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The New Rules of Lifting Supercharged: Ten All-New Muscle-Building Programs for Men and Women Hardcover – December 27, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lou Schuler is a National Magazine Award–winning journalist, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, and the author of many top-selling fitness books. He lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania.


Alwyn Cosgrove is a veteran trainer and strength coach. He co-owns Results Fitness in Newhall, California.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

In the beginning, Alwyn Cosgrove and I wrote a book called The New Rules of Lifting. And it was good. Readers liked it, and they got outstanding results from Alwyn’s training programs. You wouldn’t be reading the fifth book in the series if the first one hadn’t helped lifters like you reach your goals.

But here’s the thing: Most lifters like you haven’t heard of Alwyn, or me, or the NROL series. Millions of men and women lift weights, either at home or in commercial gyms, but it’s hard to see much evidence to suggest they’re getting what they want from it, or what they could get from it.

Instead, I see all the same behaviors and practices that inspired us to launch the series in the first place.

I see paunchy middle-aged men block the dumbbell rack as they grind through set after set of every biceps exercise they remember from Flex magazine circa 1995, while avoiding the exercises that use the body’s biggest muscles in coordinated action, the movements that would do the most to build muscle, burn fat, and turn back the clock to the days when they looked more like a page from Men’s Health than Cigar Aficionado.

I see apparently healthy women doing the beneficial exercises the men avoid—the squats, deadlifts, and rows—but with weights that wouldn’t challenge someone twice their age, with half their strength.

I see young lifters doing exercises that will turn them into old lifters, the moves most likely to cause injury and least likely to offer much benefit. I see older lifters doing half-baked versions of programs designed for young athletes or bodybuilders, only without any apparent sense of the mechanisms that would make such a program work.

It’s like they’ve all gotten the first half of the memo about the importance of strength training for health, fitness, and appearance. But somehow the rest of the memo—the part that explains what you need to do to get the results you want—got deleted. So, in a way, the NROL series is the second half of that memo.

Take the first New Rule of Lifting: “The best muscle-building exercises are the ones that use your muscles the way they’re designed to work.”

Or the third: “To build size, you must build strength.”

Or the twenty-third: “Results come from hard work.”

Or the forty-third: “You can’t protect your spine by doing exercises that damage it.”

Or the sixty-third: “You’re not a kid anymore. Don’t train like one.”

See what I mean?

The readers who found and implemented the original New Rules of Lifting (along with the ones who read NROL for Women, for Abs, and for Life) know what it means to train. They know how to lift in a way that allows them to get progressively stronger, to add more muscle, to reduce fat, to work with their bodies rather than against them. They’re the ones who walk past the machines in their health club and pick up free weights. They’re the ones who get stronger over time, at any age, despite roadblocks or limitations. They’re the ones who look like they know what they’re doing. They move with purpose. They sweat, they grimace, and every now and then they actually grunt.

Does that describe you?

If so, great. You’re either a satisfied NROL reader, coming back for the newest information and most up-to-date programs, or you’re a target reader, someone who’s ready to do what it takes to get leaner, stronger, and more athletic.

Not you? Pull up a chair, and let’s talk.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Avery (December 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583334653
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583334652
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Eric Pohl on December 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just read the core of this book and I am now sketching out plans on how I am going to take it into the gym. As a fan of the original New Rules of Lifting, I think this is a very nice face lift. The main changes that I've noticed from the original is that many of the "why" questions that weren't addressed have been tackled now. Lou Schuler goes into the specifics about why things work and tries to convince you why it would be beneficial to follow these programs.

In the the original NROL, the reader was given lots of workouts that addressed your goals. In this refresh, the reader now has the ability to customize workouts to a much greater degree. Instead of being told "do a Bulgarian Split-Squat" for example, you can now choose to select from a group of exercises that you feel would be best suited for you, and incorporate that into your workout. Different exercises are ranked by varying difficulties, so you know what you're getting into.

Another change I like is that there is now a very detailed section about warm-up and cool-down. In the previous version, I was always at a loss about how to begin and end my workouts. This gives me a nice structure for developing my training regiment.

While I haven't yet tried out the new workouts presented here (but will do so in the next couple trips to the gym), I have great hopes for them. I will post an update after putting them to use. I loved the original NROL because it got me moving and working in a way that made a lot of sense. Instead of simply using the machines and doing bicep curls, the original book got me doing more work that really targeted my body as a whole and were much more effective and efficient than anything else I've tried.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Chris Bathke on January 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
As a trainer I habitually check the fitness shelves at my local bookstore, mostly for good laughs at the amount of garbage information out there. The New Rules series however is one of only a few books I continue to recommend to people that can't work with a good trainer.

The programs are easy to follow and use quality movements.
The nutrition advice is solid and backed by research.
Lou and Alwyn take their craft seriously and keep up on the latest research and continue to refine their methods, a rare thing in the fitness world.

Any good coach will tell their athletes to focus on the basics, and so should you. Skip the trendy diets and "extreme" workouts - your joints and the rest of your body will continue thanking you for years.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By J. Tompkins on January 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The basis of Lou's program has evolved from the original NRoL's six basic movements of squat, deadlift, lunge, pull, push and twist to now Supercharged'd squat, hinge, pull,push, lunge, and single-leg stance. He's added the lessons of core training.

He has a few first chapters presenting his rules, some information on how muscle building works, protein intake, and eating right, but nothing hugely earth shattering here. For veterans of the NRoL, nothing newe.

But for the NRoL for Abs folks, next the book diverges, and this is a very important, because Abs is extremely structured. You do a, b, and c. Period. In this book, you design your own workout routine based on parameters, which can be very difficult. Lou (the author) admits that he doesn't make great workout plans.

The first thing he does is go through the "menus", or how the programs/workouts work. For veterans, this is very familiar, but the basic idea is 4 basic training programs, 3 hypertrophy, and 3 strength programs.

Each program has:
1. Ramp (warmup)
2. Core
3. Combination/Power
4. Strength
5, Metabolic (not in basic training)
6. Recovery

For each category, exercises will be presented for each category based off which portion of the program, and you choose level 1 through 5 (there are one or two that have more). The exercises get more difficult as you increase the level. For example, with squat, level 1 is a bodyweight squat, 3 a front squat, 4 a back squat, and 5 overhead. As a guy who did abs, I saw a lot of level 4 and 5 stuff that I was doing already. There are ways to super or turbo charge to make many of these even harder, but I was a little disappointed in how advanced I was in many of these categories.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By BamaDave on March 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is the fourth book of the "New Rules of Lifting" series that I have purchased and used as a guide for weight training. When I bought it, I was pretty skeptical that it could top the original. The workouts in the original version led me to my maximum strength levels on most of the big lifts seven years ago when I did the strength program. Nevertheless, so far I have completed the last phase of Basic Training and the first phase of the Strength and Power program in this book and have reattained my maximum strength on many lifts and will likely exceed them as I continue the program. I have been on a calorie deficit the whole time I've been making gains, and I also run several times per week. On top of this, I'm seven years older and in my mid-40's. So, yes, I'm sold!

I really like the customization options in this book (and also in New Rules of Lifting for Life). Most weight training books predetermine exercises for you without taking into account your personal level of training. Exercises in this edition are categorized into major movements, and then each movement has numerous exercise options that can be chosen. Your choices get plugged into workout templates designed for each phase of the workout programs.

I also like that the book takes a no nonsense approach to nutrition. By now don't most of us know what's healthy and what's not? Eat healthy and count your calories. There's no mystery or magic bullets when it comes to diet.

Overall, this is a great book for us regular folks who want some guidance and workout plans that work without frills and gimmicks.
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