New rules, revisited

So today I found myself in a gym, with 40 minutes to kill. That never happens! So I had a flip back through my blog to find an early workout from Alwyn Cosgrove & Lou Schuler’s New Rules of Lifting for Women. I wanted to do workout 1A, but there’s no squat rack here (I know, right?!); workout 1B, however, was perfect.
The Olympic bar was in use, so some quick improvisation was in order. My super quick training session looked like this:

  • kettlebell deadlifts, 2×15, 48kg. These were far too light, but the heaviest bells here are the 24kgs. Oh well!
  • dumbbell shoulder press, 2×15, 8kg. First set felt fine, second set was a nice challenge.
  • wide grip lat pulldowns, 2×15. I have no idea what weight I used because, I shit you not, the stacks here are unmarked. All of them. So if you want to do any kind of cable pull you just have to guess how much you want to lift.
  • bodyweight lunges, 2×30. Probably need to add weight to these, but my knees don’t feel too clever at the moment.
  • Swiss ball crunches, 10kg on chest, 2×8. Far, far, far too easy. May substitute for leg raises or similar if I do this again.
  • So that was an unexpected but highly enjoyable workout. I don’t have time to do the programme twice a week as it demands, but I think I’ll dig out the book and write out some workouts I can do at moments like this. It’s far too long since I lifted free weights consistently, and I feel the love affair rekindling 🙂


    Barbell complexes. Ouch.

    Today was my day off, so after a lovely lie in OH and I went up to the gym.  I make that sound easy.  What really happened is that we spend 10 minutes scraping about 6 inches of snow off the car, and then we tried to move it.  Oh dear.  It took another 10 minutes of revving, rocking back and forward in the same 2 feet, and finally OH pushing for all he was worth.  He fell over when the car finally found grip and shot forward but it was totally worth it, if only for comedy value.

    We had a good session at the gym, when we finally got there and defrosted.

    • Timed kettlbell snatches.  OH is training for kettlebell sport, so he did 3 minutes each side without stopping.  I used 12kg and swapped arms every minute; I’m not hardcore enough for KB sport yet!  We had a gymboss sounding every minute.
    • Barbell complex; deadlift/clean/front squat/push press.  I did 5 rounds with 30kg, 2 rounds with 20kg and 1 at 25kg for a total of 8 sets of 3 reps.  Exhausting, but satisfying.
    • Russian twists.  5kg on the end of an olympic bar, 4 sets of 10 total twists (5 each side).

    We weren’t strict with rests, worrying more about using challenging weight and good form.  I haven’t done much powerlifting so getting the movements correct and tidy was a struggle, especially when I started to fatigue – hence the drop in weight towards the end.

    Tomorrow’s workout will mostly be centred around getting to work.  An hour’s walk in foot deep snow sounds like a reasonable challenge!

    This blog isn’t dead, honest

    Oops, it appears to be some time since I posted.  I’m not dead, and neither is the blog, I promise!

    I’ve been working crazy shifts at work, where my colleagues and I have all been drafted to help at the front end – in other words answering the phone and assessing people’s symptoms.  This is not my job and I find it incredibly stressful and exhausting…but hopefully with the holiday period over there will be less of that.

    And through all of this, training has been understandably sporadic!  I do my best though, and when I do get to the gym I make the best use I can of my time.  For instance, today’s workout:

    • 5mins of 12kg kettlebell snatches, split into 2/2/1 minute sets.  I wanted to do a solid 5 minutes, but the metal was so cold it hurt, and I had to rest my poor hands (and warm them up).
    • 5 sets of 5 deadlifts, 60/65/65/65/60kg.  I lost count so it may actually have been 6 sets, but that’s not a bad thing 😉
    • 3 sets of 5 Russian twists.  These should have been at the end of the workout, but I knew if I left the free weights area I’d not get back in.  Also should have been 5 sets but I need to be happy with my technique before I push that hard.
    • 5 sets of 5 assisted pull-ups, 35kg on the stack.  Need to move to 30kg next time.  Don’t want to, but all in the name of strength!

    I’ve also improved my deadlift 1 rep max over the last couple of months; 18 months or so ago I struggled to acheive 70kg.  Lately I haven’t deadlifted much but have worked on total body strength, mainly with kettlebells.  A couple of weeks ago I decided to test my max, and was able to do:

    • 70kg – 5 reps
    • 75kg – 3 reps
    • 80kg – 3 reps
    • 82.5kg – 2 reps.
    • 85kg – 1 rep

    I stopped there, and it felt pretty good.  I’ve been challenged to go for 1.5 times bodyweight, which means adding another 20kg to that bar….a lofty goal, but I’ll damn well get there 🙂