Sunday, July 13, 2014

New Program: The New Rules of Lifting for Women

Yesterday afternoon I did the lower-body and upper-body plyo workout that I described here.  It still kicked my butt, but at least I am not as sore as I was after the first time I completed it.  The afternoon was cloudy, so it didn't feel quite as hot as it could've, which was nice.

This morning I did my usual boxing class.  Nothing unusual in it, although my calorie burn was a bit bigger than usual.

Tomorrow I am starting the program from The New Rules of Lifting for Women.  I am hoping that it will shake things up and break this fat-loss plateau I've been in.  I'm planning on doing it three days per week.  There are 7 stages.  The first stage has two workouts, A and B, which alternate.  So my weekday morning exercise schedule will look like this:
  • Monday: Workout A
  • Tuesday: P90X2 Balance + Power
  • Wednesday: Workout B
  • Thursday: P90X2 Recovery + Mobility
  • Friday: Workout A
The book really emphasizes leaving a day in between each workout, so my typical recovery plan for Fridays is being moved to Thursdays.  We'll see how this works, since it means I won't have any full recovery days, usually.  The A and B workouts alternate; Stage 1 conveniently goes until the end of August, with one week off for my vacation.

I really like how the book discusses what would be called "functional fitness" today, but since it came out in 2007, I'm not sure if that term existed then.  The idea is that the basic movements in the workouts are based on real-life movements, such as squatting to pick something up.  What I hadn't really appreciated before was another aspect they describe: functional moves like this not only work big muscles, such as the quads, but also pretty much all other muscles in various moves.  Thus, there is no reason to do isolated exercises, such as bicep curls.  We'll see how this pans out for me. Certainly the functional fitness aspect, where muscles and systems are worked together, should be advantageous for my tennis and running.

I will also be generally following the nutrition recommendations.  The book gives the only rationale that I've ever bought into for increasing protein intake.  In Beachbody nutrition plans, they generally say they are going higher-protein because they want to go lower-carb so that you can "learn" how your body responds to carbs (or the lack thereof), and the best thing to replace those carbs with is protein.  I don't really feel like this has made sense to me.  However, NROLW makes a very logical argument for needed a baseline level of protein if you want to gain or maintain muscle while losing fat.  They give some concrete numerical examples, which I really appreciate.

At any rate, I calculated my calorie levels based on the book's formulae.  At about 124 lbs, my RMR is 1200 calories exactly.  The book has activity multipliers based on an age and BMI cut-off.  Following this, I calculated three calorie levels:
  • Day with no workouts: 1600 cal
  • Day with 1 workout (from the book): 1900 cal
  • Day with 2 workouts: 2100 cal
I rounded these down to give me a bit of room for calculation error.    Since I usually workout twice in a day, I will generally be eating 2100 cal/day.  For those days, I'm going to aim for 120 - 125 g of protein.  I usually can get about 100 g in a day; I'm adding a protein bar or shake to get the last bit.  I'm going to try to get at least 100 g on the days with the lower calorie level.

I'm starting the nutrition plan today; the first workout is tomorrow.  My biggest concern is getting the workouts done in a reasonable time.  They have prescribed rest times, but I'm worried that equipment issues might make them take awhile.  It's good that I'll be starting out on this during a time when I don't have classes, so my mornings can be more flexible.

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