A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Lift Like A Dude- Time To Get Ripped!!!!!!

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Keep calm and get swole.

Over the past 14 months, I have gone from having ZERO experience weight lifting to... well, having 14 months experience weight lifting. I know A LOT more than I did last year, but I still have so much to learn.

As I've gotten stronger, my workouts have changed. When I first started out, I was very weak. My weight training routine included not just weights, but plyometrics. Why? Well I simply wasn't strong enough to lift weights for 45 minutes! Plus plyos tone and blast fat... so it was all good. My routine was set up into circuits. For instance, there would be 3-5 different exercises, and after going through all 3, I'd repeat it two more times.

Here is an example of a typical full body circuit workout I did when I first started lifting:

It was mix of weights, plyos, and abs. The circuit style helped my muscles have time to rest from each exercise before I went back to it. I only lifted twice a week.

After about 9 months, I decided it was time to take out the plyos. Those could be done on different days, or as a finisher after my lifting routine. So I stuck with the full body circuit but cut out the plyos. I still lifted twice a week.

After about 2 more months, I decided it was time to do split body parts and upped my gym days to three days a week. I still did a circuit style, but I would do Chest/Back/Legs on Mondays, Shoulders, Bis, Tris on Wednesday, and Full Body on Friday.

I recently started something NEW again. My goal has changed. I want to build more muscle! Building muscle was always a goal, but I think I have gotten to a point where I need to lift HEAVIER to really see a difference. After talking to a trainer and doing research, I have determined to reach this goal of building more muscle I have to "lift like a dude". That means low reps, high weights, more rest in between.

I'm also going to focus on on compound movements and only do isolation exercises (like bicep curls) on my full body day.

I've been trying this method for several workouts and I have gotten a little frustrated. These are my hang ups, and my "solution" to those hang ups:

1. Since I'm doing less reps and resting more, my actual time doing activity in the gym has decreased. The obsessive part of me is freaking out about this. "I'm going to get fat!" says my brain. NOT GOOD.


2. Sitting and resting between sets is a lot less fun than doing circuits.

Solution: Give it time. You could end up enjoying it, or find some creative ways to make it more fun. Or maybe you will never really like the rest time, but you'll deal with it.

3. There are some exercises in which it is hard for me to increase the weight because it is unsafe without a spotter. 

Examples: bench press and dumbbell chest press. On my first day of "lifting like a dude" I banged out one set of chest press with 30lb dumbbells, but when I tried again, I couldn't support the weights and lean back on the bench at the same time so they crashed on the floor. I needed someone to hand me the weights but I don't want to bother any of the little boys 22 year old men to spot me.

Solution: Find other ways to make the exercise more difficult. Like rather than increase the weight on chest press, I could do the same amount of weight but on an incline.

As you can see, I'm trying not to give myself excuses to give up on this new way of lifting. I am going to try it for two months and see if I can notice any improvements in my strength. If not, I will have to reevaluate what I am doing.

Wish me luck!

How do you organize your weight training workouts? Do you do split body parts? Circuits? Do you lift like a DUDE?


  1. Derrick and I were totally inspired. We bought a set of interchangeable dumbbells and started lifting together. We do circuits and trade sets.

    You are already an awesome personal (internet) trainer!

  2. Woohoo that is awesome!!! Do you love it??