Finished New Rules of Lifting for Women, what next?
September 7, 2012 8:51 AM   Subscribe

I just finished the weight training program from the New Rules of Lifting for Women, what should I do next?

I started weight training in earnest in December 2011. I ordered both New Rules of Lifting for Women and Starting Strength. Ended up doing the New Rules Program and reading Starting Strength extensively for the very detailed technical breakdown.

I really enjoyed the New Rules workouts for their variety. It definitely helped to have the book tell me what I was doing day by day, so I couldn't decide I was too tired and skip something. I liked that the workouts changed frequently, but sometimes wished I could stick with a particular workout for longer. My concerns with the program were two-fold: 1) sometimes there were so many new exercises to learn that I worried about keeping good form and 2) some of the later stages (4 and 5 particularly) ended up taking over two hours per workout to complete. I'd rather do a workout that's more in the 1 to 1.5 hour range.

I definitely prefer whole body exercises (squat, deadlift, etc) using dumbbells or the barbell. I'd consider body weight exercises too. No bicep curls, however! :-)

My background: 34 year old female, have done a lot of dance and yoga previously. Longer term, I would like to be able to perform an unassisted pull-up and squat and deadlift my own body weight.

So how should I continue my training? I've identified a few options, but wanted to query the hivemind to see if there might be other opportunities I have missed.


1) Start programs from original New Rules.

2) Do Starting Strength program -- i.e. squats, chess press, deadlifts

3) Other suggestions?
posted by kyrademon to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Starting Strength or similar programs are the best way to just get stronger, in my relatively extensive experience. They tend to be boring, but that's sort of the price of admission - the repetition and simplicity are what make them so effective. The advantage is they tend to be very short - I do the Wendler 531 program (it assumes a bit more experience than SS, I think) and my workouts are in the half-hour to 45 minute range.

So yeah, I'd go with Starting Strength for now. It'll get you where you want to go fastest.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:56 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Starting Strength meets all of your stated requirements, you already own the book, and if properly followed should get you to your long-term goals in 6 months or less. So I'd go with that.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:57 AM on September 7, 2012

The Reddit Fitness FAQ has lots of further reading, but it boils down to the advice you're going to get from everyone: Starting Strength.
posted by caek at 8:58 AM on September 7, 2012

I'm doing stronglifts 5x5, and it's good, straightforward, easy - squats, deadlifts, pendlay rows, bench press, OHP and chin ups if you want; two workouts and add 5lb each time. If you join fitocracy to track activities and goals there are groups you can join such as the Stronglifts group, the Ladies Who Lift group, etc and I believe a NROLW group. They make it more fun and social and ease some of the boredom RN mentions.
posted by jamesonandwater at 9:02 AM on September 7, 2012

Another vote for Starting Strength here. It's an efficient way to build stength, with no nonsense added in. When you outgrow it, you can look at something like Wendler's 5/3/1.
posted by jclovebrew at 9:04 AM on September 7, 2012

Sean10mm's Stripped 5x5 is my go-to workout for when I'm not working on anything in particular or I've fallen off the wagon for a while and need to ramp back up. It's yet another modified Starting Strength, but the focus is on a very small number of excercises, compound excercises, and being dead easy to remember and do without any special equipment or a setup besides a bar. There's only three exercises per workout, and it goes very quickly. I'd say 30-45 minutes on average, and a decent part of that is reweighting after the first and second sets of each exercise.

But yep, it's boring.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 9:13 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Slight aside - as a top-heavy lady person, I much prefer trap bar deadlifts to regular deadlifts, because it seems to helps me center my balance better. Obviously YMMV. If I ever work up to lifting over my body weight, though, I would switch back to regular deadlifts.

Starting Strength is good but, as others have mentioned, gets tedious pretty quickly.
posted by elizardbits at 10:16 AM on September 7, 2012

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