579 of 584 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "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...
Published on January 3, 2008 by swimmer45
88 of 97 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like the book but not practical in a busy gym.
There are a lot of things that I like about this book. I thought it was very informative and the exercise plan easy for me to understand and it offers guidence in nutrition that although I wasn't really that interested in, I thought the nutricionist knew her stuff. And I love the way an entire total body workout can be achieved in 45 minutes time. I can't really enjoy...
Published on August 22, 2010 by Victoria Stinnett
Most Helpful First | Newest First
579 of 584 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "New Rules" Rules,
This review is from: The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess (Hardcover)"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.
484 of 498 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most successful book for me,
This review is from: The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess (Hardcover)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.
136 of 148 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For serious weight training,
This review is from: The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess (Hardcover)This is truly a book for women who aren't afraid of gyms or barbells, who want to get serious about their efforts, and who want to see real results.
It's a mix of straight sets and superset total-body workouts with emphasis on functional fitness and periodization, so it's built around 6 basic multi-muscles moves (such as squats and deadlifts). There's also a progession with a mix of variations to prevent workout boredom. It's a little hard to figure out the charts at first glance, but what they've done is spell out every workout for you.
The workout incorporates use of a barbell, dumbbells, a step, and a stability ball (but you don't need all of them). You can do a home workout with this book, but having a gym membership is helpful.
I like the eating plan, too. There's not a lot of elaborate recipes, and most of it is pretty simple. It builds on plans like the Zone and other similar 30/30/40 types of diets.
The only con I have with this book is that there aren't variations within a given exercise to make it easier or harder. Some of these will be very easy for a beginner but others will be quite challenging.
78 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book!,
WHO IS THIS BOOK FOR
This book says it's for anyone from beginners to experienced exercisers. I disagree that it's for all beginners. I think there is a lot to digest in this book and beginners might get frustrated and confused and end up putting the book down. However if you have the motivation I definitely think it's doable.
I'm not going to mention that they remind women they will not bulk up from lifting. I am so sick of this excuse from women and that we have to keep repeating it. Why are we still talking about this?? Is it not public knowledge now, even if you only read occasional fitness articles, that women will not bulk up like men if they lift like men? It is physically not possible and an excuse that women use so they don't have to lift. Enough said, end of story. Lift weights, you know it's good for you.
WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT LIFTING
The purpose of lifting ENOUGH weight is to build muscle. The key word is enough.
'If the weights are unchallenging, your muscles won't grow. If your muscles don't grow, they won't look any better than they do now, even if you could somehow strip off whatever fat sits on top of them.'
They are basically going against almost everything you've learned in the past. There are exercises done daily by me and everyone else at the gym that they say NOT to do. Their 'motto' summarized in one sentence is as follows, 'If it's what your body was designed to do, it's probably not bad form. And if the exercise requires you to do something unnatural, you should think twice before doing it.' In real life when do your arms move as they do in a bicep curl? There are other exercises you can do that work the biceps along with other muscles that normally work with your biceps.
STEP AWAY FROM THE TREADMILL
Chapter 3 is dedicated to doing less cardio. This is a fairly new idea that I think is finally starting to catch on. But it's been drilled into our heads for so long that I think it will take a while to break the habit of doing sooooo much cardio.
It is all about the afterburn. The higher the intensity of the workout the more calories your body will burn afterwards. Also, 'serious strength training also signals your body to burn a higher percentage of fat calories for many hours after you leave the gym'. Bonus!!
One sentence stuck out to me because I have really adapted to the cardio I'm doing lately. 'Your body will adapt to the increased efficiency by selectively shrinking your type I muscle fibers.'
They are all for interval training and go into detail about the best and most efficient intervals.
WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT CALORIE INTAKE
Overall they are against cutting calories for two reasons -
1. You lose muscle mass.
2. You're going to slow down your metabolism.
New Rules #13 - Traditional weight-loss advice is fatally flawed. This part was important to me because it really does go against everything we hear. They are talking about 'eat less and exercise more' saying. Jillian Michaels preaches this and I've definitely wrote about it before. I think it's an easy way for beginners to understand weight-loss. If you really think about it in terms of building muscle it doesn't make much sense. 'The combination, however, can be expressed this way: Slow down your metabolism while speeding it up'. This is all in Chapter 4. Buy the book, read this chapter. It's important, especially for women.
It takes 2,800 calories to build a pound of muscle. I've never heard this fact quoted in a book before. I guess because people usually say it takes a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose a pound of fat. But since we want to build muscle on this program it makes more sense to talk about what it takes to build muscle.
To figure out your calorie intake -
* Convert your lbs to kg
* Use an equation with that figure to come up with your Resting Metabolic Rate
* Figure out your body mass index (BMI)
* Multiple your BMI by daily activity - this is the step where it's usually a little different depending on what book or formula you're following. They have 3 categories - No workout - Active workout - Strenuous work and workout day. They further categorize the numbers by your BMI. It's on page 65.
They recommend NOT cutting your calories even if you want to lose fat. Try sticking with your maintenance for 4 weeks and then answer a series of questions (mainly did you gain weight and how did you feel) and then reassess. If you feel you NEED to cut calories he says not to cut more than 300 per day and no matter what eat more on workout days.
WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT MEALS
There are 4 easy rules:
* Eat breakfast
* Eat 5 meals and snacks
* Have a post workout shake on days you lift
* Eat more calories on days you workout than on days you don't
There are a lot of easy, yummy sounding recipes in the book. They are all very managable and easy to change around or add more if you need more calories. Or as they suggest, if you're cooking for more than one person.
WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT CARBS, PROTEIN, AND FAT
Eat a balance of each. Did you know it takes 454 g of protein to build a pound of muscle? I didn't know this. They have found the magic number for protein is 30%. Obviously eating refined carbs is definitely frowned upon. They recommend eating OVER 30% of your calories from protein.
THE LIFTING PROGRAM
This is where the book gets a little confusing....at first. I haven't started the program yet but I did grab a calendar and make my schedule, starting next week. This helped.
There are 7 phases - 2 work outs to alternate in each phase. Until you get to stage 7 when there are 5 workouts in that phase. They say this will take about 6 months to get through the entire thing if you workout 3 times per week.
They go into how much weight to use and how to increase the weight as you go through the workouts.
MY OVERALL FEELINGS
I can't wait to get started! I am someone who in the past has done tons of cardio and worked out many hours a week in the gym, not doing the right exercises. Before I read this book I realized I wasn't doing everything completely right and I hope this program will get me on course to building muscle.
I highly recommend buying the book even if you aren't sure you're ready for 6 months of sticking with one program. They also have suggestions about what you can do on off days and how to mix in other forms of exericise. There is also just a lot of good information in the book that I really think most people don't know. They aren't just repeating the same information we hear all the time. I read a lot of these kinds of books and I took away a lot more new information than I normally do.
88 of 97 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like the book but not practical in a busy gym.,
This review is from: The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess (Paperback)There are a lot of things that I like about this book. I thought it was very informative and the exercise plan easy for me to understand and it offers guidence in nutrition that although I wasn't really that interested in, I thought the nutricionist knew her stuff. And I love the way an entire total body workout can be achieved in 45 minutes time. I can't really enjoy this book as much as I would like because I have yet to find a practical way to impliment the exercises into a coherent routine at the gym or at home.
Basically the program involves doing exercises that are grouped together in a very particular way. For example, "do a set of lunges with dumbbells for 15 reps, rest for 60 seconds then go into an ab exercise on a stability ball for 8 reps, rest, then back to lunges. This is how all of the workouts go. Jumping from on piece of equipment working one body part, then going into something else. I don't mind that but if you are in a gym, even a not crowded one, it is difficult to leave one machine and still expect it to be available to you when you come back to do the second set. How is this supposed to work? I have to lug a barbell across the gym to where the lat-pull down machine is so that I can do a set of squats with the barbell then jump onto the lat machine for 15 reps then back to the squats, then oops... someone is using the lat machine while I'm doing my squats so the 6o second rest turns into a 2 minute rest. And although there are modifications for at home exercises some of them must be done at the gym unless you have a cable machine, multiple barbells and dumbbell weights, etc. It is so frustrating!!!!
59 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Girly...GRRRLY!,
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!
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Woman Should Read This Book,
52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get results without overtraining,
This is the fourth weight lifting book I have purchased, and it is by far the most helpful. I used to abhor strength training. Three out of the four books I've read include exercises for every small muscle you can think of. As a result, I spent more time at the gym than I would like. There was a "lower body day", "upper body day" , and "abs day". I didn't like strength training to begin with, and having to spend more time on it than necessary made me dislike it even more. I eventually stopped.
Enter "New Rules...For Women". This book allows me to strength train without wearing me down with exercises for every small muscle. And these workouts are by no means easy. You're not using "Barbie weights" (as the author calls them). You are going to be using real weights that you will increase as you get stronger. I like the fact that the plan requires you to exercise 3 times a week (a rest day in between each session). To me, this is a realistic time commitment, since many of us don't have enough time to exercise like celebrities.
The diet plan is excellent. I like the fact that you are not required to eat like a bird or cut out certain food groups entirely (I would die without rice and pasta!). You are by no means restricted to the food in this book, but I've tried a lot the recipes, and I love them. The food is flavorful REAL food that is healthy. I use a lot of other recipes that are similar in nutritional content (love Rachael Ray!) to complement the program.
So, did the advice work? A friend told me I looked much more fit in the upper body than I did a few weeks ago...and that was only 2 weeks into the program! I've gone from 129 lbs. to 122 lbs. in 4 weeks without cutting any calories. My jeans fit better, and even my husband noticed that my stomach isn't as "poochy" as it was a few weeks ago. I am going to start stage 2 of the workout a week from now, and I look forward to getting even healthier.
57 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars take your place in the weight room!!!,
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal Trainer...In book form,
After a year with my trainer, I couldn't be more happier with the results. I have gone from 25% body fat to 13%. But the reality is, is that I need to be able to do this on my own, in the gym, without paying that kind of money for my trainer. So sad - but such is life. :)
I was looking for a book to help me do just this - transition from a personal trainer three times per week at over $500/mo - to doing it on my own.
I was amazed to find out that through the coaching and guidance of my trainer - that I had built up to doing the exact (advanced) workouts in this book over time.
I shared this book with my trainer who is now a football strength coach for a local university and he laughed. He said "It's not rocket science...It's just science". He agreed with all of the principles in this book and was quite familiar with the philosophies and techniques.
This is a great book to give you all the important background before heading to a gym or working with a trainer. Like anything in life - you have to work hard to get what you want. Start small - and continue to build - one step at a time. This book gives you the road map to do just that.
I love this book.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess by Cassandra E. Forsythe (Paperback - December 26, 2009)