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Old 07-04-09, 05:29 PM  
KathAL79
 
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Muscle & Fitness Hers Micro Reps Rotation Template

You probably already know about Muscle & Fitness Hers’ Look Great in Eight rotation (copy of original article here, with the wall chart kindly copied out by Alta here), but here’s another periodization idea from their March/April 2009 article “Your Rep Range Rules”:

Micro Reps
This is a microcycle program designed to be followed for 10 weeks.

Week 1: 3-6 reps
Week 2: 8-12
Week 3: 15-25+
Week 4: 8-12
Week 5: 3-6
Week 6: 15-25+
Week 7: 8-12
Week 8: 3-6
Week 9: 8-12
Week 10: 15-25+

The idea is to shake up your normal routine by rotating through a focus on strength (1-7 reps), growth (8-12 reps), and endurance (13+). [Note: I’m just summarizing the article. I’m aware there are other ways to break these rep ranges and their results down, like Tom Venuto does here]

The intended audience is women who lift weights regularly at the gym, probably doing splits for different body parts throughout the week. But there are plenty of ways to put this into play: doing splits or total body workouts, working out at the gym or at home with videos (although the trick would be the heavy weights / low reps), using machine or barbells or dumbbells or resistance bands or body weight exercises, and so on, working with whatever type of lifting style you might favor and working out however often you prefer.

Please feel free to post how you might or have used this rotation template!
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I listen to my body and respond compassionately. - sankalpa from Jill Miller's Yoga at Home level 1, month 5 practice

Note: I have had a professional relationship with a vendor of health and fitness books and media. For details please see my profile.
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Old 07-04-09, 05:31 PM  
KathAL79
 
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Below I’ll post how I used this rotation template. This is definitely not the only way, nor is it necessarily the best way to approach it, but maybe it’ll give someone some ideas.

Workouts
Frequency: I did weights workouts twice a week at the gym following the rep ranges recommended (although I did 15-20 reps, not 25+, just ‘cause I get bored after too many!). I usually did 3 sets of each exercise, although for the heavy weights in particular I did a warm-up set with lighter weights.
Style of Lifting: I based my weight routines around the six basic movements described in The New Rules of Lifting: deadlift, squat, lunge, push, pull, and twist (aka core training). I mixed and matched from my favorite exercises in the two books; I did the same exercises for the first five weeks and then switched halfway through to a new set. I had an A workout, where I did heavier squats, lighter deadlifts, and horizontal push / pull, and a B workout, where I did lighter squats, heavier deadlifts, and vertical push / pull. I did one exercise for each movement and thus did a full body workout each time.
Additional Stuff: Reflecting on my experience, this was pretty intense for the lower body (not necessarily a bad thing, as I had been underworking mine until I did NRoL4W) but perhaps light on the upper body. Just as an FYI.
Most workouts took me about 30-45 minutes, not including walking to & from the gym, my active warm-up, and a cool-down stretch.

My Routine
This is the routine I eventually settled into:

Sunday = rest or yoga
Monday = kettlebell class
Tuesday = long cardio (mostly I worked my way through some new to me or dust bunny step videos)
Wednesday = Pilates
Thursday = weights at gym (A workout), short cardio in the a.m. (step or floor aerobics video) or a short interval workout on the elliptical after weights
Friday = longer yoga
Saturday = weights at gym (B workout)

Note: I generally do yoga at least 5 times a week, so add in a few other sessions to that weekly plan. While doing intense weights and/or cardio I gravitate towards gentle, therapeutic, or restorative styles to balance things out and encourage recovery and flexibility.

ETA: There was nothing deep or magical behind my choice of mainly step for cardio; I just wanted to work through some videos I hadn't tried.

Goals
- One of my main goals when doing this routine was at least to maintain the strength and muscle I gained during my New Rules of Lifting for Women rotation. After taking a week off I had exactly 10 weeks to fill, so this was perfect. (I plan to tackle the fat burning rotation out of the original NRoL once life settles down again.)
- My second major goal was to begin losing some weight, more specifically fat, as I’ve been advised by my doctor to do so as part of my efforts (which also include exercise and diet) to lower my cholesterol numbers, plus I’d like to fit into all of my pants and skirts again. I won’t go into details except to say that Tom Venuto’s The Body Fat Solution proved the kick in the behind I needed and that I believe in fueling rather than depriving.
- My third big goal was to venture into kettlebells. My gym introduced kettlebell classes the week I began this program. Again, perfect timing!

Results
- I have actually seen some increase in strength; it’s a little harder to notice in terms of the endurance, but I’m definitely lifting heavier on the heavy weeks and seeing some improvement, whether a few more reps or a few more pounds, in almost all exercises. I don’t feel like I’ve lost any muscle, although that’s hard for me to quantify. My backside (do I feel definition in the glutes?!) and legs in particular feel firmer to the touch.
- Now, the increasingly visible definition may be due largely to the fact I have lost 11 pounds over the past 10 weeks. I contribute that mainly to fork control, but I felt that this rotation complemented my efforts well. I’ll post my body fat percentage results when I get a chance to whip out the calipers.
- I’m still learning kettlebells, by the way. (I have a lot to learn about many things related to fitness, health, wellness, etc. …) But I feel like I’m progressing there, too. Kettlebells and NRoL-style lifting complement each other well, with both focusing on engaging more muscles together.
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Kath
I listen to my body and respond compassionately. - sankalpa from Jill Miller's Yoga at Home level 1, month 5 practice

Note: I have had a professional relationship with a vendor of health and fitness books and media. For details please see my profile.
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Old 07-04-09, 07:45 PM  
dmhammy
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Michigan
This kind of reminds me of the Look Great in 8 plan.
Week 1: 3-6
Week 2: 8-12
Week 3: 15-25+
Week 4: 8-12
Week 5: 3-6
Week 6: 15-25+
Week 7: 8-12
Week 8: 3-6
Week 9: 8-12
Week 10: 15-25+

I think heavy on that plan was 8-10 reps instead of 3-6. They had circuits one week and supersets on another but still similar.

Kath, your plan looks good. I prefer to lift three days a week but I love a day of kettlebells. I'm tempted to follow either plan but not sure if I can stand doing traditional isolation work. I'm considering it though just to do something different for awhile.

Thanks for posting this.

Dawn
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Old 07-13-09, 11:01 AM  
KathAL79
 
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Dawn, yes, this isn't all that different from LGi8, with perhaps the main difference being this one focuses on rotating through 3 rep ranges while LGi8 has four lifting styles it rotates through.
I'm not a big fan of isolation work, which is why I used this with NRoL-style movements that emphasize movement and compound muscle work. The great thing about this template in particular is you can use it with whatever type of lifting you prefer: compound vs. isolation, full body vs. split, free weights vs. machines, and so on; those more knowledgeable than I could find a way to tweak this for kettlebells, too.
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Kath
I listen to my body and respond compassionately. - sankalpa from Jill Miller's Yoga at Home level 1, month 5 practice

Note: I have had a professional relationship with a vendor of health and fitness books and media. For details please see my profile.
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