I am almost done with my third round through my 8-Week Strength Guide, and I can honestly tell you I’ve never felt stronger and I’ve never been as lean as I am right now. You guys have been asking for advice on how to approach the guide your second and third round through, and I want to emphasize that even for your second time through: go back to the basics and start with light weight + proper form.

One major misconception when starting this guide is that the focus from the beginning should be on lifting heavy, but that isn’t the goal and I want to be sure I’m setting you up for success! I developed this guide based on progressive overload, which is manipulating different variables over time to eventually increase total weight lifted. Progressive overload not only mitigates risk of injury, but helps to avoid plateau to consistently increase lean muscle mass (more on that in this blog post). One of the biggest mistakes you can make in progressive overload is starting too heavy. It doesn’t leave you enough room to increase weights week over week.

In order to see results for your second round through the guide, the focus shouldn’t be on the pace with which you’re increasing, but the total weight lifted at the end, aka — don’t lift too heavy too early!

For your second round through, follow these tips:

  • Start with the same weights you used in Week 01 the first time through. It might feel wrong to go back to lifting lighter, but it gives your body time to heal and readjust before lifting even heavier. It’s also a bit of a shock to your body, which is good!! It’s always beneficial to switch it up so that your body doesn’t get complacent with your training routine. That’s another reason why progressive overload works (you’re increasing your output week after week).
  • For Weeks 02 & Week 03, follow the same progression (or as similar as possible) that you did in your first round. It will be tempting to really ramp up the weights here and skip increments, but again, think about the long term. We need to attack the guide in a way so it pans out with the schedule given. You have 8 weeks to space out your lifts, and by doing this, you won’t want to lift too heavy too early on. That won’t give you any room for growth or to increase your weights in the later weeks.
  • Weeks 04, Week 05 and Week 06 are where you can start to turn up the heat. During Week 04, look back on what you lifted in Week 08 of your first round. The goal is to lift that weight in Week 07 of your second round, so you can plan accordingly by working backwards.
  • Your goal for Week 08 is to PR (personal record) all possible lifts, even for just a few reps before going back to your previous weight. Even I was surprised by how much heavier I was able to lift my second (and now third!!) time through. I can’t wait to hear how it goes, I just know you’re going to be so proud of yourself.
  • Maybe the first time you went through the guide, you weren’t as invested in your nutrition as much as you could have been. Make that a priority this round and focus on consuming at least 25-35g protein per main meal, and additional for any snacks. Try the viral Fro-Yo recipe that’s been going around!!! I swear that recipe makes it 100x easier to get an added 30g of protein in your day. You got this!

 

My progress over the past 6 months has been visually apparent: my arms are much more toned, my legs are more defined and stronger, my waist is slightly smaller, and the best part, I feel so confident in my body and I’m proud of how far it’s come. I’ve been pushing myself with my lifts and it’s been so rewarding I can’t even tell you. Two other things that have dramatically helped my progress have been an increase in protein on a daily basis and prioritizing sleep and rest days. The more you lift heavy, the more you need to take care of your body for you to actually see the results and that means supplying it with more energy and allowing it time to rest, recover and rebuild.

Click here to get my GOOD // SWEAT STRENGTH Guide. Commit to the next 8 weeks with me and see how your body transforms. Click the link to read more about the program and to see if it’s the right fit for you!

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Welcome! I’m Rachael.

I enjoy sharing my love for food and fitness. I'm a registered dietitian, certified personal trainer, and a New York Times Bestselling author. Here you'll find all kinds of recipes and kitchen hacks, as well as workouts and fitness motivation. Enjoy! — xx Rachael

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