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NROLFW Stage Five Recap

July 27, 2013

Five stages down, two to go.

And, I hate to say, this was by far the worst stage yet.

I don’t quite know what to attribute this to. Am I losing motivation after four months on the plan? Did the laziness of summer vacation start seeping into my workouts? I guess both of these things are likely. But I think the answer is even more simple: stage five is a total repeat of stage three, which I loathed completing.

I don’t know what it was about the exercises in the two workouts in these stages—they felt more awkward, less natural, more difficult (and not in a “I feel like I’m challenging myself” way, but more of a “This feels uncomfortable and not like it’s effective” way) than most of the other exercises in other stages. The only things I liked about the workouts were the interval  and body weight matrix cardio exercises and the occasional functional exercises that I’ve found to be really effective in the past (planks, squats, chest presses, cable wood chops). That being said, I did complete all eight workouts, but I am THRILLED to move on to stage six (the last “real” stage before something the book refers to as “The Final Cut.” Hey, now!)

Some random thoughts:

  • The plan’s emphasis on cardio intervals is definitely helping me increase my speed, but it is demolishing my endurance (which I guess is to be expected?) I can easily get through 2 miles of sprint intervals on the treadmill, but a 5k steady-state run feels like torture right now.
  • Kind of unrelated to the plan, but Nick has been teaching me how to properly do pull ups on a bar we have attached to the door on our guest room. Progress there is slow, but definitely steady! It’s incredible how quickly your strength increases when you consistently challenge yourself.
  • I can finally hold a plank for 90 seconds: a huge, huge accomplishment for me. When I started the plan, 30 seconds was my max. I’m loving these clear, obvious indicators of improvement!
  • I actually started stage six today, and I LOVE it. It looks so short and simple on paper, but it is an absolute killer (one exercise alone called for 10 sets of 2 reps—and took me over 15 minutes to complete with rest breaks. OOF). It completely focuses on functional movements, which I love. It feels good to be back in a stage that I look forward to completing!
  • I’ll be on vacation in Rhode Island for the first week of August, so I’ll have a weird break in the middle of this stage. No biggie; I’ll pick it right back up when I get back to Maryland!
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