Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lift Like a Girl - You just might like it

After I sent Martin ( my chinup vids so he can post them, he asked me about my routine so he could offer some background to the videos. He felt it may help give some direction to other IFing women out there; and I hope it does. I think he's going to post this sometime soon as well, but I wanted to archive it on my own blog.

I created this routine from bits and pieces found scattered like confetti across his blog. I know everyone is slightly different and has different goals, so this routine may not be for you. I also know that, after two months of this, I'm stronger than ever before, but will likely have to find a way to shake things up a bit to keep things moving...but I'm not sure how to proceed.

In case you rush through the routine without reading the fine print, I generally rest from 3 to 5 minutes between every set. Since I'm only doing 2-3 types of exercises at 3-4 sets each, I'm in and out of the gym in under an hour. Oh, and I only workout 3 times a week. No cardio. No more HIIT. AND NO CURLS (they're so boring).

At any rate, I also keep a daily workout log to gauge my improvement. I'll post some info on that later. Without further's my fairly basic, Super-Hero-inducing, strength-training routine:

A SuperHero Workout for Anyone

* Typical rest is 3-5 mins between sets of anything
RPTR (Reverse Pyramid Training Rocks!)

Day 1
5-min walk for warm-up

Deadlift (up to 165 lbs x 5 reps and I decrease by 10 lbs for 2-3 more sets of 5)

rest 5 mins

Leg extensions - up to 120 lbs x 5 and same decrease for 2-3 sets

rest 5 mins

chins - as in the video

stretch, go home, eat and sleep

Day 3

Flat Bench (struggling with this one) Stuck at 95 x 5 and then decrease by 5-10 lbs each set for 3 more sets. Maybe my problem is I've been doing a set of 10 pushups between each set? (Martin says push-ups are useless...but I like being able to do them).

Rest 5-10 mins

Pull-ups (not chins - wider grip, palm away)
3-4 sets. up to 8 Bodyweight pullups, so it's time to start adding weight to those now, too.

stretch, go home, eat, sleep

Day 5
Squats (95 x 5) and same decreasing routine. I'm trying not to hurt myself with this one just yet.(I believe you can use leg presses instead of squats if you prefer, but I like having to stabilize my entire body through the squat).

Walking lunges with barbell on my shoulders. Can do up to 95 lbs x 5 steps each way, but difficult for me to get the bar up on my shoulders without help. :) So I've been using 70lbs, 60, 50...

Rest 5-10 mins

Weighted Dips (last time I did BW+15 x 5, BW +10 x 5, BW +5 x 6, BW x 6-8)

stretch, maybe walk, go home, eat, sleep

Sometimes on a leg day I'll throw in push presses (65 lbs start), seated rows or some ab work if I feel motivated enough to do it separately.

That's pretty much it. The weather's just starting to warm up here (though we did get a dusting of snow this morning) so I'll be surfing, riding my bike with my daughter and my dog and generally being more active outdoors.

Hope this helps some of you.

Happy lifting!


trtennis17 said...

Awesome post! I've been following your blog for awhile now since martin posted your progress pics on fb & wow great results! I'm on day 5 of IF & feel great! I'm sort of lifting but only with dumb bells :/ Thing is that i work out at home and trying to incorporate some p90x dvds. Also, i'm contemplating on getting a barbell.. anyways, keep posting!

Lisa@The Nourishing Homemaker said...

I pieced my workouts from Martin's site too. I do the same routine each time and only workout every 3 days so I have 2 days of rest in between. I took a two month hiatus from cardio & I'm now just walking for 45min to an hour on my off days.

I do DL 2X3-5 decreasing by 10% on set 2. Then Bench (I don't have access to a chin assist otherwise I'd be all over it!) 3X4-6 again decreasing each time by 10%. My last exercise is Rows 5X3, but I don't decrease any on those.

My weights have increased almost every time so that's been super exciting!

Do you lift fasting or not?

Jenn said...

I prefer to workout in a.m. fasted with just bcaas, but usually have to go to the gym after work so I eat light for lunch and chow down after the gym.

Lisa@The Nourishing Homemaker said...

I fast from 10:30pm til 2:30pm. I workout around 1:30 fasted with BCAA's and then eat a gut busting meal after. I used to do whey instead of BCAA's and about 4 or 5 hours after working out I'd get really sick. Since I switched it hasn't happened.

Thanks for doing this blog. We started LG around the same time so it's kind of cool to follow along.

Jenn said...

Lisa - if you don't have assist chins, do you have access to a chin-up bar at all? If so, get a stool and do negatives. Just hop up, hold for a bit and slowly let yourself down. It'll help you get to positive chins in no time...i also stopped whey as I just didn't feel right after drinking it. Even Casein makes me feel like one of those balloons in the Macy's T-Giving Day parade, so I don't have them anymore. I'm trying to eat as much whole food as possible. I'm a little hungry most of the time, but never so hungry that my stomach hurts or anything like that. I know I'm in a serious deficit, but I have a refeed coming soon.

Jenn said...

@trtennis - thanks for following. keep it up. the first couple of weeks are weird, but IF gets easier. I don't even start to feel hungry until almost noon now. Your body will adjust. I drink black coffee with Splenda in the morning, and chew sugar-free gum if I need flavor of some kind. Stay busy and before you know it, it's time to chow down. Most importantly, when your appetite goes through the roof, have a carb refeed meal or day. Do it right and you'll hardly eat for a few days following, so no harm, no foul. :)

trtennis17 said...

Thanks Jenn! Yes i agree with waiting on how IF is the first few weeks.. right now i am still feeling kind of bloated but that was because the days before i started IF were pretty much poor eating with too much junk food :/ has this happened to you? (sorry for the tons of questions, its just new to me right now :)

Jenn said...

watch your sodium intake. I swear the first 5 lbs or so I lost was water weight. Also, the protein shakes made me feel bloated and gassy, so I don't drink them often anymore. I'll have BCAAs and lots of whole foods or I'll just go without. A little hunger is ok as long as you refeed from time to time and don't lose your strength. You can email me anytime if you have other questions -

D said...


Question regarding Martins RPT method. From what I read literally on his site, it sounds like you start with your highest weight, but that would be dangerous so I'm assuming there are sets "working up" to the max weight set. What does he recommend for warm-up sets, how many sets should you be doing prior to your max set?

I'm asking because I'm not sure if I'm doing too much volume with my method. I use sets of 3 reps so I typically like to start with 40-50% of my 3 rep max and work up to it in 4-5 sets of 3 reps each.

So, for example, your deadlift max is about 165 lbs. Do you start at around 85 and work up 85, 105, 125, 145, 155, 165? Then at 165 you decide if you're done or going higher? If your done, you do the 10% drop on the next follow-up sets?


Jenn said...

I start at 165 and work down. That's RPT and it's not dangerous if - #1 you warm up and #2 you know what you can handle for your set of 3 or 5 of whatever.

When I started deadlifting two months ago, I started with like 95 lbs and did 3-4 sets of 5-6 reps and worked down in weight each set. As I got stronger and more comfortable doing the lift properly, I upped the weight - but I ALWAYS start at my heaviest weight. Hoe this helps.

Lisa@The Nourishing Homemaker said...

Negative chins! Duh! I don't know why I didn't think of that. Well, maybe b/c of the whole reverse pyramid thing. I guess it would be worth it to just do negative chins until I can work up to real ones and then go back to RPT.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this! It's very informative!

Haley said...

Excellent post! I just started following your blog after Martin's facebook post about your weighted chin ups. That's awesome! I hope to be there myself at some point! :)

Jaylene said...

Hey Jenn!

Awesome with the chins. you're doing something similar to me, but I'm working toward muscle ups on gymnastic rings. so for the last 2 weeks I've been doing chins on rings and it is so much harder as they are unstable and move around. since using them I've gotten a lot stronger with the normal bar.
my mum's an ex gymnast(fat and retired as she puts it, but trust me, she no fat) and she pointed out to me one thing with my normal chins that made them really hard. It was almost like starting from scratch again. between your rep, lower down to a dead hang, shoulders completely open at the bottom of the rep, then pull up to have the bar touch your chest, level with your collarbones, lower to dead hang, ect... So damn difficult! try and enjoy!