Weightlifting Cycle: Four Weeks Later …

Several weeks ago, I wrote about a new weightlifting cycle that I started thanks to my good friend, Kristy.  I made it through all four weeks, and I am very pleased with my new weightlifting prowess.  I’m no Incredible Hulk, but I am feeling good about my new and improved muscles.

line graph of Jenn's weightlifting progress

Squats:  I had a modest increase in weight for this lift.  Not surprisingly, I would feel this one in my legs and butt the next day (and the next).

Overhead press:  These sucked.  Unlike the rest of my lifts, I couldn’t do these at the squat racks, which meant I only had the option of the weighted bars that are in increments of 10.  I was hoping to hit 40 lbs, but it wasn’t going to happen without serious risk to my dental work.

Deadlifts:  You can see from the chart that I had the biggest increase in this lift.  I was able to consistently up my weight week after week.  However, I have suspicions that I may have had wonky form on this lift.  Rather than feeling it in my legs, I mostly felt it in the lower half of my back and the back of my shoulders.  Or maybe my legs are just that much stronger than my back and shoulders? Unclear.

Bench press:  At the squat racks, the bar alone is only 15 pounds, which allowed me to start at a lower weight and build up.  In the free-weight section of the gym, the bar is 45 pounds, so I feel good knowing that at the end of all this, I’m benching a regular bar!

While I feel stronger, it’s hard to see any difference, but that wasn’t necessarily the point.  The point is that strength training is good for you.  There are certain angles where my arms do look more muscular, and maybe my legs, too.  But without having taken before and after measurements, it’s hard to prove.

I have not made any significant changes to my diet, so I’m about the same weight.  If you don’t already know this, this will totally burst your bubble – 80% of weight loss is what you eat, with the other 20% is movement.  Sucks, I know.

muscular woman's arm lifting a dumbbellSo what’s next for me?  Kristy and I have chatted over email, and I told her that my new goal is to work on getting some muscle definition. I’m wearing a one-shoulder dress as a bridesmaid in early November, and it would be cool to show some buffness in the arms.  We have a date this Wednesday to come up with a new workout plan to focus on building muscle definition.  Stay tuned!

Images: Excel line graph created by author, defined arms

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