As soon as we pulled into the parking lot of the Palms I knew that I would be joining. It felt like home to me. The Palms was the place where I started my health and fitness journey; it’s where I made my fitness friends; it’s where I found my groove and found my strength and achieved some incredible goals. Without even entering the building, I knew I would be back.

Walking down the path towards the fitness center made me feel a bit giddy. Before I even entered the glass doors one of my favorite coaches saw me and bolted out to greet me with a giant hug. The manager, the receptionist, and some of the other trainers gave me the heartiest ‘welcome back’ greetings. Yes, there was no doubt.

So, I signed up and started pretty much right away. Although I’m all for trying new things and pushing boundaries, since I was on a mission to rebuild my lost strength and lose the weight I had gained over the past 3 years, I decided that I would go back to the weight lifting program that led me to success … New Rules of Lifting for Women (by Alwyn Cossgrove). Instead of trying to create a whole new program, I thought that while I was working out my new routine (gym, work, life in general), going back to something I was familiar with would be good for me.

When I first started the program I kept track of my progress quite diligently, so I’m doing the same this time around as well. I have tweaked the program just a touch – I’ve added two more exercises to each set and I’ve also changed the order slightly, but only because of convenience (where the equipment is located in the gym). So aside from a few tweaks, I’m sticking to the basic principles and organization of the program. When I first started this program in 2011, I kept track of how much I was lifting. It’s been interesting to compare what I was doing then and how much I’m doing now. I surprised myself by seeing that I had gotten a bit weaker in some of my lifts, especially considering I hadn’t lifted weights before 2011. Anyway. I’m glad I kept my notes and I am eager to see how I get on with the program as a whole.

back at the squat rack

2 sets of 15 at 3 and 40 kg felt good

ready to deadlift

I find step ups to be quite challenging for my knees, so rather than stepping up with heavier weights, I’m focusing more on maintaining good posture and balance while I do the exercise. 

I love one arm rows! I’ve used both dumbbells and kettlebells for this workout – I like them both.

Swiss ball crunches

I am so happy in general to be back at the gym. It’s made a huge difference joining a place that I love so much. Now I just have to keep it up!

My overall progress: [2011 comparison]