New Rules Of Lifting for Abs: Phase 1 Review

Morning! I’m feeling much better now! I definitely think it was something I ate. I even felt good enough for ice cream after dinner last night!


Especially cake batter ice cream! Yeah I added my own sprinkles. So what? It’s not my fault they didn’t think to add them Winking smile


This morning, I trained incredibly early, then got in a 4.2 mile run, and was so ready for breakfast when I got pack. So I packed up some cold oats to eat on the way to work.


I probably shouldn’t eat and drive, but I kinda love it.


This combo was exactly like the one I had for lunch yesterday. It tastes like cheesecake!


Although I didn’t feel well enough to work out yesterday, I did read about working out. Today, I start the second phase of the New Rules of Lifting For Abs workout!

I’m sure excited for this phase because it involves HEAVY lifting, which is my favorite kind of liftingOpen-mouthed smile

However, today I’m here to review NROL4A’s Phase One.


A couple years ago I completed New Rules of Lifting for Women. I liked the program, but craved more of the power lifting type of exercises, as well as heavier lifting. New Rules of Lifting for Abs Phase One was structured like NROL4W in that it didn’t include these types of exercises.

NROL4A, however, includes a few more core exercises, as well as more up to date full body exercises. Don’t let the title of the book fool you: it’s a full body workout program, not just an abs program

The workouts in NROL4A Phase One are split into workout A and workout B. The book has you doing 4-6 weeks of these workouts, with either 2 or 3 workouts per week. So, at the end of the 4-6 weeks you either complete each workout 6 or 8 times total. I did them twice a week for the first two weeks, and then finished the last two weeks with three times per week (as I was done training for my half marathon at this point.)


Each workout is split into three parts:

  • dynamic warm up – this warm up takes about 10 minutes and includes a lot of mobility work, like curtsey lunges, reverse inchworms, lateral hops, and butt kicks. I’m a huge fan of dynamic warm ups as opposed to doing 5 minutes on the elliptical, so I quite enjoyed the warm ups. However, it’s the same warm up exercises for each workout, so I could see how it’d get tedious.
  • core work – after the warm up, the workout moves on to core work. The core exercises in this phase concentrate mainly on isometric work. Although I love strength training, I admittedly neglect core work. However, the core work I dislike least are planks – and phase one had a lot of them! Almost every time I did a workout, I could feel it in my abs the next day.
  • full body strength workout – The last – and main – part of the workout was split into two supersets of upper and lower body work. Each exercise was to be completed in 2-3 sets (I always chose 3 sets) for 12 reps. Hence the higher reps, the weight stayed pretty modest. Nonetheless, I certainly felt sore a number of times the day after completing the workouts. Another plus is that all of the exercises are comprised of compound moves. This is a good thing if you’re like me, and are not a fan of bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, etc. Efficiency for the win!

In addition to the format of the workouts, there were several other points which I either liked or disliked. Regardless, I did the workout as instructed (which is rare for me – I do what I waant!!) and simply noted the pros and cons as I went.


Edit: editing becayuse I forgot to post my results! Or, well, lack thereof. I think the only place I noticed results was in my core. I feel like my core is stronger, and I can also see more definition in my abs. That said, my abs have always been the eaasiest muscle group to build/tone for me. For every wehere else, I’m pretty sure I was lifting too light – for me – to see results.


Time to go do work! Ciao!

Do you prefer higher reps and lower weights? Or higher weights and lower reps? I’m obviously in the latter category.

What’s your least favorite muscle group to train?

Have a wonderful Wednesday, loves! Smile

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. I definitely did not realize this NROL4A was more than abs. I noticed you’d been talking about it but just assumed it was a similar program but focused on abs, doesn’t sound that way!
    Doing the NROLFW since June 1, I have to say I’ve grown to love heavy weights but it’s also a contributor to me pulling my back out during the last workout of phase 1 in a deadlift. So after I recovered, I started phase 2 with lighter weights and higher reps and haven’t increased nearly as much as I know I could b/c I’m trying to be careful. I know it’s more about form than the weight but my long term goals don’t involve deadlifting 90 lbs so, I backed off 😉
    Anything arm related is my favorite. I love lat pulldowns, they’re my most recent obsession.

  2. Thanks for the review of NROL4A. When you mention under the pros that “you’re not a huge fan of splits because your goals don’t really call for them”, what do you mean? I’m new to weight training/heavy lifting so I’m just wondering what types of goals people usually have when they do splits?


  3. Hi. I’m a new reader of your blog :)
    I prefer higher weights with lower reps. I love to lift heavy, it makes my muscles stronger.

  4. Interesting! I’m doing a strength regimen from a book right now, which I will review formally in a couple of weeks.

    I hate training my legs. Butt I don’t mind, but I always feel like I’ve already taxed them enough with running and other cardio.

  5. I fall somewhere in the middle(I’m probably phoning it in a bit). I like to do lower reps with semi-low weights, but I really only use weights (usually 10-15 pound dumbbells) for arm/shoulder/chest work. I tend to do more bodyweight work for my lower half.

    Back and shoulders are my favorite things to train, because I love how visible the results are.

    By the way, do you have recommendations or a post for effective butt exercises? I don’t know if I need more weight/resistance or better form or different exercises or what, but it just seems like it needs to be more difficult to be effective.

  6. I like more reps, mostly because I like to take weight lifting classes like Body Pump. I do love the feeling though of moving up in weight even if it’s just from 10 to 12 lbs.

  7. I totally prefer more reps with lighter weight. But I’m starting to get stronger, so am going to heavier weight now.

    I really hate training my legs. I’ll do my arms all day long, but my legs? Squats and lunges are not my friends!

  8. I saw this book on Amazon and was curious about it. Glad you reviewed. What kind of results have you seen, any? I think core work is tricky – I am the type of person that needs to see results in order to know/feel like something is working.

    For example: being able to do more push ups is a result of doing push ups and lifting weights. that is something I can see. I feel like core work is different, but I don’t really know bc I don’t do much of it. KWIM?

    I think I prefer heavier weights, less reps. I want to say I did bicep curls with 25# weights, not 5# weights. KWIM? … FTR, i’m definitly not curling 25# , but that would be cool. ha =)

  9. I bought that book a few years ago and have yet to really use it. I think it has lots of pros/cons and can be a great training guide. I prefer lower reps/higher weights. However, I know it can be good to switch things up (something I’m terrible at). I think legs are my nemesis right now only b/c it’s really hard to work them well and continue to run (especially when training for a half) and do spin classes. Leg days never seem to fall into the rotation the way I need LOL.

  10. Hey, I am a fairly new reader. Its funny how my lifting likes and dislikes have changed over the years. I used to LOVE working my legs. I hated doing upper body because I always felt I had “boy arms”. NOW… I HATE lifting legs and LOOOOOOOVE upper body, mainly back and shoulders. I think because I can see the progress so much more or something. My boy arms don’t bug me anymore 😉

  11. I used to love heavy lifting but lately I like a mix and find myself going more towards the moderate range. And I just wanted to say I’m loving your blog more and more lately for some reason. You’re doing good, paige! Love ya!

  12. loved this review and comprehensive post! i am into heavy weights, low reps and i love training my legs or my abs! xoxoxo

  13. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a
    co-worker who was doing a little homework on this.
    And he in fact ordered me dinner due to the fact that I found it for him…
    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!

    But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this matter here on your
    web site. recently posted.. Profile


  1. […] started stage 3 of New Rules of Lifting for Abs today (Stage 2 review is to come soon – see New Rules of Lifting for Abs Stage 1 review here) My oh my, if I thought stage 2 kicked my booty, I’m in for a treat with stage 3. It was […]

  2. […] workout, the workout broken down, pros and cons, as well as my before and after pictures. See my New Rules of Lifting for Abs Stage 1 review […]

Leave a Comment


CommentLuv badge