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NROLFW Stage 3 Wrap

Posted Jan 18 2012 5:52am

Last week I finished the third stage of New Rules of Lifting for Women (NROLFW). The workout’s are starting to get increasingly long (often taken around an hour) though this stage like the last was a short one, made up of 8 workouts (4 workout A and 4 of workout B).

I took a set back week coming into stage 3 and I definitely feel like I benefited from this, coming into the new stage, fresh and renewed. With the stage I again stuck to two strength workouts a week, I find that it affects my running too much if I do three sessions a week, so I stick to two.

Stage 3 Workout A

One Armed Dumbbell Snatch: Basically a squat down with a dumbbell in one hand, as you come up on the squat pushing the dumbbell overhead and lifting onto your toes, then straight back into the next rep.

Started 4kg dumbbell, Finished 5kg dumbbell (I actually feel like I could have increased this further which I regret now).

Dumbbell Single Leg Romanian Deadlift

Similar to a move in the previous stage, but this time bending forwards at the hips with one leg in the air behind you as you drop the dumbbells down to your knees. Really felt this one in the hips, and it probably adding to my hip soreness during my increased running in December!

Started 4kg, Finished with 7kg dumbbells.

Barbell Bent-Over Row

Loving the bent over rows from workout A and workout B. The first time I had tried them, but found them tough but effective.

Start in squat position and lift the barbell to your upper abdominals.

Started with just the barbell (20kg), Finished with 25kg

Dumbbell Single-Arm Overhead Squat

Take two dumbbells, one twice as heavy as the other. Squat down with the heavier weight in front of you and the lighter weight overhead. Repeat on the other side.

Started with 4 and 8kg dumbbells, Finished at 5 and 10kg. The first time I tried this exercise I went in to heavy and tweaked a muscle, so make sure you do a light set first to make sure all different muscle groups are warmed up.

Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

Self explanatory really. Adjust a bench to 30-45 degree angle, lie back, and lower the weight to the outside of your shoulders then push back up, making sure they don’t touch at the top.

Started 6kg, Finished 9kg.


I did 3 sets of 90 second planks throughout the workouts which absolutely killed me every time!

Reverse Wood Chop

Bleugh. Always one move that I really don’t connect with, and this was it.

Pull the resistance band from the floor diagonally across your body. I felt really uncomfortable and awkward performing this move, and I subbed it for lat pulldowns in the final week.

Started 5kg, Finished 7.25kg.

Workout A was then followed by a tough body weight matrix which had you performing 24 squats, 12 lunges each side, 12 lunge jumps each side and 24 squat jumps. This was killer. You had to do it as quickly as possible, then rest for double the time it took and repeat. The first time I did it I wanted to cry!

Matrix times:

Workout 1: 3.14, 2.24

Workout 2: 2.17, 1.47

Workout 3: 1.36, 1.30

Workout 4: 1.26, 1.20

Really pleased with the results of this as I saw real progression as I got used to the work out, but it didn’t get easier!

Stage 3 Workout B

For some reason I always prefer the workout A moves to workout B and that rang true again here!

Barbell Romanian deadlift/bent over row

Similar to workout A’s bent over row, but you perform a deadlift as well. Lower the barbell into deadlift position, perform a bent over row pulling the bar to upper abdominals, lower to deadlift position and push up as you would from a deadlift.

Started: Just the bar (20kg), Finished 22.5kg

Partial single leg squat

I found this quite difficult to perform. Since a nasty inner ear infection and bout of vertigo last year my balance is very poor, so I did struggle a bit with this move. With feet hip width apart, lift one leg slightly off the ground, and then sit back as if are going to sit down on a chair. Perform with light hand weights for more of a work out.

Started: Just performing the squat, Finished 4kg dumbbells.

Wide Grip Lat Pulldown

A move that has been featured before and one I am a big fan of. Pulling the bar down with your hands outside shoulder width apart.

Started an finished 30kg. I tried to move on to 35, but it’s simply too big of a jump and was really really tough.

Back Extension

I have no idea what this was as the book didn’t feature a picture of it, so I just performed barbell squats instead, as this workout seemed a little weight-light.

Started and finished 32.5kg. I only incorporated the squats into my final two workouts which is why I didn’t increase the weight.


I really like this set of moves, although it was tough. Lieing on a bench at a 30 degree angle, you perform a series of moves which sees you making the shapes Y,T,W,L with your arms.

Started 3kg, finished 4kg. This was pretty tough with 4kg hand weights, as you totally different muscles.

Swiss Ball Crunch

Self explanatory, although performed with arms outstretched above head for more of a workout! Three sets of 15 reps performed throughout the stage.

Prone Jacknife

One of my favourite moves which I incorporated into this workout. It’s tough, but so worth it! Performed three sets of 15 reps throughout the stage.

Swiss Ball Side Crunch

A new move to me, and one it took a little while to get used to. With feet pressed against the wall, you lift up into a side crunch and then back down. I found this easier on one side than the other due to my balance issues! Performed 3 sets of  reps on each side throughout the stage.

Prone Cobra Plank

Supposed to be the prone cobra, but I find that ineffective, so performed more planks. 3 sets of 60 second planks throughout the workouts. This was a pretty ab intensive work out actually!

I followed this with HIIT.

So that was stage 3 over, I am again taking a set back week of the weights to let my body recover, I will just be doing cardio and some core work at the gym this week. I am looking forward to stage 4 although I think it is just stage 2 repeated but with heavier weights and less reps.

How is your strength training going?

Are there any moves you have found really difficult to perform or ineffective?

Do you take set back weeks?

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