Wednesday, November 25, 2015

NROLFW Phase 5 Recap

See also recaps of phase 1phase 2, phase 3, and phase 4. See weekly workout recaps in phase 5 here

I did the four weeks of this phase over 5 weeks - I took a one-week break in the middle between weeks 2 and 3. I started the phase two weeks after the marathon, so I was just doing easy running, whatever workouts I wanted. Not too hard to fit in two hours of weights.

Like phase 4 was a repeat (intensified) of phase 2, phase 5 was the same workouts as phase 3 (intensified). Instead of 3 sets of 6 reps, it went up to 3 to 4 sets of just 4 reps - so I really tried to use the heaviest weights I could.

Performance progress

I didn't do great on some of the bodyweight stuff - doesn't help that those are at the end of workout A, but didn't improve on planks and the body weight matrix (a series of squats and lunges). But I did move up on weights a good amount on other things! Even using 25 pound dumbbells for virtually all of workout B.

I'm still making progress on the pull-ups, although these overhand pull-ups aren't quite as strong as the underhand grip chin-ups in previous phases. But I am using my smaller resistance band, and upping the reps I can do with. Hoping by the end of the program I can do a full pull-up without any assistance.

Workout A


Workout B



Appearance progress

Over the course of 7 weeks (two weeks between phases 4 and 5, 4 weeks of phase 5 plus a week break in the middle), I've just maintained my weight at 124, but I have lost some partial inches. Same on top, but a quarter inch from my waist, half an inch from my hips, and (unless I made an error in measuring) apparently half an inch from my thighs! Not sure if that's the weights, or ballet, or what, but I'll take it! I gain more weight in my lower half when it's coming on, so it's nice to see it coming off more significantly on the bottom, as well.

Overall thoughts

I enjoy the fewer-reps sets, makes it more motivating to really max out on the weight I'm capable to using. I do not, however, enjoy, the freaking two minute rest between sets. Which, to be honest, I do not do. The amount of rest has increased over the phases, 60 seconds in phase 1 to 120 seconds now. If one really did that, you're resting for more time than you're lifting! I'm sure there's a physiological purpose for it, but mentally I just can't fathom working out like that. If there are some trade-off in benefits because of that, it's ok, I am still making progress. 

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