The New Rules of Lifting for Women

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Product Description

In The New Rules of Lifting for Women, authors Lou Schuler, Cassandra Forsythe, and Alwyn Cosgrove present a comprehensive strength, conditioning, and nutrition plan destined to revolutionize the way women work out. All the latest studies prove that strength training, not aerobics, provides the key to losing fat and building a fit, strong body.This book refutes the misconception that women will -bulk up- if they lift heavy weights. Nonsense! It-s tough enough for men to pack on muscle, and they have much more of the hormone necessary to build muscle: natural testosterone. Muscles need to be strengthened to achieve a lean, healthy look. Properly conditioned muscles increase metabolism and promote weight loss-it-s that simple.The program demands that women put down the -Barbie- weights, step away from the treadmill, and begin a strength and conditioning regime for the natural athlete in every woman.The New Rules of Lifting for Women, now in paperback, will change the way women see fitness, nutrition, and their own bodies.

Customer Reviews:

  • A Great New Workout
    I've been a gym rat for a few years now and was looking for something new to do. I'd been doing a lot of cardio, aerobics classes and have trained for and done a triathlon. I have even done some weight training before. But all I ever did with weights was the typical machine circuit with a few free weights thrown in. I just didn't really know how to lift the real weights. And then I stumbled across The New Rules of Lifting for Women.

    It worked out great for me, a woman with a reasonably good level of fitness already. I've learned how to lift the "big weights", so to speak, and I've noticeably gained a lot of strength. I am roughly 2 months into the workouts and can already do a full unassisted chin-up, which I have never done before in my life. I haven't lost any weight but I have a lot more tone in my arms, back and particularly the back of my thighs and butt, again something I haven't really accomplished before. And, no, I don't look like a model, I'm still short and stocky, but I am a well-toned, stong and fit short and stocky.

    If you are new to working out I wouldn't recommend this book as it would probably be rather intimidating. But if you're a woman with a moderate level of fitness already and just looking to mix up your workout this is the book for you. And, in particular, if you're a woman who wants to lift weights and be strong but don't know how, you should totally check this book out. ...more info
  • love this book
    I found some of this simlar to Body For Life, but yet also learned some new things about lifting for females. I enjoyed the style of his writing tremendously and found myself laughing several times. I'm following his lifting advice and am seeing changes in my body I didn't see with many years of working out with lighter weights. Also incorporating the eating habits and that has made me feel more energetic, less hungry and am seeing changes in my body without feeling deprived. This has been a good guide for me and I will pass it on to others gladly....more info
  • Fun read, great advice
    I have been stuck in a rut for a while and this book provided information that was totally different than what I was accustomed to for women's fitness. I enjoyed it so much that I have purchased copies for my two sisters and my mom. I have only been doing this for two weeks but I am looking and feeling better already. I wish they offered a video for some of the exercises. I feel like I am my own fitness coach/ personal trainer. Great book!!!!!...more info
  • The New Rules Of Lifting for women
    This book was full of excellent advice with research for each point. I am a personal trainer and was thrilled with the insight into the problems and mentality many women struggle with in their strength training programs. Easy to understand, funny,and knowledgeable especially if you have been unsuccessful in the past. Put down those barbie weights and make some real progress!...more info
  • Great book!
    This book really hits home about how women should lift. It has an intense workout in it, I just wish it had more upper body to it. I've just started the program, so I don't know the results yet, but I know it will build overall strength. ...more info
  • A woman's place is in the weight room
    Since it's New Year's Day and my gym is closed (not to mention, it's snowing AGAIN here in southern Maine), I finally have some time to peruse my new copy of The New Rules of Lifting for Women. THANK YOU, LOU for such a fabulous book!!

    Finally, someone is telling women that if they are serious about wanting to lose weight and get fit they need to step away from the treadmill (and stair climber and elliptical machine!) and PICK UP SOME WEIGHTS. Lou takes cutting edge research on training, distills it into easily understandable hunks of information, and sprinkles a heapin' helping of humor on top of it all.

    The section of the book about nutrition and eating (I cannot, in good conscience, refer to it as "dieting") is straightforward and no-nonsense. You need to cut out the crap, but not calories, when you start training hard.

    The workout programs were developed by the amazing Alwyn Cosgrove. (If you can't train in person with the guy, using the programs he's put together is probably the next best thing.) Individual exercises are explained in great detail, with as much (or more) emphasis on the "why" as there is on the "how to".

    I've been lifting weights on and off for the past eight years (more "off" than "on" for the last three or four, I must admit), and I'm really looking forward to retooling my workouts with the help of this book. Now if it would just stop snowing long enough for me to get to the gym, I'll be all set......more info
  • A good solid resource for women
    As an age 50+ woman, this book has provided me with exactly the information I need to get started on a weight training program designed not for body builders but rather for people like me who want to be strong and healthy. The introduction to the physiological rationale for the program is compelling. The exercises are explained and illustrated well so that a novice can do them properly and safely. I appreciate the adaptations that are included for those working out at home. I haven't done much yet with the chapters on nutrition, but the recipes look good.

    My suggestions for making this a 5 star book would be to include chapters that address the following: 1) a list of equipment that you will need if just starting out (and maybe what to look for re: design and construction), 2) a stretching routine that should be performed at the end of a training session, and 3) advice on how to continue a weight training program when you reach the end of the recommended 6 month program.

    Overall - a good solid resource!...more info
  • Good info for a runner w/ an injury
    I couldn't handle it when I had to stop running long distance due to an injury, so I got this book to get into training. I am so glad I did. First of all, I always felt like anyone who couldn't run as far as I could wasnt as healthy. The information this book provides and motivation to strengthen my body has completely changed this view. It has turned an injury from a depressing situation into an opportunity! Secondly, I always hit some weights a few times a week and thought the programs would be super easy. Not so much! I am so sore, but in a good way, not an injured way. I couldn't be happier. Thirdly, I think I've always been a bit of an under-eater, this book really made great sense.

    Its a delightful challenge and an easy read.


    ...more info
  • Best workout book I've read and I've read a lot!
    I was introduced to this book by my best friend and ended up not being able to put it down. Finally, a book which makes sense! I have been waiting for a plan that is simple but EFFECTIVE. I do NOT like to work out, but at my age need to, and want every work out to be extremely effective. I also like the information about cardio work and the fact that it is not necessarily super productive! I plan to begin my plan tomorrow and looking forward to the results!...more info
  • good book
    I can see why they called it new rules since many folks are unaware of power lifting. But power lifting is as old as dirt. It's the original strength training. The information presented is logically presented and they are correct building muscle in this manner is the right way to go. I've had the opportunity to do power lifting before I read this book and I loved it. SO while I was disappointed in that I was looking for something new and innovative, I still think this is an awesome form of strength training that more people should try....more info
  • Brilliant!
    This book is brilliant. Provides a great summary of training options, dietary suggestions and lifting techniques and is backed up by evidence.
    On top of all that it has been written in a fun and informative way and I found myself laughing on more than once occasion.

    The book is really easy to read, in fact almost addictive, and I would recommend it to any woman who is seeking ideas about amending their training program or for new kids on the block who need some tips starting out. ...more info
  • Good book for some women, not for others.
    As a Personal Trainer, I am very familiar with Cassandra Forsythe and Alwyn Cosgrove's work. You can't go wrong with Cassandra's diet plan. She has done a lot of research, and has had some great success in combining diet and resistance exercise for reducing body fat.

    As far as Alwyn's exercise plan, you will see great results if you put the effort into his exercises (but start off with lighter weights as the book recommends) His "no-nonsense" approach to full body training has a proven track record for getting his clients in shape and reducing body fat.

    However, I have one warning if you are thinking about buying this book and you have trained like a bodybuilder in the past. Almost all of my clients are female and they know what they want. They want a "leg day" or a "butt day" or an "arm day". If they are paying my salary, they want their money's worth and they want to feel it in their glutes or biceps the next day. This is especially true if we feel their biceps need more work to catch up to the triceps, or if their shoulders or calves need more work to sculpt that muscle to bring it in proportion with the rest of their body.

    I can talk until I'm blue in the face about how Alwyn's approach is the best for loosing body fat, but if they don't feel it in a target muscle group, they aren't coming back, and they will do it on their own. As a trainer that follows the bodybuilder workouts, I will agree with these women, that hitting a certain muscle group in an exercise session still has its place in the gym.
    ...more info
  • Great Workouts, Great Metabolism
    I have been strength training for the last 4 months and this book was great. I read it in 2 days. It is easy to read, and although I don't really like the author's humor, I appreciate the effort and the information was solid including great workout programs. I appreciated the information about metabolism and the myth busting. I was suspecting that I was over training, and this book described my symptoms perfectly.

    The diet portion is more of a guideline that I find easy to modify and follow. I liked the variation of simple semi homemade shake recipes and the shakes from scratch. I have taken nutritional classes, and this book expanded my knowledge in that area and in the area of fitness. I am having a personal trainer help me to follow the program in this book, and although it is not a requirement asked by the author, I think it will help me to get results faster and safer, which is insinuated by the author. I have already started to practice my form in the exercises and test my metabolism so that I can get serious results.

    I can only think of 2 things that I disagree with and have trouble with in this book. 1. I don't agree that artificial sugars are a good idea- there are many people on both sides of this fence; and 2. I don't know where to get a "step" for the step up exercise. I got my husband the men's book by this author and it featured the step up done on a high fitness step. I'm thinking I can go to my local fitness store and search for this. This still wasn't enough to make me reduce the rating.

    -By the way, the men's book is great too, but that is another review.-

    The last and best thing that I will say about this book is that the programs can be modified to be done entirely at home. For once I am going to seriously train at home without the waiting for and constant cleaning of equipment at the gym. My home gym is coming together beautifully.

    Thanks to all the authors of this book
    ...more info
  • Maybe better than having a personal trainer
    I work out 5-6 times a week, doing either an hour of cardio over 150 beats per minute or an hour with my personal trainer (2x week). So I'm reasonably fit and strong for a 47-year old woman. My trainer suddenly quit without warning, so I got this book, and I'm really, really glad. I'm stronger than I was when I had my trainer even though I'm only in Phase I still. The compound exercises this book recommends are SO much faster than standard exercises/machines, and the combinations the author puts together work muscles in groups, which makes so much sense when you think about it. I can be done with lifting in under 45 minutes, warm-up and stretching not included. It's faster AND I'm getting a better workout. And I'm gaining strength faster than I thought possible. The author's goal to able to do unassisted chinups is one I really aspire to. I haven't done an unassisted chinup since the third grade!

    I ran into my trainer and told him what I was doing, and he liked it a lot. He said that the combinations of exercises in the workouts is good, like pushups (pushing) and seated rows (pulling) for a full-body workout. That's certainly how it feels. The form is really important--if you don't know how (having had a trainer helps), get someone to show you and USE THE MIRRORS. Doing compound exercises wrong is not just ineffective, it's dangerous. But they are way more effective than 10-lb dumbells, and it's how your body was MEANT to work.

    If you lift 3x week, this book is a six-month program. Most trainers won't put you on that organized a program--my trainer didn't have me doing chinups in 6 months! Anyone can go to the gym and do the same four things over and over--having 2 workouts to alternate between, knowing when to change them up, and having the workouts be designed with a common goal is what sets this book apart. I'm just worried what I'll do in month 7--maybe the author will do a follow on!...more info
  • Not Girly...GRRRLY!
    I was so excited to get this book, I read the whole thing the day I got it. It gets down to business pretty quickly. No pages of gushing testimonials or before-and-after pictures to take up space. Just the facts, ma'am (and a protein shake, please). Lou Schuler is direct and pleasantly engaging in his explanation of The New Rules of Lifting for Women. He is also very thorough. The reading gets a teensy bit tedious here and there, but it would be a disservice to you if it weren't. He also offers the courtesy of his notes in the back of the book, which cite the majority of his sources (to the best of his recollection).

    I appreciate the honesty and straightforwardness with which he writes. I even understand his perspective on why he omits motivational talk from the text. Several of the exercises in the workout section are new to me, which is motivating enough. If I can perform, frankly, any of those workouts...I'm one tough broad, LOL!

    Everything in the workout section is explained and charted for you. There are pictures which illustrate the exercises (thank you!)Workouts are set up for you for seven weeks. The nutrition section is super-sensible, with recipes for dishes that you wouldn't mind sharing. No weird or exotic ingredients. It's not fat- or carbophobic, either. And you get to EAT, ladies! Five times a day. Six, if it's a workout day. That practically makes eating a hobby! You can even have some dark chocolate. I'm excited to be doing this, mostly because of workouts with exercises I've never seen before. Lift like a man; look like a goddess!...more info
  • "New Rules" Rules
    "Lift like a man, look like a Goddess" says the book. But is it true? I believe it is, and this book is right on the money. It is cleanly divided into three parts.

    The first part discusses the similarities between men's and women's bodies as it pertains to weight lifting- and why they should train the same. I agree with the book on this point entirely. While women's muscles won't get as big as a man's from lifting weights, the stimulus to make a woman's muscle bigger and stronger is identical to that of a man's- overload the muscle with progressively heavier weights.

    Part two, "You aren't what you don't eat", is the eating/diet section of the book. A lot of wisdom is also packed in here as the book gives the reader a lot of basic nutrition info, such as calorie needs, protein intake, etc. The reader is also introduced to the four "Ironclad Rules" which include: you must eat breakfast, you must eat a total of 5 meals and snacks a day, you must have a post-workout recovery shake on the days you lift, and you must have more calories on workout days than the other days. Meal plans are nicely laid out for the reader in this section as well.

    Lastly comes part three, "Resistance is vital." Of course this is the section that discusses the workout routines and the exercises. Without going into details, you work out 2-3 times a week, and the workouts are divided in 7 stages (each with a certain goal) which roughly give you 6 months worth of workouts- which I might add, are all highly detailed in the book. Pictures of warm-up exercises and the resistance exercises are included and very easy to follow. Weight lifting exercises are nothing crazy, with a lot of them being sensible, basic exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and various presses.

    As a trainer, I found this to be a very sensible weight lifting book for women. Yes it does invovlve some work, but then again that is the only way to make a muscle stronger, whether you're a man or a woman- which is the whole point of the book. Based on a lot of sound science, I give it two thumbs up for a very helpful, effective, and "doable" book. Also recommend Treat Your Own Rotator Cuff for readers who have a shoulder problem that interferes with their training....more info
  • Nothing New Here. . .
    I bought this book hoping to learn new routines or new ways of working my muscles to the limit. I was sorely disappointed to find nothing new. . .This is the first book I actually returned to Amazon for a refund. Magazines like Oxygen and Muscle & Fitness for Her have just as much info and cost much less....more info
  • simple to follow and effective
    I started this program and am on my 8th workout and have already noticed a difference in my muscle tone. The workouts are very easy to follow but challenging. I have done lots of things before including a weight lifting class (hour long) but have seen more changes in these shorter workouts. A great buy if you are looking to tone for summer....more info
  • I have question about the book
    I love the book. I have read it from cover to cover. There are alot of great ideas in the book. I would like someone to help me. I'm not sure I understand the workout chart. Thanks Brenda...more info
  • great for females looking to transform their body
    This is an excellent book for females who want to transform their body and strengthen their muscles. There are amazing tips and "light bulb" moments throughout the book - I'd recommmend it to anyone....more info
  • Very Informative
    I was very pleased with this book and have already recommended it to friends. I had already read the author's "New Rules of Lifting" for men. Some of the information is a repeat, but is such good information that it doesn't hurt to reread it. Plus this book for women is just that - for women and includes information specific to women. I haven't finished reading the entire book yet, but am excited to try both the meal ideas and exercise plans....more info
  • Love this book!
    I love this book on weight training for women. I have read quite a few as I am currently working on getting back in shape after years of neglecting my body. This book is the perfect mix of research science and "how to" instruction and it is still fun to read. Mr Schuler's writing style takes what could be a very dry subject and makes it enjoyable. I appreciate how he backs up what he says with scientific studies. The New Rules of Lifting for Women makes alot of sense! Everything in the book, both diet and training, are very do-able. I have about 15 more pounds to go and cant wait to apply what I learned....more info
  • Bang the weight!
    This book is a great resource. After spending hours looking through different weight training books at the local book store, I came home excited to order this book from Amazon. The author has written this book in an easy to read manner, not too technical, and offers sound, good advice. My boyfriend is a power lifter and has been involved in weight training for over 30 years. As I was looking at the book, I told him he could have written it - it has a lot of the advice he shares with me. I can't wait to implement the work outs suggested. Thanks!...more info
  • Surprisingly good!
    I have to admit, I thought this would be just like ALL the other lifting books for women out there. It wasn't. It didn't say to lift like a little girl and eat like a pauper. It actually encourages a break from the normal gazillion rep sets we see most women (guilty as charged) do in the gym. And delivers results. Within the first two weeks I had lost two inches in my waist ( mind you I hadn't lost more than 3lbs, but I expected that ) and gained more definition overall, which was my goal. I expect by following this program completely that I will supersede my goals for definition and maybe even drop another inch or two in my waistline and hips. Pretty impressive and I have to say, I'm hard to please when it comes to workout programs. It only gets 4 stars because a lot of the recipes involve fish, and I HATE fish....more info
  • Worth buying even in hardcover
    This workout book is inspiring and helpful. At first, I checked it out of the library only. Then I thought I'd buy it when it was issued in paperback--but I liked it enough that I decided to just get the hardcover version.

    I particularly liked the author's no-nonsense tone of voice, as when he punctures various myths about certain kinds of exercise being able to make muscles "long and lean." (A muscle is a muscle--you can make it strong and bigger but it takes its shape from your genes and you cannot "sculpt" it as so many hope.) The book also demystifies issues like "how heavy should the weight be" and "should I eat anything special after lifting."

    I also liked the clear directions for each exercise. I finally became brave enough to do "real" squats with a squat rack (instead of a Smith machine or a leg press) after reading the book. The routines, at least the first set, are do-able in 30 minutes or less. It remains to be seen whether I will ever look even remotely like a goddess, but I do feel I'm getting a good workout in less time than before.

    I wish that the author provided more alternatives to the machine-only exercises. For example, one routine calls for you to use the lat pull-down machine, but I don't have one of those at home and I don't always like to travel to the gym. And some of the non-weight-bearing exercises seem to call for more reps than the author prescribes. But I do most of my workouts at the gym so this isn't a huge hardship.

    For those women who are reasonably familiar with lifting but are not necessarily complete hard-body gym rats, this book is worthwhile....more info
  • A great lifting book
    I've been following this plan since January and have lost ZERO weight. Now, I don't really need to lose weight--I'm a healthy, medium build--but I was hoping Alwyn Cosgrove's genius and my sweat would finally get me my flat abs. They're a little better, but not what I'd expect after three months.

    So why do I still have this book four stars? Because I feel amazing. I feel strong and like I can hold my own in the weight room. The lifting and eating plans are very reasonable. I'm a fitness writer, so I know what's BS and what isn't. This plan is based on solid research and, as such, requires you to get off your [...] and not eat like crap. What I like best about it is that the routines switch so often you really can't get bored. Plus you keep challenging your body. The first sequences are really simple, but after a while you're doing all sorts of crazy split squats and loving it.

    Keep in mind that this is a LIFTING book, not a cardio book or weight loss book. If you want to learn how to lift, it's fantastic. ...more info
  • Very informative book
    I should preface this review by stating that I have not actually tried the workouts yet, I've just read it from cover to cover. I was shocked at the amount of information that blatantly conflicts with everything we women have been fed by women's fitness magazines (such as Self, Shape, Fitness, etc). I was one of those women starving myself on a 1600 calorie diet AND trying to build muscle (not gonna happen according to the authors.) I was losing weight, sure, but eating far too little protein and lifting far too little weight. And killing yourself with an hour of cardio everyday is completely blasted in this book, all backed up with scientific research on why that is a waste of your time.

    All in all, I think this book is full of very useful information and I cannot wait to put the program in place. This book urges women to ditch the Barbie dumbbells and start working out like you mean it. I think that's a great thing. :)...more info
  • This book is AWESOME!
    My husband bought this book for me for my birthday and I LOVE IT!! It is a good read and very informative, it helped me understand a lot about a good diet and exercise program. The recipes in the book are delicious and really help your body with the program. I've been very excited about my workout routine and recommend this to any woman who is interested in lifting like a man and looking like a goddess :)...more info
  • Excellent, doable workouts for all ages (almost)
    I agree with the others so far that this is a great resource. My mother gave this to me and to herself for Christmas - she and I both enjoy fitness and we got started together with Stage 1 a few weeks ago to give each other feedback. (She's in her early 50s, I'm in my early 30s but she's still much stronger from years of working out!) I just got into fitness again about a year ago but was mostly doing cardio - I was using gym machines occasionally and finding it too cost-intensive with too little pay off. Doing the workouts in Stage 1 with 5 basic moves takes about 45 minutes plus a short cardio warm-up and you use your entire body so it takes less time in the end than weight machines would have (the first time through takes longer as you figure it out). I have been sore every time - you really use those muscles if you keep increasing the weights! Another plus is the online forum with support from other users of this book - I even emailed Lou Schuler himself to ask for a copy of the training log and he sent it within an hour! Finally, I feel motivated putting on my weight gloves and pumping with the boys. Now I can't wait to see results... The only downside is that occasionally the exercises don't include as many tips for how to do them safely so a total beginner might want to research moves like the deadlift or squats to make sure you do them right - having had lumbago and sciatica I am pretty careful to make sure I don't injure myself. All the same, I strongly recommend this book - solid, simple, practical and time-effective....more info
  • No More Pink Dumbells
    This is a smart, informative book that should inspire women
    to leave the light weights and machines and cross over to the
    free-weights and build some muscle and strength. A great book....more info
  • New Rules Rocks
    This is a great book! I have been lifting off and on for at least five years now and never thought of the fact that perhaps the "girly" strength training programs might not be helping me reach my full potential. I am a week into this program and already I can feel the difference in the intensity of my workouts. I highly recommend it if you want to challenge your workout and kick it up a notch....more info
  • Great Workout!
    I absolutely LOVE the workout program in this book. I just completed stage 1 and I'm doing weight I never dreamed of and can deffinately see improvement in my overall body tone, especially my legs and butt, and what girl doesn't want that! I started Stage 2 last night and it deffinately ups the intensity. Looking forward to moving through the remainder of the stages to see how Lou and Alwyn will transform my body....more info
  • Encouraging book.
    I enjoyed this book. It encouraged me to keep lifting heavier weights. It is a little confusing getting started, but after a couple of checks back to the explanations of the charts (the explanations are very clear), it becomes easy to do....more info
  • Excellent Info for A Great Start
    While the book did do some pros and cons of fitness, it laid out some very common sense approach on fitness training for women (and men too, if you haven't read the first NROL), and especially added the nutrition aspect with recipes. I can't wait to see my wife cook something good and healthy for a change. I would recommend this book to everyone young and older....more info
  • Science over myths
    I bought this book for my wife after she began seeking out further information on lifting weights. Like many women, she had been lifting weights for a while, but was still caught up in the "bulking" myth, wasting her time with high reps of feather-weight dumbbells for fear of "bulking up." This book has become a great resource for her in increasing her effectiveness in the gym.

    This book does a nice job of debunking popular myths and getting its basic points across. To get results you need to lift heavy weights in compound exercises, eat an adequate amount of carbs and protein, and stop jumping on the scale to measure your progress. Weightlifting is the top fat-burning activity, and revs your metabolism to keep reaping the benefits throughout the day. The treadmill won't get you the same results. These points are the main focus of this book, and after almost 15 years of weight training, I couldn't agree more.

    I also chose this book because of the workout programs created by Alwyn Cosgrove. They mirror Cosgrove's Unulating Periodization techniques, which I have found to be very effective. You may need to do more research on your own to update and vary these workouts over time, but the basic framework is solid in its philosophy and science.

    I would recommend this book for any healthy woman looking to get real results in transforming their physique. The myths that women are too fragile to lift heavy or will develop huge manly muscles are ridiculous. With the guidelines and techniques available in this book, most women will have the tools to make drastic changes. It still requires hard work and self-discipline, but will help maximize your results.
    ...more info
  • Way too wordy, disjointed organization; back to Body for Life
    As a middled age woman who has worked out (lifted) fairly consistently for roughly 30 years and a busy and active professional, I wanted something effective and serious, not wimpy, for both practical, life-applicable strength and for mid-life "weight creep". Having had success a few years ago with "Body for Life" (BFL), I had regained some weight (7 or 8 lbs.) and thought there must be a lifting/diet plan oriented more specifically towards a woman -- but wasn't drawn to "Body for Life for Women" and didn't buy it.
    Inspired by David Allen's "Getting Things Done" and Tim Ferriss' "Four Hour Work Week", I look for ways to do work related things(including "work"-ing out) as quickly as I can with maximum results, leaving myself free time to kick back and enjoy. Schuler's title and a short perusal made me think I'd get no nonsense, gender specific information laid out in a straightforward, easy to use plan (as I found "Body for Life" to be). After reading Schuler's book, I found it bogged down by historical data and philosophical meanderings --- with way, way too much unnecessary, convoluted, cross-referencing text. The book's structure requires me (who considers myself a logical thinker) to piece together bits from here and there in the book to put together a plan in order to get started.
    I am one who sets progressive fitness goals, creates next actions -- I have copied (and still use) the BFL worksheets to log my workouts -- and am always aware of healthy eating (even when I am not following it!), I am very familiar with the components of a program. But this book was so patched together with so much wordiness and back and forth references between the "meat" :) of the thing, it made me wish I had not lent out my copy of BFL. I'll be going back to it for it's simple and effective structure -- both of the book and of the program. ...more info
  • take your place in the weight room!!!
    Why, oh why, do women think they should do 50 reps with 2 pounds? Ladies, you are picking up 40 pound children, 20 pound grocery bags, 8 pounds of milk to pour on your cereal...You have not bulked up from these activities you do everyday, won't bulk up in the weight room. There are a small percentage of women who happen to be extremely athletic, and these are the women you see who are huge, but what are the chances that you are one of these women? Don't you think you would have noticed it by now? Let me tell you how it really is: Weight training is like going to school. If you do it regularly, and do your homework, you will graduate and learn something along the way. If you cram, or mess around, you will fail. Truly, when you weight train, you are building a mountain one shovelful at a time. All you get to do is put one shovelful of dirt on the pile per day. So one day of work does not look very impressive, but after awhile, the pile gets pretty big. THAT is what weightlifting is...slow and steady wins the race. Please do not imagine that there are any quick fixes. Go into the weight room, do squats and deadlifts like you are a man, and you will look like you are a GIRL again. Not like your mother. PS: I do a modified powerlifting routine, I work out with the heaviest weights I can possibly lift with proper form, I strive to add weight every time I go to the gym, I've worked out religiously for 15 months, and I weigh 126 pounds at 5'5". I look better now than I have in my entire life. Do yourself a favor and learn to lift heavy!!! ...more info
  • Nice reassurance of my longtime beliefs.
    I am a male personal trainer (age 41) and agree with about 90% of the material in this book. Great basic info for women (or men) who feel women should train differently than men...such as light weights and high repititions. The nutrition section is very good also. ...more info
  • Good Variety of Workouts, But Lacks Inspiration to Get You Pumping Iron
    The book has numerous work outs and as other reviewers have indicated, the workout organization is a bit challenging until you try to break them out on a daily basis. I have a moderate level of experience with lifting weights, mostly in a boot camp setting. I am working out at home now and the book provides excellent alternatives to the exercises listed for those of us who work out at home.

    The book assumes it will be easy for readers to modify their dietary habits to those reccomended in the book and does not address one of the number one reasons why women fail on diets: emotional eating. The book is clearly aimed at a female audience, but definately overlooks this phenomenon among women. Some words of motivation would be helpful, but alas there is not much to be found in the book.

    The books is intentionally weak in the area of promised results. In fact, the authors seems to downplay any positive results. In the instances where anticipated positive outcomes are discussed, they are discussed in the context of regular clients at Alwyn's gym in California. The lack of hype regarding the potential results makes it difficult to get motivated about doing the program. The reader is left to 'trust the authors', which can be difficult considering the program is six months long.

    If you are looking for a book to motivate you to start a workout program and stick with it, this may not be for you. However, if you are already familiar with the results weight lifting can provide and are looking for a varied set of workouts based on common sense, this is your book....more info
  • Not incredibly impressed...
    I was so excited to check this book out from the library, but when I got it home, I was sorely disappointed. As one reviewer pointed out, this book does spend a great deal of time going over what's wrong about other popular diets and exercise programs. It gets tedious after a while, and I found myself wanting to skip ahead.

    Second, the nutrition program wasn't what I was looking for. First of all, for trying to loose weight, it just recommends too much food. I followed it for 2 weeks and actually gained weight. Once I adjusted my calories, I started to lose weight again. I wasn't particularly enticed by the recipes, but I did try a few of them. None of them seemed to be keepers.

    Third, the workout plan wasn't what I was looking for. First of all, the author recommends full body workouts that incorporate several muscle groups together. He suggests leaving out small muscle groups like the biceps and calves because they'll get worked when you work the larger muscle groups. Well, that doesn't help those of us women who work out to change the look of our bodies or specifically a body part we don't like. So for example, here I am with huge "cankles" that I'm looking to get rid of. My lower legs aren't particularly fat, and I've had thick ankles ALL my life. There's no getting around the "cankles" but I can minimize the appearance of them by bulking up my calf muscles. If I never do a calf raise, I won't ever get there. My point is that sometimes it is helpful to do isolation exercises for smaller muscle groups, and the author actually discourages it. That's when you can tell the book is written by a man for a woman. :) He just doesn't get what most women are trying to accomplish by working out.

    These are, of course, just my opinions, but most of this stuff is no-brainer stuff. If you've picked up this book, you're probably not new to exercise or weight training. You can find all this stuff in Oxygen Magazine or Muscle and Fitness HERS. Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Diet is a good one, too. I'd steer clear of this book or check it out at the library first to see if it's what you're looking for....more info
  • Good for beginners
    I was very encouraged to purcahse this book based on positive reviews both on Amazon and in fitness magazines.

    The book is very well-organized and divided up so that you can easily access information later while going through the fitness and nutrition plan. There are great demos of exercises and detailed explanations to ensure proper form which is key. It really couldn't be easier--this book tells you what to do, how to do it and when!

    I did feel a bit 'bored' with the lengthy information leading up to the actual plan itself. I had to resist just skipping through the introduction and going straight to the good stuff-the exercises and nutrition plan. I felt there was a lot of explanation as far as what the plan WASN'T and what they wouldn't make you do, which seemed like a waste of space.

    Overall, I think this is a great book with wonderful information on fitness and nutrition, though I do feel it was geared primarily towards beginners to weight lifting. This book now sits on my shelf, but I know someday I'll go back and re-read....more info
  • Good book
    Good book overall. Note to authors: you'd probably sell a lot more books with a better cover. Shoulda used a photo of Jen Heath or the like for the cover....more info
  • An excellent fitness guide
    I recommended --- but criticized New Rules of Lifting (for men) because it excluded women. Well, thanks to the authors, my criticism is now stilled. And thank you, authors.

    I like this book very much. It covers three areas. First, it discusses the general differences in women's fitness problems and that of men. It also explains how women can expect somewhat different results in some areas. Everything is backed up by science and studies. Unfortunately, not nearly as many studies have been done on women than men. No surprise there.

    The book also has a section on nutrition, including some good recipes along with the nutrition information such as calorie count, etc. It had some great protein shake recipes, which I appreciated.

    I found some of the recipes out of step with most clean eating recipes I use. Most of them look great and any can be modified, of course. But, as an example, one simple recipe called for cottage cheese and cashews. Not a bad mix. But as nuts go, the cashew, while tasty, is not among the best for the heart and it didn't say to use unsalted.

    The exercises are not something I plan to follow. First, it lays out a plan of exercises for a certain period of time. I'm not one to follow a certain path in my workouts. But then, I may be older than the average reader and been lifting longer. So, for others, it's probably a great idea.

    On the other hand, it gave no modification for those of us with bad knees and shoulder injuries and such things as happen to most of us as each day turns into another. And one or two (the pullover comes to mind) can be dangerous and lead you into trouble. The pullover is one of seven exercises to avoid in fitness lifting. If you're a professional bodybuilder, you're on your own. Any exercise done behind your neck is to be avoided.

    I especially like the part where the author explains that you actually need "more" calories to lose weight, not less. He shows how to speed up your metabolism. He is dead-on right here. I know. I read that in Tom Ventura's ebook, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle. I had hit a one-month plateau after losing ten pounds. I re-read that old ebook and learned I should eat more, not less. I did, and the weight started coming off in a matter of days! (I have to add I did one extra workout as well.) I recommend that ebook, by the way.

    So my favorite part of this book is the first section. In fact, it's worth the price of the book and it will be good to look back on and refer to as needed.

    It guides you on how often to workout and tells you to use heavy weights. I like that. Too many women use those little sissy red, yellow and blue weights and lots of reps and it's stupid. What is that? Real women need muscle to do all we have to do and get through life. We need muscle to age successfully and not end out in a rest home with the feeble. Bring on the muscle! Lift iron, not little pretty bobs.

    But when you start lifting heavy and as you age, you'll want to buy some of Jim Johnson's books on exercises for torn rotator cuffs and other issues that happen with age and over training. Or, can happen. This book doesn't deal with modifications or injury.

    On the whole, this is a fantastic book. The authors have done an excellent job and Lou Schuler, who did the writing, writes in a friendly, conversational manner. He is not condescending as some men tend to be. Although, it's very clear that he knows he's a man writing to women and he writes differently than in his book written for men.

    As with all books, you have to take from it what you need and let the rest go. But I recommend this book to every woman of any age. If you want to be healthy and ward off the bad things that happen to older women, you must lift weights! And you must begin now to eat right and understand how to protect yourself from the ravages of time. This book will get you going. Buy it!

    - Susanna K. Hutcheson...more info
  • Excellent information
    This book is the one I've been waiting for! Dispelling the myths that free weights are for men and machine weights are for women. It was so encouraging to have the information about building muscle (without looking like a body builder!), the workouts to do (without watching a video tape over and over again), and a nutrition guide that is not a diet! ...more info
  • Schuler does it again, this time for women
    I read and loved Schuler's original New Rules of Lifting, so I pre-ordered The New Rules for women even though I guessed that it would by and large be the same book. Wrong! Though fundamentally the message is the same--step away from the machines and pick up a heavy weight--Schuler really has rewritten this book completely for women. He addresses women's health and fitness concerns directly. The nutrition section is also tremendously fleshed out from his previous book. It's interesting that the most repetitive section of the book is the exercises themselves--but that shouldn't really surprise me, after all. Schuler's point is in fact that women should drop the Barbie weights and join the men lifting the "real" weights if they hope to attain their fitness goals. Right on. Highly recommended resource!...more info
  • Duh!
    This training guide is amazing. I come from a family of male body builders ... and being a woman it was a bit difficult for them to instruct me (They don't realize that women can and should lift in a similar way... read and you will understand)... So I had spent many years trying to figure out how to get stronger (running/cycling/swimming) but all those endurance workouts did was make me more efficient at lengthy/intense workouts and I wasn't getting "stronger" ... my pace was always the same even as the miles/laps increased. This book is amazing... It's what I have been looking for for years. It's a no nonsense manual to building muscle, getting healthy while dispelling countless fitness misconceptions. Information is backed by the authors apparent long history and wisdom while also referencing professional/medical studies. This book is both interesting, informative and easy to understand... The six months of workouts is great! All angles are covered... read it in two days and revolutionize your workout pallet. This is the only book I have ever bothered to write a review for...! I was wary of the "meal plan" section... I don't really like my fitness books to have meal plans BUT this one was really on point. INstead of cutting calories, Lou Schuler and Cassandra Forsythe explain that creating a calorie deficit while training is totally counter productive to building muscle and being healthy. You will like this book. Awesome.

    ...more info
  • Most successful book for me
    New Rules of Lifting for Men was quite interesting, but I didn't do anything with it as it was so targeted at men. But I eagerly bought this new women's version, which is similar in some ways but overall is quite different and definitely targeted for women. I enjoyed Lou Schuler's witty writing style and offbeat humor, which made the information easier to digest and less dry. I read this entire book carefully front to back (important to do!!) and decided to implement co-writer Alwyn Cosgrove's workouts exactly as written and stick with it. One caveat: I think this book and its workouts is NOT for total beginners. In a way, you have to "arrive" at this book and the ideas it presents. I think if you were a newcomer to weight training you'd need some help with the exercises and proper form (particularly the squats and deadlifts, which must be done correctly to avoid injury). As a newcomer you would not have the frame of reference to appreciate the total brilliance of the workouts.

    I've worked out and tried many different programs in the last 10 years. I admit to having a tendency to "over-do" my workouts, my approach was always "more must be better", and consequently I always burned out on the programs and the 2-hour workouts I'd end up doing. Despite my hard work, I never got the results I wanted. Coming into this book, I knew a lot of weight routines and was familiar with proper weightlifting form. At first glance I thought the routines didn't look hard or detailed enough, that there were too few exercises! But I was WRONG! Despite the apparent simplicity of the workouts, they are not easy or fluffy. Rather, they are quite substantial because they are not isolation exercises. Every exercise works multiple muscles at one time. Fewer exercises but more muscles worked in a natural way. (Think of tripceps kickbacks with dumbbells: This is not a movement you'd ever do in real life. Plus, it's not great for your elbows!!).

    This book argues that to build muscle, gain strength and lose fat, you need to concentrate on multi-joint type exercises (i.e. squats, deadlifts, pushups, step-ups etc.) and not waste time with a multitude of individual isolation type exercises (i.e. bicep curls, tricep kickbacks and pushdowns, etc.), Alwyn Cosgrove's exercises are designed for practicality in real life utility. Having the strength to lift heavy things is a reality....hence the value of squats. On the other hand, laying back at an angle on a leg press machine and pressing weights outwards and upwards is not something we would do in real life. He stresses fewer reps with increasingly heavier weights. Strength over endurance. The reasoning behind each exercise is explained, and you need to be willing to do the background reading in this book so you can absorb the logic of the workouts and their design and sequencing. Coming into this book with my previous weightlifting experience, faulty though it was, this program immediately made a whole lot of sense as a truly different approach. I knew all my previous efforts hadn't paid off to my satisfaction, so I was finally ready to try this new approach: Stick mostly to big muscle exercises, no isolation exercises at all, fewer reps, lifting progressively heavier (no "Barbie weights!!"), and LIMITED exercises per workout (usually just 5 exercises), and short but high intensity interval cardio if any at all. (Cardio is not emphasized here). Each workout takes about 30 minutes, ideally done 3 days a week (although two workouts can suffice, but 3 is ideal) requiring at least a day between weight workouts (I generally did Mon-Wed-Fri). I have resisted my previous tendency to "do more", so I've done the workouts strictly as written and haven't added anything additional. I wanted to see what results I would get with the program "as written." And surprise....I've got better, more defined biceps doing pushups, squats and deadlifts (but not a single bicep curl), my quads, glutes and hamstrings are rock hard and strong without any of the hamstring curls, leg extensions, etc. The squats, deadlifts, step-ups, pushups and a few other things have worked wonders in just 4 weeks. In this short time I'm stronger and more defined than I've ever been. I'm really quite amazed.

    The program is divided into a number of levels (varying weeks of length per level), with each level having 2 alternating workouts (so you never do the same workout twice in a row--important to prevent plateaus). If you do all the levels and workouts, the whole thing would take about 6 months to finish. --> This is NOT a quick fix, it's steady strength development done realistically over a reasonable time. It requires commitment and a solid determination to follow the program as presented (if you "tweak" it, you're not doing the program). After finishing the program you could then repeat it to hold on to your progress level.

    I decided to wait until I was adequately into the program to review it. Now after about 4 weeks, here's my initial opinion: I can already tell this is the BEST program I've ever embarked upon and I'm seeing results already on a level which I never reached previously.....not even after 12 weeks of Body for Life! I've got stronger, more defined biceps than ever before without doing a single bicep curl! Back of the arm flab is gone! Quads are firm without a single leg extension! Squats and Deadlifts are amazing, and those two alone target an incredible number of muscles all at once. My mid section fat is rapidly diminishing, despite a pretty modest amount of ab work (so far in Level 1, only modest reps (2 sets of 15 reps on two stability ball exercises divided between two different workouts: jackknives in one workout, and ball crunches in the other workout, that's it for Level 1). No endless ab work here! After all, most of the OTHER exercises are also working your abs!

    I'm incredibly impressed with this program. I can say it is working better for me than the multitiude of other programs I've previously tried in the last 10 years. And I work out far less, usually 3 weight workouts a week (occasionally only 2), with 20 to 30 minute interval cardio (elliptical) usually done after weight workouts or sometimes an interval aerobic workout on days I don't do weights. The max I go to the gym in any week is 4 times. The structure of the program has allowed me to stay very positive and enthusiastic about the program. I really like the full body nature of the workouts (I previously had done upper vs. lower body days), It's nice to have alternating workouts.....not so boring. I like the challenge of gradually increasing the weight on the various exercises. (Note: on this program it's important to keep a record of all workouts). This a program you can sustain forever because it doesn't burn you out mentally or physically--importantly, you are not overexercising to get results. The program can actually be fit into your life quite nicely. I look forward to the workouts! I feel great afterwards!

    The book has what appears to be a good nutrition section, although I don't follow it because I have certain dietary restrictions (no gluten grains, for example) that don't fit with the recipes and recommendations. But it looks very solid for most people. I don't consider the nutrition section to be the most important part of the book since at this point in time I've got a very careful nutrition plan that works for me. The nutrition part would be good for someone who has a relatively controlled diet already. It would probably be hard for someone who is a junk food junkie to transition to what is presented here.

    Final thoughts about fat loss: This is probably not the book for someone looking to lose 50-100 or more pounds. It's for someone who is probably 30 lbs. or less from goal and who has worked out before, who has a certain level of current fitness, and who is comfortable in the weight room. You need a certain level of independence and self motivation. Having these prerequisites, this book is a wonderful blueprint for getting to your goal, and you will lose that last fat in the process.

    The only negative was a tiny bit of vagueness in figuring out the exercise routines. A blank workout sheet is in the book, or you can go to a website and print off a workout sheet, but I didn't like the setup of either of them so I used a spreadsheet program to create my own workout sheets. It took me a bit of time to figure out the Levels/workouts and precisely how they worked (a fully filled out sample would have been nice and would have cleared up this confusion). It's important to record every workout, the weights used, etc. as this is your record of progress. Since you are alternating between two workouts I think it would be difficult to remember what you did/what weights you used previously if you weren't writing it all down. The idea is to consistently challenge yourself with more and more weight (slowly, of course). At the end, it will be nice to see a record of how you got there!

    If you are a relative newbie to exercise and are someone who needs to get your diet under control, doing Body for Life would be a very good way to get your diet under control and learn weightlifting basics. After that you might be ready for this program....more info


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