NROLFW Progress and a New Beginning..

by ~jenniferlynn on July 23, 2012

in NROLFW, StrongLifts, Weight Lifting

I am going to straight up admit that I am not the best role model for the New Rules of Lifting for Women program, but I can talk to you all day along about how great it is and how beneficial I think the program is to any woman who wants to get fit, increase strength, and gain confidence. If you want to read some amazing success stories, visit the Facebook page and look at any number of the women on there who have had amazing transformations and results, but here is a look at my NROLFW progress!

New Rules of Lifting for Women: NROLFW Progress after using the program for four months. For more on women's strength training and other weightlifting resources, check out

While I did see awesome results in the slackerish version of the program that I did, the reasons why I can’t claim to be a “success story” are as follows:

  1. I loosely followed the diet plan for stages 1-3, but opted for a more primal diet during the last stages;
  2. I completely skipped stages 4-5;
  3. I added Crossfit-type workouts on my “rest” days, and focused on chin-ups and pull-ups outside of the program;
  4. My stage 7 was 7 of the recommended 12 workouts, only about 4 of which I did all of the sets/reps prescribed, and none of them which I successfully completed the workouts using only the 30 second rest periods allotted.  With that being said, I am not going to do any official progress updates for Stage 7, and just leave my Stage 6 results as my “final” results of this program. I blame step-ups and lunges. I don’t want to talk about those two anymore 😛
NROLFW Progress NROLFW Before and After

Left: February, 2012. Right: June, 2012.

The NROLFW program did, however, give me a huge boost in confidence in weight-lifting, and realizing my potential. While practicing outside of the program, I ended up hitting three personal records for various lifts, which I would never even have thought that I could do prior to this program. I would still be using the treadmill and cranking out tons of reps on the machines (which, are not recommended, as isolation exercises are better for body-builders, and not overall strength).

I also never would have had the confidence to put on “booty shorts” while working out 😉

I have been thinking about what to do after this program for quite some time. Many women from the FB group tend to gravitate towards New Rules of Lifting for Abs or New Rules of Lifting for Life, and have posted about such positive results (See “super-beast”, Mindi, as an AWESOME example!) and their love-hate relationship with the torturous workouts. I feel like my lack of discipline from the first program would hinder any real progress I can make if I opted to try one of those program, even though I loved NROLFW.

One of my favorite things about the book was that on top of being super informative providing a lot of background information before getting into the workouts themselves, the program was very structured. You knew what to expect to do one what days, and how long the program should take. I am not a personal trainer nor a nutritionist; ten years of college and my MBA  has done very little for the fitness aspect of my life, so finding a new program that will spell things out for me is great.

After the boyfriend suggested it much careful consideration, I decided that the next tentative plan of action is to work on focusing on overall strength, with a side of endurance. I am going to be doing a somewhat modified version of StrongLifts, which focuses on squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press, and bent-over rows.

The program is extremely biased towards, and clearly written for, men.  The creator of the program, Mehdi Hadim, straight up admits that 93% of the clients are men, and only references “guys” and “men” in his program, but I have learned enough by going through NROLFW and other reading, that men and women can train exactly the same and there is just enough testosterone in my body to end up looking like freaky man muscles. See one of my idols, Julia Ladewski, squatting 402lbs in this video (and weighs only 123lbs!).

The program spells out exactly what to do on what day, and even prescribes what weights to start at, and what to do if you cannot do the prescribed weights that way. It is a three-day a week program, with two basic workouts: Squat, OH Press, Deadlift and Squat, Bench Press, Row. I plan on substituting (assisted) pull-ups for rows, and add extra “cardio” like HIIT, or MetCons.

If I follow this program as designed, and make it the entire 12 weeks as suggested, my end result will be that I squat 220lbs, bench press 120lbs, overhead press 130lbs, and deadlift 260lbs! We’ll see how accurate that ends up being! 🙂

Measly 135lb deadlift 😉 Hehe.. let’s see if I can double this!

Alongside this new lifting regimen, I think I may take another look at my eating habits as well. Since I cut out all grains during the week, I struggle to meet my caloric needs (except sometimes I tend to make up for my weekly deficit on the weekends : ), and I feel this lifting may require more food! The diet they recommend is basically what I’ve been following: no processed foods, meats, fruits, veggies. But they allow for whole grains. I am considering putting oatmeal and rice back in my diet, but haven’t decided yet.

I plan on taking some starting measurements today and some new “before” pics to see how this program helps me to progress!

Mindi July 24, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Jennifer you’re awesome and such a great
Writer! Looking forward to hearing your updates. I’d love to hit a 260lb deadlift. Working on strength gains as well!

~jenniferlynn July 24, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Aww, thanks, Mindi! Sometimes I tend to ramble, but it’s so much easier for me to type out how I think and feel sometimes!

Twitter: healthyfitjenn
February 6, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for all the info you posted on NROLFW – I found you on Twitter and have read all your posts! I just started the program, and you gave a lot of great info – and you look fantastic!! 🙂
Jenn recently posted..Weigh In Wednesday: Not The Whole StoryMy Profile

~jenniferlynn February 6, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Thank you, Jenn!! Would love to hear how your progress goes!! Have fun with it and be patient with the results. It’s a great program!

Donna April 8, 2015 at 5:04 am

Hi, my friend sent me a link to your website and I was so intrigued, I read your blog re wine to weightlifting. I loved it. I have been training with my current personal trainer in Scotland for 17 months and one of my two sessions each week is a weight based session. I am only 5′ 1″ in height and I can now do bar bell squats at 72.5 kg (159 lbs) – I weigh 61 kg (134 lbs). I never thought I’d ever achieve results like this. I said to him in January of this year that my objective before the year was through was to be able to do ONE pull-up. I was kinda half joking but this stuck with him and after a couple of months, I was able to do four pull-ups. I’m totally amazed and have found that introducing weights to my exercise regime has ultimately not just given me strength, but has improved my overall fitness for cardiovascular type activities such as boxing, and classes such as fat burn. Keep up the good work and great to hear about like minded people!
Donna recently posted..#WODSwap: April 2015!My Profile

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