Monday, January 14, 2008

Book review Part 1 (of many I'm sure)

So I finished reading my New Rules for Women. Hot damn. I wanna start right now. HOWEVER, i'm signed up and paid in advance for 3 months of classes (mon and wed). I was thinking I could still do the plan on the days I don't have class. HOWEVER, the book talks about doing strength training back to back and it's a no no. In fact, some of the rules are specifically about that. Like if you're going to jog or whatever, you have to do intervals first, wait 5 minutes, then do a normal jog. And if you want to do a spin class or kickboxing as well, it should have a rest day before and after since it's fairly intense and can be like a strength day. And you have to do the workouts either 2 or 3 times a week. So that just doesn't leave me enough days for everything. So here's what I think i'm gonna do. Just do my class now until this session is up. End or March or early april or something. Then start the book's program.

But do you think that my current class could be hurting more than it's helping? This is my 4th session taking this class. One last Jan-mar, one last April-june, one Sept-dec and now jan-mar. Well this past year I lost 15-20 lbs. All of that was in june to sept. I lose more weight doing my own thing, as opposed to during this class. Weird huh? I don't think I'm actually building up my muscle as fast as I do on my own with the class. Because we do a million reps with super low weight. (from my book) I've learned that this will increase your muscle endurance but that's all. It won't make your muscles stronger (lift heavier) so it won't make them bigger, and if it doesn't make them bigger, then their metabolic demand doesn't increase, then you don't lose weight.

It was fun yesterday because I was explaining how to lose weight to my husband and I felt like a total pro and he said I could be his personal trainer. (but he meant only when he asks me questions, not when he's just laying on the couch eating chips). But basically I can summarize the book a la this:

Food - try and split up your food macronutrients evently, 30%ish for carbs, fats and proteins. So that's like twice as much protein as the average american. Muscles are made of protein so you need lots to build them. Also, eat 5 meals a day, 6 when you work out. It also has numbers on calories to eat and you'll all be shocked by them so I'm debating putting them up there. But of course I love to shock you so here: 2000-ish calories a day. (more when you workout, less when you don't, but average here). They references some studies that say limiting your calories puts you in starvation, we all know the number 1200 or below is starvation right and it's super bad. But I guess that 500 calories less than maintenance is also starvation! And that's what all the magazines and everything tells you to do! So they're wrong. (they have studies and references and stuff but I can't remember that stuff).

You have to remember the idea is to build muscle (gain muscle weight) and the side effect will be lose fat. You're not trying to "lose weight" because most of the time you lose a lot of muscle, meaning that you'll never be able to go back to "normal" you'll have to eat less all the time.

Workouts: of course these are the real "program". So there's 6 or so sets of workouts that last a month or 2 each (depending on how often you do them). No one workout will ever be identical to another. The exercises may be, but you'll do more or less reps or different variations or weights. It starts out beginner with no intervals for the first couple months, then you add 15 minute interval training which is basically all out sprints and recovery alternating. But only 15 minutes so don't worry. It sort of eases you in to that part. Talks about, don't right out go as hard as you can for the first little while, leave some in the can. Next time do a little more etc etc. I wish they didn't do that. It makes it seem like it should be easy. But they said a lot of time people go all out at first and it sucks and they get burned out and then don't want to do it any more. So I guess they had to say something.

Anyway, it's lots of pushups, deadlifts, squats and lunges. A whole month to get you to do a chin-up unassisted (totally can do - well before Christmas, probably not so much any more). So I'm asking for a barbell set for my birthday in March. Actually this weekend we're going home for curling and FIL mentioned he had some weights we could have. Don't know what they'll be like but check em out. Otherwise I can do the workouts at the gym. but that would mean going to the squat rack where the big guys are and even though i'm totally tough, I don't know what I'm doing yet so I'd still be scared. Plus if hubby ever gets serious he could use them at home. (it's the school gym so I'll be out of there soon anyway).

I'm sure I'll talk much more about the book later too. I really liked it. If anyone has any questions about it ask em for sure and I'll post about that.

I feel stalled right now. My eating has been alright. But I've been skipping the gym (I don't like it so busy!) I was inspired by katieo to maybe jog outside this week. We'll see. (oh yeah, it has no cardio component. Of course you can do cardio as it has benefits for your heart and stuff, but they say you don't need it with this program for reshaping your body. It says really specific stuff about cardio that I'll comment on later, I just can't remember now). While I'm not goign to start the workouts yet, I am trying to up my protein significantly (mostly in breakfasts so far) and still do more strength training in my regular workouts. this may all change in a second but that's how it's going now.


Swizzlepop said...

What if you want to build some muscle but not bulk up? 2000 calories sounds like A LOT to be eating. Are you actually going to try doing that? I'm curious to see how it works.
Sounds like an interesting book, can't wait to hear more about it.

eurydice said...

i think that 2000 cals is a lot as well. but what do i know? i'm not the expert. i do believe in taking days off between anything similar... like runs, weight training, etc. unless it's really low impact.

Angie All The Way said...

I love all of the information you've summarized, thanks so much! I'm literally starting a book list and it helps to figure out if I'll read it or not.

I believe that 2000 cal thing for sure.