I bet you thought I dropped the program huh? It’s been almost 8 weeks since my NROLFW stage 1 update when I told you I’d be back in 4 weeks with an update on stage 2. Oops.

I did have a few setbacks during this stage though, namely a pesky back injury, flooded basement episode 1 and flooded basement episode 2. Oh, and a week long vacation I hadn’t really taken into account. But, I finally finished stage 2 yesterday even though it took twice as long as it should’ve. Better late than never, right?

NROLFW
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What I’ve liked about this stage:

  • Length: Unlike stage 1, this stage was only 4 weeks which seemed much less intimidating from the beginning. It also kept me from getting too bored or burnt out on the exercises.

What I haven’t liked about this stage:

  • Length: It’s a pro and a con. The short length of the stage made it hard to increase in weight. With only 4 workouts in A & B each, I barely felt “ready” to increase the weight I was using.
  • Extended rest between sets: The rest period went from 60 seconds in stage 1 to 75 seconds in this stage. I know it’s only 15 seconds, but it felt unnecessary and made the workout longer. Sometimes I cheated and started the next set after 60 seconds.

Other notes:

Because I started stage 2 right after my back injury cleared up, I significantly reduced the weights I was using to reduce the risk of re-injury. The chiropractor wasn’t a huge fan of lifting heavy right after the back injury so this was my compromise. When it comes down to it, I’d rather be doing something than be sidelined again. Because of this though, I didn’t really expect to see any improvements in my measurements. My goal was just to sustain what I built up in stage 1 and stay healthy.

Measurements:

 5/31/20117/17/20119/14/2011Change
Chest36.036.2537.0+0.75
Waist26.526.526.50
Hip36.7535.2535.5+.25
Left Bicep10.510.510.50
Right Bicep10.7510.7510.750
Left Thigh21.7522.2522.0-0.25
Right Thigh21.021.521.50
Weight131.5130.0131.0+1.0

*I’m taking certain measurements with a grain of salt considering what time of the month these were taken (if you know what I mean). TMI? Sorry.

Side by sides:

5/31:

first front

7/17:

second front

9/14:

second front

5/31:

first back

7/17:

second back

9/14:

second back

5/31:

first front arms down

7/17:

second front arms down

9/14:

second front arms down

5/31:

first back arms down

7/17:

second back arms down

9/14:

second back arms down

And one random outtake of me cracking up because, taking these pictures of yourself while flexing is just awkward no matter how you slice it.

second back arms down

The bad news? I don’t see any improvement at all.

The good news? I don’t see much regression either.

Two things I totally expected given the length of time it took me to complete the stage and the lower weights I used. I still feel like I got a bit stronger though. I can do more pushups now than I could at the end of stage 1 and I can hold a plank for a minute longer.

I’m ready for stage 3 and a blank slate. I’m committed to doing it (it’s even in the half marathon training plan!) twice a week and will hopefully be able to slowly increase my weights while still keeping my back in check. The half marathon is my priority right now but, I’m committed to incorporating strength training. Bring on stage 3!

How do you deal with setbacks during training?

Any advice on how to make self portraits less awkward? All you fellow bloggers know you do it all the time, tell me your secrets! 

Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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16 Comments

  1. I feel like I definitely see some progress! Although you might not see it in the inches or weight loss– your arms look so much more defined.
    Great job sticking to the strength training program too :D

  2. Well you look great! Arms definitely look more toned and your a little leaner if i’m not mistaken! :) As for the awkward self portraits… I have no clue how to make them less so and this is from someone who made a career out of getting her picture taken. Just grin and bare it and remember that were all in the same boat?! ;)

  3. I’m proud of you, it’s not easy to commit and follow through…but the results speak for themselves…big difference…