NROL4W, Stage 2….ouch.

It’s been very quiet in blog-town lately, and the reason is this; after my New Rules workouts, I have roughly minus 10% energy left for anything else!  Stage 1 was a great break in and got me feeling comfortable in the free weights area again…Stage 2 is like some kind of torture regime sent to punish me.  That said, I’m really enjoying the variety because after 16 total workouts Stage 1 was beginning to feel pretty stale and repetitive.  So…workout 2A.  All exercises are 2 sets of 10 reps (except the plank which is a 60 second hold) with 75 second rests.

Front squat/push press.  I used to think this was a fun exercise.  I used to enjoy the thrill of blasting the bar into the air as hard as possible.  That was before having to do sets of 10 reps, at max weight!  I started with just the bar (20kg) and after 2 workouts have progressed to 22.5kg; yes, the smallest increment possible!  Generally the first 5 reps feel great, but then the fatigue starts to hit.  And it hits hard.  But I’m being unkind; it still is a fun exercise, I’m just looking forward to Stage 4 when I get to lower the reps and (hopefully) increase the weight.

Step-ups.  My old enemy!  I’ve found that these are easier to do with plates rather than dumbbells, and luckily the inconsiderate sods at our gym often take free-weight plates into the Kaiser room (so called because of the Kaiser stretching rack placed in the middle).  I’m currently using 2 x 10kg; not brave enough for the 15kgs yet!  Super-setted with…

Dumbbell 1-point row.  These are not a test of strength, but of balance!  The first time I did them I was lucky to do 2 reps in a row before having to put a foot down and reset; by workout 2 I was more or less getting all 5 done on each side.  I definitely need to use more weight (7kg dumbbells currently), but I’m unwilling to do so until I can guarantee I’m not going to go top over tail and kick some poor unfortunate soul in the head in the process!

Static-lunge, rear foot elevated.  Evil, just evil.  Baby Bulgarian split squats, but somehow not any easier than the full version…  Who puts these into the same workout as step ups?!  My quads are still sore and it’s been 2 full days now.  I’m currently using 9kg dumbbells for these, but may try the 10kg plates next time just to be sadistic 😉 .  Super-setted with…

Push-up.  I’m currently using the 30 degree angle option, and they don’t seem to be getting any easier!  I think that by this point in the workout I’m getting pretty fatigued and my poor chest and triceps don’t really want to do what I’m telling them to.

Plank.  Again, I’m doing these with my forearms elevated on a bench – I’m so utterly wrecked by this point that there’s no other way to get through.  I’m not even making the whole 60 seconds as it is!  Super-setted with…

Cable wood chop.  I like wood chops.  There’s something very satisfying about the twisting motion, although it becomes less so when I finish 10 reps only to remember I have to do the other side too….  Currently using 20kg on the cable, and with the fatigue of this long, long workout I’m not sure I’ll be able to increase that by much and keep good form.

And that’s Stage 2, workout A in its entirety.  It looks so straightforward written down, but it’s anything but when you’re staring that second set of split squats in the face!  The 75 second rest times are about right, though sometimes after a particularly hard exercise (looking at you, front squat/push press) you’d trade your left arm for just another 30 seconds.

And in case you were wondering, Stage 2 workout B is even harder.  Look out for more whinging very soon 😉


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. hanlie
    Aug 09, 2009 @ 19:37:47

    I’m ordering that book this week… I just hope I can actually do the workouts…for instance I’m too heavy to squat. But we all have to start somewhere, I suppose! Good luck! I’m sure it will all pay off soon!


    • Nancy K
      Aug 09, 2009 @ 20:53:35

      How are you with body weight squats? The books has plenty of options for some exercises, and there’s nothing to stop you seeking advice on modifying the others. It’s a great read, even if you decide not to start the programme straight away, and there are some tasty recipes too. I hope you enjoy it 🙂


  2. Trackback: NROL4W, Stage 2 B « Love, life, and kettlebells

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