. You then rest for twice as long as it took you to complete the matrix and do it all over again. I saw some great improvement in my matrix times (dropped down from 2:11 to 1:51), but I swear, those four minutes of getting through the matrix was a more intense cardio workout than I’ve had in a long, long time.
  • Least favorite workout in this stage: YTWL. Eff you, YTWL. Seriously. You’re awkward and painful and dumb and I hate you. Please don’t show up in any future workouts. Kthanks.
  • Favorite workout in this stage: reverse wood chop or dumbbell incline bench press. Simple, straightforward, effective.
  • That being said, it’s clear that I like doing uncomplicated, straightforward moves the best. Give me squats, push presses, planks any day. I just feel like I see progress much faster in these exercises, and I don’t second guess my form.
  • I haven’t taken my measurements or weighed myself today, but I will say that I feel like I’m seeing some changes in my body, some for the better and some for the…well, not worse. Just not ideal. On the plus side, my stomach feels tighter, my waist feels and looks smaller, my lovehandles are melting away, and my legs and butt look COMPLETELY different. I swear, my lower body hasn’t looked like this since I was 14 years old and dancing several hours a week. It’s remarkable. On the downside, none of my shorts are really fitting right. My butt and legs aren’t bigger necessarily, but they are stronger and higher—so now my shorts are baggy in the waist and tight in the legs. Again, this isn’t a huge deal, but it’s not ideal!
  • I looked ahead in the book, and it seems as though the next few stages look almost EXACTLY like previous stages, just with a different number of sets and reps (and, presumably, the assumption that I will be using heavier weights). I’m not totally thrilled about this—I was hoping each stage would be distinctly different than the last, but I guess it will be a good way to monitor my progress?

All in all, I still like the program. I feel like I’ve stuck with it long enough that I’m seeing some solid results, and I’m excited to see what’s coming up next!

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