Saturday, August 8, 2015

NROLFW: Phase 2 Recap

See recap of phase 1 and some program context here. See weekly workout recaps including phase 2 there

I started the NROLFW program, which is comprised of seven different phases (4 to 8 weeks long), in December. The first phase is 9 weeks (including the last week of progress-testing workouts); with only a couple breaks in the middle, I finished it by mid-February. 

The second phase is only 4 weeks - 8 workouts total. Now, this was in the middle of tax season, but it still took me a ridiculously long time to fit in. It was supposed to be two workouts a week, but I many times only did one. I eventually got through 6 workouts (3 weeks' worth, but not over just 3 weeks), decided to start over, and got through 6 more workouts (still not in 3 consecutive weeks) by the beginning of June. At that point, I decided to just move on to phase 3.

It didn't help that the workouts in phase 2 are substantially longer than those in phase 1. For the first phase, I feel like it only took 20, maybe 25 minutes for each workout. In the second phase though, there were more exercises and longer rest periods, so finishing it in 45 minutes was an accomplishment. 

Performance progress

So, I didn't fully follow the program here, but still made some small progress in the weights I was lifting for some exercises, maintained the same for others. Technically regressed in one thing (push-ups). Certainly still better than not doing anything for strength training during this time, I suppose. 

Workout A



Workout B



Appearance progress

Over the course of almost 4 months it took me to complete two sets of 6 workouts for this phase, I went from 141 pounds to 135 pounds - down 6! Not a ton of weight over that length of time, but still a win to not gain, much less actually lose anything, during tax season! 

I didn't end up taking body measurements at the end of this phase (mostly because it didn't have a definite end! It was when I just decided to start the next phase that I determined I wasn't going to finish this one per the rules). But over the course of tax season I had to set aside the couple skirts in my work wardrobe (though generally forgiving for varying weight - just change where on your hips they sit - they got to where they were sitting too low), and bought new jeans that were a size 6 at Old Navy. 

Overall thoughts

After being initially really excited about how short and easy the workouts in phase 1 were to fit in my routine, it definitely threw me for a loop to see them get much longer in this phase. I'm sure there's much more benefit this way, but it does make it harder to stick to. 

All of the workouts in the program (so far, and I think throughout) are full-body workouts; no splitting between leg day and arm day or whatnot. Which I do like - the idea of spending a whole workout on just one portion of my body is just weird and not appealing to me. However, in the first phase it seemed like there was still a lot of variety between the two workouts, so over the course of the week you're working everything, and in different ways. This time, there seemed to be more overlap between the two workouts being done each week (e.g., the static lung with rear foot elevated in A and Bulgarian split squat in B are virtually the same thing), which made things a little boring to a degree.

I'm still happy to have a program that's reasonably easy to follow, and though taking more time now is still less than a couple hours a week. It's still very feasible to do the workouts at home, occasionally substituting the exact exercise, but getting by with just adjustable dumbbells, swiss ball, and a pull-up bar.

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