A few weeks ago, I finished up the Ready to Lift Guide and wanted to share my experience using it with you all. I’ve received numerous questions about the guide and how it compares to other workout guides I have tried. I’m excited to share my full Ready to Lift Guide review and, of course, my honest thoughts with you!
What is the Ready to Lift Guide?
The Ready to Life guide is a 12-week workout program, created by Alena Almquist-Heater (also known as @healthylivingdreams) and Brittany Phelps (also known as @healthy.fit.proud), which is meant to help you get stronger and more confident using weights in the gym. The guide is specifically designed to strengthen your lower body and does not contain any moves that isolate and target the upper body and core. However, a lot of the movements you do end up working your core, such as weighted squats.
Alena has been a long-time Instagram friend (which does not affect my honest review of the guide) and so I asked her a few questions about the RTL guide for this review:
HF: Where did the idea for the Ready to Lift Guide come from?
Alena: I originally started thinking about creating a mini workout guide full of my own Leg and Booty workouts I had been making up and incorporating into my BBG schedule. Many of my ideas of lifting came from other Insta Fitness Women, Brittany included, and from other online resources. I wanted to put them all together so other women could have access to some fun (yet challenging) lifting workouts but knew I wanted to do this as a partner project.
HF: Why did you and Brittany decide to pair up on this guide?
Alena: Brittany and I had known each other through Instagram for almost a year at the point I contacted her (Summer 2015) and asked if she would like to create a Women’s Lifting guide with a focus on Legs and the Booty together. She was one of the main women who inspired me to do more lifting and up my weights and I couldn’t think of a better person to create something like this with.
How is it structured?
The guide is structured into three phases, and there are three workouts per week–lightweight day, plyometrics & HIIT and heavyweight day (my personal favorite).
- Weeks 1-4 contain primary circuit style training, so think moving from one exercise to the next with little to no rest in between
- Weeks 5-8 introduce super sets and pyramid sets
- Weeks 9-12 continue with super sets and introduce drop sets (these killed me)
A cool addition was the fact that every weighted workout included “add-in’s” or “finishers” to ensure that your lower body was well and truly pushed to it’s limit. I had never done these before and absolutely LOVED them. I found that it was an amazing way to challenge yourself just that little bit more.
I had already been lifting fairly regularly when I started the Ready to List guide, so throughout the first phase of the guide, I worked hard on perfecting my form and slowly upping my weight every month. I was extremely excited to have a guide that would help me focus on upping the weights, which was why the heavyweight day was always my favorite.
I really enjoyed phase 2–I love doing super sets, which is where you do two exercises back to back and then rest, and super sets were introduced during this phase of the guide. I definitely felt more challenged during this phase, and did a fair amount of additional lower back exercises, to assist me in doing hamstring focused exercises such as deadlifts.
Get prepared to be introduced to some cable work and pyramid sets, as I mentioned earlier. Pyramid sets are when you start off with a lighter weight and higher reps, drop reps and add weights, and then add reps and drop your weights again.
Gah, I had a love/hate relationship with this phase. It was during that time that I saw the most amount of gains, in terms of upping my weights and seeing a change in my legs, but it was also the hardest. Drop sets suck but they were amazing for building my strength and I am 99.99% sure they are what helped me grow my booty haha!
Drop sets are where you start at the heaviest weight you can with fairly low reps, and gradually increase your reps and lower your weights. After many of the drop set sessions, I would leave the gym shaking and completely covered in sweat. Here’s a video of me dying during deadlift drop sets 😛
Snippet of my heavy-weight leg day workout from the Ready to Lift guide. This video is heavily sped up, in case you were like damn, her form is bad lol. I love making these videos as they really are insightful in regards to my form. I absolutely need to squat deeper–do any of my PT friends out there have any suggestions? • one legged deadlift • sumo deadlift • smith machine squats #legday 🎧: Nothing is Promised by Mike Will Made-it & Rihanna
I was excited to hear that Alena and Brit have plans for another guide and will be sharing the details soon 🙂
Honestly Fitness Approved
All in all, I absolutely loved the guide in every way possible! The workouts were kickass, the price was very reasonable and the guide design itself was lovely–lots of photos to demonstrate the exercises and clear instructions on how to progress throughout the guide. There’s also a lovely community of women on Instagram who use the guide, who can be found by searching the hashtag #ReadytoLift, who are all so supportive and motivating.
If you’d like to get the guide, you can click here. Let Alena and Brit now it was me who recommended it to you, if you do buy it. I hope you all found my Ready to Lift Guide review helpful and, as always, please feel free to ask me any questions you have about it in the comments below.