Friday, 1 August 2014

The End of My 1st Week Lifting

So I’m one week in to this new lifting program and so far… I’m exhausted!

I think every muscle in my body aches, I fall asleep on the sofa by about 9pm and it hurts to move! 
But surely that just means it’s working?! In all seriousness, I expected the aches, the sleepiness I think is probably my body adjusting and I’m hoping I will adjust with a bit of time.

I have done 5 workouts in total. I started last Friday and have completed 4 this week too.

Help with understanding the lifting exercises

If you’re anything like me you may need help with your program for beginners lifting. I found two very handy resources:

  • The beginners program from It gives you the science but also lays out a plan you can follow. It’s Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and only 5 or 6 exercises per day. 
  • This handy printable option from
    If you are a beginner the names of the exercises aren’t going to be much help to you. I was left reading through things and then googling to see what that exercise was – if you haven’t lifted before then a ‘dumbbell lateral raise’ is going to tell you nothing about what you actually have to do. In the middle of the gym, you don’t want to be googling what an exercise is.

     This website allows you to create your workouts by dragging and dropping in the different exercises and it shows you graphically what the exercise is. Fantastic idea! 

Below is an example of one of my days from Simply Shredded website put into WorkoutLabs website printable format. I carry it with me into the gym for the right day and mark off what I’ve done with the date so I know which week I’m in and when to move up.

One thing I have found really useful is to write the amount of weight on the sheet as well. It takes trial and error at first as each lifting exercise you’ll be lifting a different weight depending on the muscle and the type of weight you’re lifting. If I can complete the first rep too easily I immediately move up the weight before completing the set. The last one in the set should be a struggle and the last reps of the last set should be nearly impossible.

At the end of the workout, once I’ve got my weights next to each exercise, I’ve been putting a little arrow next to the ones I think I can go up a weight on next time. So far the Friday one is the only one I’ve repeated and having the arrow was really helpful to know what to try the second time round.

My learnings from my first week of lifting

I have been surprised to discover that I miss cardio. I’ve been doing 15 minutes treadmill as a warm up before starting the weights each day – running on arms days and walking on legs days. I also did a 40 minute run on the rest day on Wednesday, but I’d like to start doing a bit more before the weights I think.

I am finding, even though the exercises are alternated that I am not quite recovered by the time I have to exercise that part again. For example, it takes over 2 days for my muscles to stop aching, but on the third day I have to exercise that muscle again. I’m not sure if this is because I’m just starting out or if that’s supposed to be the case and you don’t let them fully recover. Either way, I’m sticking with it! So it was Monday – arms, Tuesday – legs, Thursday – arms, Friday – legs. But on Tuesday my legs were still aching and on Thursday my arms were still aching. Right now the whole of me aches!

I have found that I want to carry on. I’m looking around for what else there is in the gym that I can try. I workout in the mornings and I’ve also discovered that on my way home from work, I also quite fancy doing another workout, which I have never in my life thought before. I’m not sure this will last! It also may just be my impatience!

One element I was disappointed with

I had one issue with one of the exercises this week where the pull up machine broke the day before I was due to use it. I was hugely disappointed to be honest as I was quite looking forward to the pull ups! Women doing pull ups look incredibly fit (as in fitness not attractive – I can’t judge the latter) and that is where I would like to get to.

Also with pull ups, I don’t really understand how you can start off with pull ups? I have never done a pull up in my life but I’m now expected to do 3 sets of 10 reps? Not realistic. The supported pull up machine will help me get to doing pull ups but in a realistic time frame. 

Next week’s lifting plan

My plan for the coming week is:

  • To run on the rest days to get my cardio up a bit.
  • To continue with the weights plan but keep pushing the weight up where I can.
  • To try and do a bit more cardio before the weights each day.
  • To hopefully get a chance to do some assisted pull ups if the machine is working!

I’ve been doing well food wise, following Paleo except for Tuesday after fat club, where I have my cheat night. Judging by the scales since Tuesday, I’m not in for a loss so I might need to revisit the extent I cheat on cheat night. 

Anyway, happy lifting

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