Total Newbie - transitioning to BFL (was doing BFL for women)

  • I've been doing BFL for women for 3 weeks, am not a stranger to working out.  I do injure more easily because of my age I think (57) and have some residual past injury areas that I need to be careful about such as previous strained rotator cuff and slight knee pain after high resistance exercise. Neither of these cause daily or chronic pain.

    I just bought  BFL Bill Phillips' book today.

    Been doing ONLY spin class as my exercise program for 2.5 years, 3 to 4 times a week, with a 2 hour class on Saturdays. I have lost inches, clothing size and gained core strength, defined leg muscle.

    The reasons for switching to BFL program:

    • Was losing strength and endurance doing only spin
    • BFL for women eating and exercise program, these past 3 weeks has increased my strength and endurance (light bulb moment)
    • I just went of statin drugs (for family genetic high cholesterol) after 15 years because of multiple side effects and increasing muscle pain
    • My cholesterol after I went off statin drugs tested at 306, HDL 69, Triglycerides 104, LDL 210
    My question is:
    • How do I approach the intense exercise BFL exercise regimen without injuring myself -  keeping in mind my past injuries and those weakened areas?
    Thanks all, I appreciate your advice. 
  • Holy cholesterol! I can tell you mine went down from 235 to 164 half way through my 1st challenge. The way of eating will serve your body well.

    As far as exercise goes, find what your levels 5 to 10 are for you personally. I have irregularities in the curvature of my spine, and there are some weight lifting exercises that I can not do without really hurting myself.  I keep a written log, the worksheets in the book are available on a PDF on this site. I make notes in the margins; if I feel a bad pain, if I targeted the muscle and it felt right, if I tried to lift a heavier weight and couldn't do it with good form, etc.

    Make sure you do everything with good form. My husband helped me, along with help from trainer staff at my gym. I make sure I do all weight lifting with proper form-and its a burn rather than a strenuous pain if you are doing it right within your 5 to 10 range. If certain exercises feel wrong, find ones that feel right if you can. And its always good to have someone who knows how to lift to watch you do it.

    For a good bit of my 12 weeks, the 10 and 8 pound dumbbells got me hitting 10's. Its a cool program because people on all different levels can find their range and do it the same way. I remember one of the success stories, this woman started lifting with a roll of quarters!

    Hope that helps. Welcome and good luck to you!

  • LiL Cathy is right about good form - the nice thing about dumbbells is that you have more control over the weight. Don't rush the movements; the power is in taking it slow and controlled especially on the negative of the weight movement. I have rotator cuff issues as well as pretty severe tendonitis in my elbow but adapt to what my body can handle (which for side raises is no more than 10 lbs right now which is just fine). I used BFL for Women about a year ago and can say the original produces much better results. Good health to you and enjoy the process.