Well, 16 weeks has come and gone…crazy! When my brother and I first started the Get Swole program we didn’t think we’d get past 4 weeks, simply because we had never followed such a long plan before. Well, besides marathon training.
Here’s my most recent update about the plan. I have gained a lot of strength throughout these 16 weeks. Sure, I’m a personal trainer and could have made my own plan, but I wanted to try something new.
I was a little skeptical because a lot of the exercises are the same throughout the 16 weeks, BUT, each phase (which is 4 weeks), you change how many sets and reps you do. This keeps you from hitting a plateau, and also helps you to continue gaining strength.
For example, in Phase 1 of leg day, we started with 5 sets of 12 reps of exercises. In Phase 2, we moved to a pyramid phase, so leg day was exercises for 20, 15, 12, 10 and 8 reps (such as squats). Phase 3 was higher reps (3 sets of 15), and Phase 4 was 6 days of lifting (as opposed to 4), and lower reps (8 reps).
So even though we did a lot of the same exercises throughout, like bench press, barbell squats, leg press, and others, we were constantly challenging our muscles because we were switching the reps, which means we were switching up the load we were using. If you’re doing less reps, you want to challenge yourself by making the weight heavier than if you’re doing 15 reps of an exercise.
I have looked through other bodybuilding.com plans but haven’t found one I like as much, mainly because it seems to focus on smaller muscle groups rather than incorporating the big lifts (squat, bench, pull-ups).
I really like this plan, and my brother and I plan on re-starting it and changing a few things. Currently, we are going to do 4 weeks of Crossfit workouts at the gym, in order to change things but, but afterwards we will go back to Get Swole.
Here are some of my numbers/how I have improved. I know this might be nothing to some people but it’s a big improvement for me!
- Bench Press - Started: 45 lbs, Current: 65 lbs
- Barbell Back Squat – Started: 30 lbs, Current: 100 lbs (!!) <– most I have ever squatted!
- Leg Press – Started: 80 lbs, Current: 160 lbs
- Leg Curl – Started: 30 lbs, Current: 60 lbs
- Military Barbell Press – Started: 20 lbs, Current: 40 lbs
- Incline Dumbbell Press – Started: 12.5 lbs, Current: 25 lbs
These are the exercises that are currently coming to mind but there a lot of others on the plan. Sadly, I didn’t make my goal of doing an unassisted pull-up (well,maybe…hmm I will try at the gym tonight), but I’m almost there! I can pull myself up half-way
I’ll warn you now – leg days are killer. But so worth it. I was always dripping in sweat, but I love challenging myself with barbell squats. My goal was to hit 100 lbs by the end of the program, and I did it! Here are some baby quads
And I think I got a little bit of bicep progress! I’ll admit, if I skipped any workout it was bicep/tricep day, but doing pull-ups and presses still helped make those areas stronger.
If you’re looking to gain some muscle and strength, I highly recommend checking this program out! I will say, I did not follow it to a tee. There were some exercises I left out, or changed, just based on what my brother and I could do at our gym, or what I thought was more appropriate for us. But feel free to contact me if you have any questions about that.
Don’t be afraid to lift heavy ladies! You will feel 100% more confident knowing how much stronger you got…and you will definitely not look like a man.
I’ll keep you posted on how these 4 weeks of Crossfit workouts go. So far, I love them! It’s totally different than anything I have done.
Do you like to lift heavy?
What is your favorite muscle group to work out? I think mine is leg day
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