Sunday, March 6, 2011

Getting Strong: Define Yourself Phase

A month ago I posted about my experience with the first weight lifting cycle in Rachel Cosgrove's Female Body Breakthrough.* I mostly continued the program for the second month. Here's how it went:

What I did:
 - Followed Cosgrove's weight lifting routines as closely as possible (exceptions noted below).
 - Did not miss a weight lifting workout (3 times a week).

What I did not do:
 - Follow all other Cosgrove advice. This includes:
  • Eat 5/6 small meals a day: this drove me nuts the first month. Eating 5-6 times wasn't the problem. The problem was making sure each 'meal' had the correct protein/vegetable balance. I let this go and was much less stressed about my eating.
  • No running. Yeah, there was no chance this would happen. Though, I did keep my running to 20 miles or so per week and my longest run was only 7.5 miles.
  • Metabolic circuits: I did the running I wanted, instead of these.
  • Exercise modifications:
    • Assisted Chin-Up: my gym doesn't have elastic bands for assisted chin-up, so, I just used the assisted chin-up machine.
    • Inverted Row: there aren't many squat racks at my gym... and lots of people who want to use them... so, rather then hold up a rack for this, I just used a row machine.
- I continued to lose weight the first two weeks and then stabilized at a pound or so under my pre-pregnancy weight. This is good and expected, since I'm clearly adding some lean mass to my frame in the process of these workouts.

 - My strength improved greatly; especially on the two exercises I found to be the most difficult: chin-up and single leg squat. The last set of assisted chin-ups I did had 18 fewer pounds of assistance then the first. I couldn't even do a set of single-leg squats at first (with a bench behind me, not full range of motion). The last workout, I cranked out three good sets with the bench.

 - I now fit into all of my pre-pregnancy 'skinny' clothes! This is, of course, my favorite result. I can even wear my favorite skin-tight, not-at-all-stretchy-fabric dress. Two months ago, I couldn't even pull that dress up over my bum, let alone zip it and have it look good!

So, I'm still enjoying the routines and will continue with the next set: Dial It In Phase. Again, I'm only going to follow the weight routines and not the rest of the program. We'll see how it goes =)

* I have no affiliation with Cosgrove and have not received anything for this review.


  1. I was able to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes just a few weeks after birth ... and then packed on about 7 extra lbs :( Now I can squeeze into them, but they dont look good!!! So irritating!

  2. Youve made awesome progress! WTG!