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What 6 Months of Weight Training Can Do! (Ashley)

August 31, 2009

You can read my full story in my 1st entry, but to sum things up: I was always pretty fit and a healthy weight but gained 60lbs during my pregnancy. Three months after giving birth I suffered from severe ankle injuries which left me pretty much unable to walk for 6 months. While I lost all the weight by 6 month PP I still felt jiggly and soft. I was able to start working out 9 months pp. I had a lot of muscle atrophy especially in my legs.

I have now had 6 months in the gym and I wanted to share “What 6 months of weight training” can do for a woman! I don’t like cardio so I haven’t done any other then going on walks pretty regularly. I lift weights for an hour a day 5 days a week. A lot of women are afraid to lift “heavy” weights, I want to show them that they won’t look like men if they pick up more the a 10lb weight! I’m TRYING to gain muscle and it’s not easy!

So to try to put things in prospective here are my “stats”:
Height: 5’9.5″
Weight: ~138-140lbs
Estimated One Rep Max Lifts:
Bench Press: 156lbs
Squat: 168lbs
Dead Lift: 168lbs
Leg Press: 600+lbs

I can do 30+ military style push-ups, only 4 military pull-ups (working on bringing that up), I can do 3 sets of 10 dips with my body weight, I’m doing bicep curls with 25 to 30lb dumbbells, etc.

I still want to get stronger but I’m pretty proud of how far I’ve come in 6 months! I think I lift pretty heavy and I sure don’t think I look “too big or manly” lol. Hopefully this will inspire some other mama’s to pick up the weights too!

-1st 2 pics: My progress, the 1st pic is 8wks pp, the second is 6 months later (I had lost the weight but not made it to the gym), 3rd pic is 6 months after the 2nd with 6 months of weight lifting (15mo pp).
-The 3rd pic is of my ab progress with 1yr between photos.
-The 4th Pic is of my ab progress with 6 months between (after I’d lost the weight to after 6 months in the gym).
-The 5th pic is my back.
-The 6th pic is back/shoulders/arms flexed.
-The 7th is front/shoulders/arms flexed.
-The 8th pic is of my legs flexed.
-AND the last one’s just for fun.

~Age: 27
~Number of pregnancies and births: 1
~The age of your children and how far postpartum you are: 16 months (15 months in the last pictures)

Updated here.

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59 Responses to “What 6 Months of Weight Training Can Do! (Ashley)”

  1. sarah Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 8:45 am

    wow you are so inspiring. I just started back at the gym today. I think tomorrow I’ll stay a little longer!! Hopefully I’ll have results like that to post!

  2. Mina Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Wow – you look so strong! I’ve been wondering about weight training, this inspires me to try. I am the opposite of you – I do lots of cardio but no weight training (and I hear so much good stuff about the benefits of weight training), but I wouldn’t know when to start. You inspire me to find someone who can set up a lifting plan for me.

  3. Shannon Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 9:23 am

    WOW!!! You look amazing. I also had a cesarean (well I had two in 2 1/2 years actually…and I am now almost 5 months PP with the second), I was wondering, do you do free weights and have a spotter with you, or do you do the machines with the weights?? Also, those are the end weights that you did total, but what weight do you set it at, and how many reps. I have started doing weight training about a week ago and need some advice!

  4. QDTHEQT Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Wow! You look amazing! This is SOOO encouraging to me! I know I can do it too. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. hillary Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 9:33 am

    wow, you look amazing. that’s so inspirational! thanks!!

  6. Andrea Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 10:12 am

    You know, this is exactly what I’ve been needing to see. I’ve been wanting to work out and get in shape but with my stretch marks and excess jiggle round the middle, I guess I’ve had this mental block. I’ve felt somehow no matter what I do, I’ll never look the way I want. But you have proven otherwise! Thanks for posting!

  7. Shannon Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 10:56 am

    I also wanted to ask you what your diet is like!

  8. kat Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    i love weight lifting but i’ve been getting “weightlifters migranes” lately, pity :(
    hopefully they will go away soon.

    i do have a nutritional question for you: what IS your nutritional/supplemental intake?
    your body is amazing and i would love to know how you toned up loose skin (aside from weight training).

    if you have the time please email me: olyavk85@yahoo.com

    thank you so much!

  9. Abaddona Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    awesome!
    That is exactly what I did too, and I will posting updates soon!
    It’s so easy once you get started, that anybody can do it!

  10. Ashley Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Shannon Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 9:23 am
    “I was wondering, do you do free weights and have a spotter with you, or do you do the machines with the weights?? Also, those are the end weights that you did total, but what weight do you set it at, and how many reps.” “I also wanted to ask you what your diet is like!”

    I’m glad you’re so interested! I do both free weights and machines. When I lift really heavy with free weights I have my husband or someone else in the gym spot me. I do heavy weights at low reps, so as heavy as I can go for 3 to 4 sets of 5 to 12 reps.

    As far as diet, I’m not too strict about it because I’m still breastfeeding, but I don’t eat a lot of junk, no fast food, no soda, no alcohol, etc. I try to “eat clean” (google the eat clean diet or abs diet to learn more about it) and eat high protein. I shoot for 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight, so to get enough I supplement with a 100% natural Whey protein shake.

    I’m also happy to say that I brought my Deadlift one rep max to 221lbs last week!

    I hope this helps!

    Thank you everyone for all the positive comments!

    (if I can’t include this last then please just remove it and post the rest!)
    If anyone has more questions you can find me in the Cafemom.com group “Work it out sexy mama” (blueliner) or on bodyspace.com (bluelinersgirl) I LOVE to talk about fitness and I LOVE to help others!

  11. mrs. petunia Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Thank you twenty million times for sharing your results! You are really and truly an inspiration!

  12. Jane Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    you look incredible!!!

    I would love to be as dedicated as you, I just can’t seem to find the motivation.

  13. JenniferLeah Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Wow-you are doing great! The legs are really rocking in that last picture =) You inspire me daily-Thanks

  14. Shealene Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    HOLY HELL WOMAN! Like, seriously…after I put my daughter down for the night I’m gonna start with a new workout! You are a GIANT inspiration! Like, wow. You look amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. diana Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    ok, im getting a gym membership….

  16. diana Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    wow can you pleaseeeeee…..email me, im five ten and about your eight and had my kid 2 weeks ago…you are my new inspiration, seriously please email me.

    wizerthanthem@yahoo.com

  17. Kirstin Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    I’m wondering what your diet is like also. You look amazing! How many miles did you walk?

  18. Kristen Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    This was exactly what I needed to see. I’ve been working out hard and counting calories with only small results. For a few weeks, I’ve been adding more weight training. I will make more effort with this side of training. Thanks!

  19. Lauren Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    You look so awesome! It shows that hard work and dedication pays off. You should be proud. :)

  20. michelle Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    wow! even though i don’t know who you are, i am so proud of you! i love how proactive you are in reclaiming your body as your own by making your internal mental image of yourself into a reality. I have an almost two year old girl, and it has taken me this long to lose all my baby weight and 29 years on top of that conquer my emotional over eating. Your story is so inspiring and encouraging and is a testament to the rewarding fruit of good ol hard work!

  21. Mary Says:
    September 1st, 2009 at 5:19 am

    You look great! I have heard from a few trainers that the weight training also helps tighten loose skin (in a way that cardio and other exercise do not), have you found this to be true?
    You have def inspired me to stop spending hours on the treadmill and pick up some weights! Looking up the “clean diet” right now! Thank you so much for sharing!

  22. chelsea Says:
    September 1st, 2009 at 8:37 am

    You Rule!!!!

  23. Shannon Says:
    September 1st, 2009 at 9:56 am

    I checked out the sites you are on…you have amazing upper body strength with those yoga moves! Anyway I looked at the clean diet and it does not give a list of foods I should buy…do you have any ideas on that? I don’t need recipes because I can cook, I just need a grocery list type of thing! Oh and you can find me under child loss (unfortunately) “2.5 months PP, 2nd cesarean in 2.5 years”

  24. Ashley Says:
    September 1st, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m so glad that I may have inspired some more mama’s to pick up the weights!

    My favorite motto right now (taken from a weight training book’s tittle):

    Lift Like a Man; Look Like a Goddess!

    (Now I just need to READ the inside of the book lol!)

  25. Samantha Says:
    September 1st, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    girl you are smokin! Congrats! I know how much motivation, dedication, and hard work it takes to transform your body like that!!! Awesome job! I actually am 5’8 and currently 147ish as my husband and I started trying for a baby I stopped working out and went from 118 to 148 it took 12months for my body to get that way but seeing you has motivated me to get back into the gym and get my old body back! You look incredible! I’m bookmarking this for inspiration!

  26. holly Says:
    September 1st, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    good for you! I’ve been doing crossfit for a couple months and hope to get results like yours. well done!!

  27. Nina Says:
    September 1st, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    You definitely inspired me!!! I have just been walking every day and I have been loosing the weight slowly but after seeing your photos I am definitley heading to the gym (for the 1st time ever!!) to do some weight training. You are so toned, you look amazing! Thank you :)

  28. Michele Says:
    September 1st, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    You do look amazing. Congatulations! You must have an amazing partner to be able to work FT (either outside the home or taking care of kids) and find an hour 5 days/week to work out. I have found that for me and all the women I know, as long as you HAVE the wife and don’t have to BE the wife, that hour (or 2) to spend just on yourself (and not household/kid-related chores) comes quite easily. So DOUBLE congrats to you!!

  29. Julie Says:
    September 1st, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    never commented on here before but appreciate each story. yours, however, is one I will keep coming back to for motivation! Would love to know your routine! I am a runner so many times the weights get put to the side. This will now be changing! thanks.

  30. Carolyn Says:
    September 2nd, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS!! I’m 7 months PP and at a standstill, I’m at a good weight but still “soft” so I’ve been thinking about lifting cuz I remember it doing good for me in PE in high school. Now there’s no doubt. I’m weightlifting!!

  31. Jayde Says:
    September 3rd, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    A friend of mine sent me the link to your entry. Incredible! I lost 14 lbs. over the summer but still am pretty soft (three kids later-I look like your middle pic of the three). Heading to the gym tomorrow! Thanks for the inspiration. : )

  32. Sarah Says:
    September 3rd, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    WOW HOLY FLYING COW!!!! I hate cardio, but I like walking… this is awesome! Great job!!!

  33. Sierra Says:
    September 5th, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    WOW!! you truly give me inspiration. what is it that you do exactly, i’m not as big as you were before you started ur weight traning and you give me hope that i can have my once hot and sexy body again, bc hunny that’s exactly what you have!!! your an inspiration for sure!!! Awesome body!!

  34. Ashley Says:
    September 7th, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    THANKS EVERYONE! All this great feedback is motivating me to keep it up!

  35. Margarita Says:
    September 10th, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    i understand the thing about going to the gym, but, can you tell us about ur diet?? cuz to get rid of all the fat, it is hard work.. e mail me plis! let me know cuz i really want to change my body.
    margarita_gg04@yahoo.com
    i would appreciate it!

  36. Steph Says:
    September 15th, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    Wow tht is truly inspiring! My son is 2 1/2 now and I am still struggling to get rid of the extra weight. I have lost about 30 lbs due to joining weight watchers, but maybe I will try weight training to help with the rest…

  37. Elle Says:
    September 17th, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    You look amazing! Thank you for the inspiration!

  38. annemarie Says:
    September 17th, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    you look great, you must be so pleased well done, I’m definitely starting weight training, i love your legs they look great, have you put anything on your stretchmarks they look like they have gone !?…

  39. Ashley Says:
    September 18th, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Thanks Elle and Annemarie! I haven’t done anything with my stretchmarks, no lotions or anything, they just faded a ton, and seem a little smaller now that I lost all the weight. The tan helped A LOT though lol. They are still there, and still really deep, but I don’t really think about them much anymore, even wore bikini’s again this summer!

  40. Ashley Says:
    September 18th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Oh yeah, want to add that I brought my “estimated one rep max” up on the leg press… to… 825lbs! I’m SOOO proud of that :) My last leg work out I did 6 sets on the leg press, I wasn’t planning on that many, but it was just going so well lol!

    12 @ 340lbs, 12 @ 430lbs, 12 @ 480lbs, 12 @ 500lbs, 13 @ 520lbs, 13 @ 550lbs
    Good form too, full range of motion, bringing my knees all the way to my chest.

    It was a GOOD day!

  41. Eva Says:
    September 18th, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Wow, Thank you for documenting with such great pictures. You look amazing and an inspiration. I am an avid runner, and I had no idea that weights can do this…

  42. Cheryle Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Wonderful! You should be so proud of yourself. And thankyou for being thoughtful enough to share your story. I started going to the gym almost 2 months ago (my twins are 10 months old). My goal has always been to first drop about 25lbs and then start weight training. I’ve lost about 18lbs but recently and I have really started to slack (I was working out 5 days a week, now only 2 or 3). Seeing your pictures just reminded me that it is possible–hard work, but possible. Thanks for being an inspiration.

  43. sad lady Says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Thank you so much. The transformation is really inspiring. I used to be a triathlete and now I’m just a blob, trying to find work out that works for me. Your pictures help me think I could get back to where I was if I put the work in.

  44. Ashley Says:
    November 30th, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    Dead lift max is up to 230lbs
    Leg press max is up to 825lbs!
    Squat is about the same still, one of my hips has been bugging me when I go to heavy :(

  45. Jennifer Spicer Says:
    January 29th, 2010 at 5:45 am

    WOW! You look terrific. I am a widowed mother of 4 and my stomach looks like yours did in one of your pictures. My stomach has the classic stretched look with what looks like an arrow pointing upward. In my case, it has been 15 years ago since I gave birth. At the time I had asked my doctor if I could ever be able to tighten up the loose skin on my stomach and he had told me no. He said the only way I could ever get rid of it would be to have a tummy tuck. I lost all of my weight within 2 weeks pp after each pregnancy, but was left with loose skin and a lot of stretch marks. This stretched look happened after my first pregnancy. You are such an inpiration because I had given up the thought of getting back in shape after being told that no matter how much I could work out that it wasn’t going to help the3 loose skin. I am very self conscious and do not have the money to get a tummy tuck nor do I want to endure the pain of surgery. I do not know if I have waited too late in life to try to get my body back, but you have given me some hope anyway. What would be the best way for me to start working out. I am healthy just out of shape. I am 5 ft 3 in and weigh about 118-120 lbs. Please email me and help me to get started.

  46. Shyla Says:
    February 2nd, 2010 at 11:22 am

    I came across this two weeks ago and have been hitting the gym since! Can you give me your tips on what you were eating? Please please! Thank you!

  47. Ashley Says:
    February 3rd, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Jennifer and Shyla, I would love you email you but I don’t have your email addresses!

    If you check back here and get this message then you can get leave me a message on http://www.bodyspace.com/bluelinersgirl “guests” can leave a comment on the bottom of my page and only I will be able to see your email address, of you can just leave another comment on this page with you email address in it.

    I hope to hear from you both again!

  48. Shyla Says:
    February 8th, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Hi Ashley- sorry! My email shyray24@hotmail.com
    Thanks a million!!

  49. Jamie Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 3:37 am

    you look great! i am 9 weeks pp and getting ready to start an exercise program (going to try p90x). i was wondering, has exercise affected your milk production (or did it when you were breast feeding)? thanks for sharing!

  50. Ashley Says:
    March 3rd, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    I breastfed until she was 20 months and then she self weaned so I don’t believe it affected it. Just make sure you’re staying well hydrated!

  51. JUlie Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    you wrote on my thing ( Irelynd) and you look amazing I can’t believe how fit you look which is how I use to look… So how much cardeo did you do, and what did you do for your stretch marks b/c I can’t see them in your 1 year

  52. Marie Says:
    July 1st, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    My 1st child I was at the gym 3 x a week, running, swimming, walking the dogs and I still put on a lot of weight because I felt all sorry for myself so I have in to my cravings.

    Hurt my foot while walking in… flip flops :( and well finally at 8 mths I decide to get back into gear and start running again besides my once a week exercise class and …. found out I’m pregnant again.

    Your story is inspiring and I hope since I’m a second time Mom and know what I’m doing that I’ll get back into gear better and faster this time round.

    Thank you.

  53. Eric Says:
    August 11th, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Whoa! I just saw ur leg press routine….. that’s crazy! :) You can max out at 825??? How can u do that much?

  54. Wanna Be Just Like Her « Blended Baby Says:
    September 6th, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    [...] 2 July, 2010 by Marie Inspiring Mama [...]

  55. Ashley Says:
    September 13th, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Thanks “blended baby” but I “only” got up to 92kg not over 100 :)

  56. Colleen Says:
    October 3rd, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    I linked to this from your comment on the most recent post so I hope you’re still checking comments!

    The rate of rupture for VBAC is actually lower than 1%. The 1% figure includes dehiscences, or small, symptomless tears. The actual rate: “Excluding symptomless wound breakdown, the rate of reported uterine rupture has ranged from 0.09 to 0.8% for women with a singleton vertex presentation who underwent a planned vaginal birth after a previous transverse lower segment cesarean section”

    This is from: http://www.vbac.com/chapter38.html

    Good luck with a VBAC!

  57. Tamara Says:
    February 21st, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    You look awsome. Great job!! When do you drink the whey protein?? During workout? Or after workout? And what do you mix the whey protein powder with?? Thank you for the information, its really helpfull

  58. Ashley Says:
    April 21st, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    @Tamara, I usually drink the protein right after a work out, sometimes I’d have another 1.2 a shake throughout the day. I usually just mix it with water, but sometimes I’ll put the whey in a smoothie, with oats, yogurt, frozen fruit, and juice/coconut milk/milk/etc

    @squidoo ???

  59. Bonnie (SOAM) Says:
    April 21st, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Whoops, Ashley, sorry. That was a spam that got through by accident. :)

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