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98 of 106 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
The "New Rules of Lifting" are popular books, especially the version for women: New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift like a Man, look like a Goddess. Now there is a new, updated book by the same authors, with some VERY important additional rules and clarification that are especially important for middle-aged people who work out --and it wouldn't hurt anyone younger to follow these either. A friend of mine who is a trainer remarked once that muscle builds a basis for "padding" that can protect against falls, and can protect against injury in sports as well as helping retain bone mass.

The new rules have a lot to to with the ABS... yes, it is true that abs are made in the kitchen but working the core (the abs) is the key to fitness in this book. For example Rule #1 says the role of the abs is to protect the spine. With so many people suffering back pain, which is entirely distracting and ultimately debilitating, this SHOULD be numero uno and it is.

Rule #2 also has to do with the spine--any exercise that injures your spine CANNOT protect it. That sounds almost self-evident, but how many lifting exercises, done incorrectly (ie, deadlifts) are actually doing more harm than good. Form does matter.

Rule #3 and #4 --forget the "six pack" and bulging abs. You may, genetically, not develop those. But a strong core still protects you and that's what counts. The author is going after strength and stability, not prettiness. This is focusing on what matters--maintaining your strength through middle age and beyond. Again, this can apply to younger people--what you develop in youth and maintain is easier to keep up.

And exercises have been updated; abdominal exercises that put undue pressure on the spine (Russian twists, for example) and other age-old standbys like crunches and hanging leg raises are NO LONGER part of NROL. WOW. What a change. And brave--here's an author who says "I've been in error in some things, I'm correcting that and advising you to change how you work out."

The thrust of the book has changed to core, flexibility, and stability. All you Pilates fans, I am sure are applauding "About time!" and there is a lot here on more effective workouts in the same space of time. There is also much on appetite and eating; for example, if you are ravenous after lifting, good news, this problem of wanting to eat hugely after a workout goes away over time as your body adjusts to the exercise.

Authors Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove are dedicated to have you get the most out of your workouts, yes, aerobics are important for cardio health, yes, muscle strength is important for bone mass and protection, but this new book tunes up your workout, brings in new data and regimens for more effective workouts and focuses on what's TRULY important. If you have previous copies of NROL or NROLW, you should definitely get this new volume. And if you are doing old-skool crunches in an effort to strengthen your abs, you might really want to see what the authors have discovered about abdominal exercise.
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85 of 94 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
The New Rules of Lifting for Life (NRoLfL) is part of a series of strength training books that came out a few years ago. This is the fourth book in the series and follows:

The New Rules of Lifting: Six Basic Moves for Maximum Muscle - This is the original book that NRoLfL is based on.
The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess
The New Rules of Lifting for Abs: A Myth-Busting Fitness Plan for Men and Women who Want a Strong Core and a Pain-Free Back

The original NRoL is very similar to Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength. The idea is on doing exercises that focus on large muscle groups (legs, back, chest, etc) and basic movements that involve multiple muscle groups working together, rather than wasting time isolating smaller muscle groups. Often I will see people at the gym who are overweight, doing bicep curls, lat pulldowns, and crunches, while neglecting the huge muscles in their legs and backs. The stronger these muscles are, the more fat you will burn and the higher your fitness level will be.

The New Rules of Lifting for Life is targeted to the middle aged crowd, and those that may have a disability or weakness that prevents them from following the original program. The publisher uses the age "over 40," but this is entirely subjective and it's up to the individual whether they feel the need to modify their routine from the original book. Although I'm not quite "middle age" yet, I have been helping out my father with a fitness program, and took away a lot of information from the book that I haven't seen in any of the dozens of other fitness and training books I've read. I'm not a personal trainer, and as such, don't really know what older bodies are capable of and what might be too much. NRoLfL gave me a better appreciation of how to create an entirely customizable plan to work the critical muscle groups while reducing the probability of injury. It also contains an exhaustive amount of information on what kind of changes you can expect in your body and muscles as you age (starting in the late 20s), and how to work around this eventual breakdown to get optimal results.

All of the basic principles from the original book are there (including the three main rules), but there is much more flexibility in the program that was missing in the first book. I approached this book with a lot of trepidation, wondering whether the authors were just trying to cash in on their same formula by pumping out multiple books. While I do believe that all four of their books could be edited way down, and combined into one amazing resource (the Abs book is a bit redundant), I believe that The New Rules of Lifting for Life is well-developed and provides important information for adapting their original program to be less strenuous while achieving success for bodies that may not be ready for an intense lifting program involving squats and dead lifts. If you have an injury it is especially useful. I used to frequently develop foot and leg injuries from running (before I switched over to barefoot running) and instead of continuing to work out, I would just quit. There are several alternative methods in this book that would now allow me to continue a strengthening program even while injured. There is also information for lifting while overweight, although I generally think that the methods from the original book while work fine unless someone is morbidly obese to the point where they can't do basic movements. And in those cases, a professional trainer and/or nutritionist is going to be better until the person's weight is at a manageable level.

COMPARISON TO ORIGINAL PROGRAM
If you're wondering whether NRoLfL is just the original program with a few chapters on working out at an older age, it's not. It is almost a completely new book. It would have been very easy for the authors to do this, and make a few changes, but this book is almost entirely new material based on the same basic New Rules of Lifting concepts. The original book has 4 different squat exercises, all requiring a squat rack. This book has 9, and several variations, including just using your body weight. They are rated by "level" so you can choose a level you're comfortable with and customize a program based on what you can handle at the time. There are probably three times as many pictures in this book, which give you a much clearer version of how to perform them. All of the pictures appear to be brand new as well. If you are considering passing over this book because you already own The New Rules of Lifting, don't. They are very different in terms of content and work well together. You will find a lot of useful information missing from the original.

I am a strong believer that if you want to lose weight, you need to strength train (and do it right), or you need to do high intensity interval cardio. Sitting on a bike or treadmill for an hour in front of a TV while your heart beats away at a leisurely 135 bpm is not going to be nearly as effective. The New Rules of Lifting series have excellent advice in them, backed by strong scientific and clinical evidence that I usually find lacking in other exercise books. Fitness advice has evolved dramatically over the last twenty years, and the New Rules contains solid information building on the latest (or at least newly discovered) discoveries. Even if you have the original book, The New Rules of Lifting for Life is perfect for those that are over 40, injured, and for personal trainers that want better advice on how to handle these clients. Even though I'm not in these categories yet, I have gained some very useful advice that will leave me better prepared when I am.
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120 of 145 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
First, let me say that I'm a fanatic fan of Alwyn Cosgrove, the trainer whose routines are in this series of books. I was also a professional Pilates teacher for seven years and I trained my clients with weights, in addition to Pilates on the machines, when that did not give the results we were looking for. Personally, I've been doing, "Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess" for a few months and it's giving me better results in less time than I ever thought possible. This review compares, "New Rules of Lifting for Life" to "Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess," because I am familiar with, and love, that book.

Most of Cosgrove's workouts are based on the perfect exercise: weight training with intervals; it raises your metabolism in the short term with the aerobic intervals; it raises your metabolism in the long-term by adding muscle mass; and it makes you smaller--muscle is much, much smaller than fat for the same amount of weight.

That said, this book is great in theory. If you have the other books in this series, you won't be disappointed in this one: the diet advice--eat less if you're getting bigger--shows that Lou Schuler has understood metabolism and weight gain. Also, the safety recommendations are extremely useful if you have any injuries. And, there are (even more) exercise variations than there are in the other books, which is great for adding variety.

However, this book is frustrating. It uses equipment that I, as a fairly strong, but 5'4" woman, can't get access to outside of a gym or having a $400 piece of equipment put together for me. There are very few sections that don't rely on some gym-specific pieces of equipment, specifically a power cage with a pull-up bar and a suspension system. You're supposed to be able to do all of the sections, but you won't be able to without the power cage or a gym.

That's not to say his other books aren't equipment intensive, or that I think you shouldn't have exercise equipment: this particular book, like "Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess", also requires a barbell, at least fifty pounds of weight plates, dumbells, step boxes of at least one-and-a half feet, an aerobic step, a Swiss Ball, an incline weight bench, and a piece of aerobic equipment, unless you're planning on running. For me personally, that meant buying a barbell, weight plates and a bench, because I already had a thrift-store-bought $7.00 step bench, a useable-but-missing-a-replaceable-foot $11.00 NordicTrac Pro, two Pilates boxes, an old set of plate barbells, yoga mats and a leaky Swiss ball.

The difference between this and the other book, is that for about $250 to fill in the missing equipment, you can do his other workouts. The equipment used is of the sort that you might, mostly, be able to find in a secondhand store, or barring that, it's the kind of thing you could put together yourself. (Like the incline bench--they usually weigh about 50 to 60 lbs, and you can get a decent one on amazon, new, for about $150.) That's not true with a power cage. It's a $400 piece of equipment that's pretty hard to put together if you're not a guy over 5'10", because it's big and really heavy. (And for those of you thinking you could use a suspension system on a door--that's true, if you live in a house where the doors open out, and mine don't.)

It's really aggravating when you buy a book like this and realize that you either need a gym membership or someone who can help you put together a really large, expensive piece of equipment in order to do any of the routines. Also, unlike some of his other books, there is no in-home substitution offered. One of the things that I love about "Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess", is that there are at-home substitutions for everything except one exercise in an optional set of workouts.

So, if you're a fan of the other books and you want to learn more, or you have a gym membership, or you happen to have a full gym at home, this is a great book. Just don't expect to be able to do all of the exercises if you don't have a power cage.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Pros:
This book is well written, full of useful information, good ideas, a plethora of exercises and a great plan. I have begun the program, and I like it very much. I have been lifted on and off for over 20 years and I have never been this excited about an exercise plan. There are so many options and I get to lift FAST and with only as much rest between sets as I need to catch my breath. On all other programs, including those by these authors, the plans are rigid and the rest is forced. Now I get to vary my choices and I can go, go, go! The plan is a bit complicated, so if you are a beginner, I would suggest reading the book and then doing the basic sample workouts. If you are a veteran, you will have no problem catching on to their ideas. If you are a NROL veteran, you will enjoy the same style and voice while also enjoying a change in pace of the workouts. There are excellent photos of virtually all the exercises.

Cons:
The Kindle Formatting is very frustrating: I bought the Kindle Edition, hoping that with my Kindle Fire, flipping between plans and exercises would be made seamless by the use of hyperlinks from one section of text to another (say from the sample workout plan to each exercise). This way, a user could check the exercise, then hit the "BACK" button to navigate back to the workout page easily. That feature is not available, but that is NOT the only problem with the Kindle Edition of this book.

The real problem is that the photo for each exercise is somehow connected to the text for the exercise previously described, so that using the Kindle as a quick reference tool is very difficult, requiring quite a few clicks. As you use the book, the page almost always changes between a description and its photo--regardless of the text size. You can make the text size very small, but then the next exercise will just have the same problem. For some exercises it is not possible to get the description and the photo on the same page, no matter what. I have also tried to use the Kindle App on my Mac and on my iPhone, and the problem remains.

Good book. Really worth it. Buy the hardcover instead of the Kindle Edition!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Hello- Since the author has the final say if something gets published on Kindle, my review and ratings reflect this. This would be a 5 if it weren't for the Kindle side of things. This book is next to impossible to use in Kindle format. You have to reference a lot of things on different pages which the author nicely does. But the kindle pages are different from the what the author references. Thus, the book cannot be used effectively in Kindle form.

I love the kindle, but for reference books, Amazon has some serious homework to do here. Thus, if you're going to buy it, don't buy it as a Kindle. You'll be very frustrated.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 12, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
As one other reviewer pointed out this book gives you a menu of options from which you craft your own workouts.
The problem is that there is so much information that you have to piece together.
I have posted an online summary of the NROL program- just google for "spiff NROL". The program phases explains what you do at each workout. The program elements lists all the exercises that fit into each workout.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
With the fourth installment of their no-nonsense New Rules of Lifting series, authors Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove deliver an outstanding, customizable fitness plan and lifestyle guide to help readers build and maintain fit, mobile and strong bodies long past the mid-twenties when the human body reaches its cellular physiological peak.

The authors present the latest fitness and diet research to support their 24 "Rules", with the entire book constructed around Rule #1 - "The older you are, the more important it is to train." Citing recent studies, Schuler and Cosgrove debunk common myths surrounding popular exercise approaches and diets and explain why strength training and weight management are uniquely individual experiences as they outline a plan for every reader to understand his or her own body and individual level of responsiveness to new exercise and dietary stimulus to maximize results from the program.

By far the most valuable contribution of this book is the customizable workout system that allows the reader to select from an impressively large and varied menu of exercises and progressions to achieve their training goals in core, power, strength and metabolic fitness as they progress through three major workout phases - Transform your body, Develop your body and Maximize your gains.

These features combine to address one of the biggest obstacles for people trying to make significant leaps forward in their fitness levels -- boredom and lack of progress. Custom-building your own workouts will keep the reader engaged and invested in the process, the large variety of exercise variations will keep workouts fun and interesting, and the progression of both the exercises and the three main workout phases challenges the body to avoid dreaded fitness "plateaus".

As in previous volumes, the section on nutrition delivers a superior commonsense, research-backed approach to diet and weight management that provides a clear understanding of the nutrition-fitness relationship and why the body struggles so hard to maintain hard-fought weight-loss achievements. I found particularly interesting the section where the authors debunk a common myth regarding the linearity of weight gain and weight loss and explain the body's adaptive processes for regulating metabolism and appetite. An understanding of such concepts as provided by the authors is, to me, central to implementing any effective fitness and weight management program.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in fitness, especially to novice lifters looking for a way to progress rapidly and to veteran lifters looking for a new, interesting way to stay fit as their bodies age and impose new conditions for continued progress.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have been lifting weights for several decades and have been experiencing an increased incidence of injuries for the past couple of years. The routines described in this book have been very effective in getting me back on track. My muscle tone is returning to where it was before I was sidelined with chronic shoulder/back/leg injuries.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
Well-known award-winning journalist, certified strength and conditioning specialist and prolific diet and fitness author Lou Schuler has teamed up yet again with world-class athlete Alwyn Cosgrove for an amazing new book in the NEW RULES FOR LIFTING series designed especially for those of us who are middle-aged and need some help maximizing our time at the gym to be as strong and healthy as we can possibly be. If you've been reading books in the realm of diet, fitness and health in recent years, then no doubt you have run into the great work that these two men have been doing. They took a sincere love for writing and a red-hot passion for fitness to pursue a foray into publishing some truly remarkable books.

This 2012 release in the series is called The New Rules of Lifting For Life: An All-New Muscle-Building, Fat-Blasting Plan for Men and Women Who Want to Ace Their Midlife Exams which was created specifically for middle-aged people who desire a realistic, customizable fitness plan that works for them. This book provides very specific instructional workouts with appropriate modifications so that anyone can see results in their pursuit of being fit for life. In this book you'll discover what life is like in the gym for the average Joe and the amazing benefits of getting stronger and more athletic than you've ever been!

Here's just a bit about what you'll learn about lifting for life:
- The resistance that people have to lifting weights
- Why most people try to start lifting on their own
- Everybody thinks they're an expert on exercise
- Why people trying at lifting are on the right track
- The primary fitness mistakes people are making
- Going into the gym without a plan will "set you back"
- The problem is people are "under-training"
- People are lifting weights "too light for their goals"
- You need to do 2/3 of the most one-lift weight
- The goal is to exhaust your anaerobic energy system
- Problems with over-training to intense soreness
- Exercise, workout and training aren't synonymous
- Get in three good training sessions weekly
- It's about getting "a bit beyond your comfort zone"
- The "magic" of exercise comes from anaerobic exercise
- You can accomplish more lifting heavier and faster
- A lower-carb, higher-protein approach works better
- For weight loss, low-carb works better for most
- The surprisingly quick strength increases that happen
- Strength training puts things into perspective
- Why equipment is important to do these lifts
- Dumbbells and bands will be handy to use
- Knowing your own fitness limitations is good
- Customize your own weight lifting plan for you
- Find the right "stimulus" to get stronger
- Having a plan will get you a lot farther along

Whether you're just starting out lifting for the first time in your life (like where I was a little over a year ago) or if you're a seasoned veteran who needs a burst of inspiration, pick up a copy of this book and make it a lifetime commitment!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
New Rules of Lifting for Life by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove
Review by Dan Sabin ISSA-CFT

Lou Schuler is entertaining and very knowledgeable. Alwyn Cosgrove is a genius. Together, they are a perfect team only exceeded by the combination of Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove and their work at Results Fitness. That said, I am 22 years old. The New Rules of Lifting for Life was not written for me and, while I know what Lou says is true about getting older, a small voice in my head kept saying "That won't happen to you." As a trainer myself, I learned a lot of useful information that will help me understand my middle aged clients better. Alwyn's programs and methods are the best, and that is why I base a lot of my training system on his work.

If you don't like reading fitness books because you find them dull, then you'll love this book. Lou is a great writer and one of the few who do a good job of entertaining you while teaching you something.

If your current program isn't getting you the results you want, then give Alwyn's programs a try. He is one of the best in the country.

Prepare to push yourself though, they don't promise magic results with little work. They promise real results with hard work and persistence.
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