Stage 2: It’s business time

In case any of you caught it, yes, the title of this post is a nod to this little gem. And by ‘business time’, I mean time to write about Stage 2!

FIrst of all, a few notes.

  • I have been so freakin’ busy with school! Hence the lack of posting.
  • I WILL be doing a re-cap of Stage 1 soon.
  • I WILL be writing about reassessment of goals/progress/etc. soon.
  • No news yet on the period front. But a HUGE thank you to all of you who shared your experiences with me. It is greatly appreciated!

Now for the fun part.

Before I get into it, a little background info for those of you who are unfamiliar with the program. It is comprised of 7 stages, each of which lasts about 3-4 weeks, with the exception of Stage 1 (which I just finished) which lasts 6-8 weeks. The Stages have different focuses, from building strength in varying ways (most of the stages) to trimming up in ‘the final cut’ (the last stage).

I’ve officially done my first week of Stage 2. My thought so far is that it’s tough, it’s different, but I like it. This stage is different for a few key reasons:

  • the exercises are different
  • the sets and rest times are different
  • there are more exercises per workout
  • there is a more distinct core component
  • there is a metabolic (cardio interval training) component

Since there are more exercises and two additional components, the workouts are also LONGER. Because of this, I’ve actually decided to break Stage 2 into a 3-day split instead of a 2-day split*. The main reasons I’ve opted to do this is because (a) I usually go to the gym with the boy, and we like to keep our workouts to ~ 1 hr, and (b) I want to keep my intensity throughout all the exercises, and I feel that the 3-day split allows me to give 100% for the ab + cardio component (this thought first came as I was coming out of my illness and feeling tired, but now I actually just think it’s a good idea.)

*For those of you who are doubting, let me say that I first heard of the idea of splitting the workouts from Alwyn Cosgrove and Lou Schuler (the guys who wrote the book) themselves. [Side note: for those who are completing any NROL program, check out this recent podcast Q&A with the authors].

With all that preamble out of the way, here is my Stage 2, Week 1 recap. Workouts with two or three exercises under each numbered item are alternating sets. You can see how I split workout B into two separate days below:


  1. Front Squat/Push Press – 2 sets of 7 @ 45 lbs
  2. Step-Ups – 2 sets of 10 @ 27.5 lbs
    Dumbbell One-Point Row – 2 sets of 10 @ 17.5 lbs
  3. Static Lunge, rear foot elevated – 2 sets of 10 @ 25 lbs
    Push Ups – 2 sets of 10
  4. Plank – 2 sets @ 60sec
    Cable Horizontal Wood Chop – 2 sets of 10 @ 35 lbs


  1. Wide grip deadlift from box – 2 sets of 10 @ 95 lbs
  2. Bulgarian split squat – 2 sets of 10 @ 25 lbs
    Underhand grip lat pulldown – 2 sets of 10 @ 55 lbs
  3. Reverse lunge from box with forward reach – 2 sets of 10 @ 20 lbs
    Dumbbell prone cuban snatch (hard!) – 2 sets of 10 @ 10lbs

B1b (note: I added in an extra set of most of the exercises)

  1. Swiss ball crunch (Straight Arm, Weighted) – 3 sets of 10 @ 6lb medicine ball
    Reverse Crunch – 3 sets of 10
    Lateral Flexion  – 3 sets of 10 (this one is hard to explain, but a great exercise! Am considering doing a video to show you all how this rocks your obliques/core)
  2. Prone Cobra – 2 sets @ 60 sec
  3. Interval Training – 15 min Treadmill intervals, Range ~5.5-8.7 MPH.

Doing the split this way actually made each of the workouts ~ 1hr each, which is perfect. I typically go to the gym 4-5 days a week ANYWAY, so it won’t slow my progress.

I have much more I’d like to write, but I think that’s enough for today – this is already a marathon post!


3 thoughts on “Stage 2: It’s business time

  1. Good idea doing the split this way. So, next week it will be the same way, I am assuming? A one day, then B1, then B2? I think I will try it out doing it A, B, A. Then, B, A, B. If it seems like too much, I might do what you are doing. I was thinking about just doing the interval training on my in between days, instead of on my B days. What do you think? I don’t think it will change my progress…but I could be wrong? weights plus intervals on the same day seems a little excessive to me.

    I am sort of nervous about the new exercises, but I am ready to do something new. I start Stage 2 on Tuesday…can’t wait!

  2. Yay to lifting!! 🙂
    Nice workouts. I like ’em. How are you liking the overall plan???

    I’ve gone between full body 3 day splits and upper/lower splits 4 days/week. Not sure which I like better- actually I like the 3 day full body but to increase strength, I’m finding the split body works best…

    Any thoughts?

  3. Nice! I am glad you have been keeping strong in the gym. I am really looking forward to your goals post – I have been wondering about you lately!

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