It has been a while since I’ve shared a Do You Even Lift, Ro and I am so excited to share with you my experience testing out Abigail from Living the Gray Life’s Strong and Confident Workout Program! Do You Even Lift, Ro is a series in which I review different workouts, and you can find my previous reviews here!
Towards the end of the fall, I totally fell out of my workout routine so I stopped going to the gym and as soon as it was too cold to run outside I became a library bound couch potato, eating delivery, sleeping less than 6 hours, and not even scheduling time to get to the gym. I’m a strong believer in there being periods of your life in which priorities will adjust and school or work has to come first, but this period went from a month to a season.
This spring, I made a commitment to make my health a priority again and I needed a way to get from 0 to confident enough to register for a marathon. That’s when I saw that Abigail from Living the Gray Life was getting ready to release her Strong and Confident workout program.
Y’all today was my first day in a long time where I felt like my physique is where I want it to be. I thought it’d take me a lot longer to be back to where I was before I got sick, but all it took was a few weeks. My strength is slowly coming back and wow the gym is just becoming my happy place once again ☺️
I needed a workout program that was sustainable and forced me to actually get to the gym. It also needed to be adaptable to my life, and fit around a cardio program as well.
Strong and Confident gives 4 weeks of workouts, two upper body days and two lower body days per week. The goal of the program is to introduce you to the weight room and to provide structure to a workout routine.
You can check out her full guide here.
How I Implemented It
I started the program the first day of spring quarter along with the Couch to Half Marathon program I used to train for my half this time last year. Since Strong and Confident is only a month long, I figured pairing it with the first month of the Couch to Half Marathon Program, combining walking and running to build an aerobic base and lifting to build strength. I kept my diet the same, cooking most of my meals, all vegan.
I had some familiarity lifting from training for the marathon and Yoga Sculpt, but I quickly learned that Strong and Confident required a lot more equipment than was available in the gym in my apartment building so I had to workout at school.
Although the first week, I could manage to combine the two programs easily and get to campus in the mornings before class, I found myself going to class smelly more often than ideal so for the third week I changed up the schedule.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays after my 8 AM class, I would go straight to the gym and do both the upper and lower body workouts back to back. I followed the half-marathon plan on the other days by the lake so I could get more fresh air, be closer to home, shower, and get to class faster.
So Am I Strong and Confident?
The first couple week was rough, as can be expected from any transition from couch. The workouts took more than an hour to complete and I was constantly sore.
I found it frustrating because the low level of cardio combined with the weight lifting resulted in my actually gaining weight. I could tell I was getting stronger because I could increase the weight. At the end of the program, I started to see more definition, especially as the cardio was ramping up.
Although I wouldn’t have described myself as being shy in the weight room, by the end of the four weeks I didn’t think twice about which weights to pick up or machines to use. I felt stronger physically, and a friend actually noticed that I was picking up heavier weights.
At the end of the four weeks, I measured myself and found I lost 3% body fat.
Promontory Point is one of my favorite places to work out in Chicago when the weather is nice! Between the running path and the breeze from the lake, life really doesn't get better than this. • #yogaeverydamnday #chitown #summertimechi #promontorypoint #lakeshore #lifestyleblogger #fitness #fitnessblogger #vegan #veganfitness #veganbodybuilding #namaste • 📷: @nonobradford
What really makes this program a success in my eyes is that about a week after I finished the program, I registered for the San Francisco marathon this summer. Although I was still running around four miles, I felt solid enough to talk my friend Marianne into registering with me.
I’m training using the Nike Running Club, so look out for that review after the race!
What else should I try? Comment below or tweet me @xoxorosana_blog!