42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great update to the original NROL
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...
Published 11 months ago by Eric Pohl
34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It still can give you motiviation
I have been an avid reader and follower of the NROL series. I have performed all the various workouts through the years, and have been very impressed with the results that I've seen. If you've never done NROL, pick up Supercharged, read it, and follow it. You will love the routines and will not regret it. However, if you have done other workouts in the NROL series...
Published 11 months ago by lemme14
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great update to the original NROL,
This review is from: The New Rules of Lifting Supercharged: Ten All-New Muscle-Building Programs for Men and Women (Hardcover)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. I'm looking forward to continuing to be the guy doing deadlifts and squats while everyone else in the weight room are doing curls, and having much better results.
As a guy who lost 15% of my body fat using the original NROL, I'm really happy with this book. I was a little skeptical at first, since I didn't know what they could address that wasn't in the first book, but I really did find a lot of value in this version.
This book is great for those who want to do strength training, but get utterly confused or intimidated when they walk into the free weights section of their gym.
UPDATE: February 2013
So I've just completed the first program in this book "Basic Training I" and this evening I'm going to do my first workout in the "Basic Training II" series. My experience so far has been very good. I find that following the program gives me a decent total body fitness routine that leaves my heart pumping and the sweat dripping. My one criticism so far is that using this book is very time-consuming. Designing my first program, with selecting my own exercises, took about 45 minutes. Then after the first week, I had to make some adjustments to which exercises I was using. It probably wasn't until the third or fourth session that I felt like I had a routine that fit me well. Each workout also takes me a little over a hour in the gym to complete, so if you're short on time, I could definitely see that you won't get through everything you planned. Finally, two last minor criticisms are that I feel that the part of the programs dedicated to pure core training is a little sparse, but I adjusted by adding one or two extra exercises during my routine to that section. I also tried one of the variations recommended in the book, an exercise I've never done before, and ending up tweaking my knee a little bit performing "Cross Over Step Ups". Knee tendons were sore for about a week, and I haven't done the cross-over variation since. Live and Learn.
Overall, I remain happy with this book, and maintain the 4* rating. I feel like I can definitely get solid workouts with these programs that are more geared towards my goals (higher-intensity exercise to lose fat, get leaner, and maintain muscle). They are fun, and the fact that you select your own exercises makes you feel like you have more control in your gym time. As a final note about the time-commitment, When I was planning my "Basic Training II" workouts, it took only about 15 min to map out everything since I was more experienced using the book.
I still recommend this book if you are looking to get started in a new effective strength training regiment.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best fitness series going,
This review is from: The New Rules of Lifting Supercharged: Ten All-New Muscle-Building Programs for Men and Women (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.
34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It still can give you motiviation,
This review is from: The New Rules of Lifting Supercharged: Ten All-New Muscle-Building Programs for Men and Women (Hardcover)I have been an avid reader and follower of the NROL series. I have performed all the various workouts through the years, and have been very impressed with the results that I've seen. If you've never done NROL, pick up Supercharged, read it, and follow it. You will love the routines and will not regret it. However, if you have done other workouts in the NROL series (original, Abs, Life), grab that copy, skim it quickly to refresh your memory, and do one of those workouts. Bottom line is that there is nothing special about this new book except for the motivation that it provides. For some, that is enough. For me, I wish I had saved the money and followed that approach. There is nothing new or ground-breaking in this book. For 90-plus percent of the gym enthusiasts, any workout will suffice. It's nutrition that we need to get a handle on.
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Series, but This One Was Not a Necessary Addition,
The New Rules of Lifting for Life was unique in the sense that it gave its readers and opportunity to design their own training programs. You could modify your programs based on your limitations -- injuries, equipment, or something else. Other books in the New Rules of Lifting series did not have this option.
Unfortunately, I have to ask the question: Why was NROL Supercharged a necessary addition to other four books? What does it say that you didn't say in other four books? It has training programs similar to other books. It has a self-designable system like the 4th book. It doesn't even talk about nutrition much, which happens to be hugely important for fat loss.
I think this is a case of sequels. If an idea is really good, authors don't want yo leave it to just one sequel. But every new sequel makes it harder to provide quality and unique information. I think the time is either up for NROL or they just need to wait a little bit until they have enough material for the new book.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you want more from your gym experience?,
Supercharged is my new top recommendation to clients and friends because it has at least 10 months of workout programs, dispels so many myths about lifting weights, and provides so many great exercise choices for all of the important movement patterns. In addition, each movement pattern starts with ones that anyone can do and works up to harder and more challenging exercises, so no one is left behind.
The book will not only provide almost a year's worth of workouts, but will become a reference book for exercise choices for future training programs.
The authors have tons of experience and have really done their research, but without bogging you down in study minutia. The evidence is there, and explained in an easy to read manner. The book is funny, too, with just enough serious discussion to truly change your mind about the weight room.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent weight training guide for "regular" people...,
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.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A loyal user of the Abs program,
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)
5, Metabolic (not in basic training)
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. Each workout works the movements listed at the start. He includes a brief section on how to use the programs depending on if you are a beginner or a veteran or a lifter, or many other categories. This provided one of my few annoyances later, as he also includes some information on how to use the program in the back in a questions section. I'm not in school, I'm not getting tested to see if I read the whole book, put all of the information in one place.
In Abs I was annoyed by having to go all over the book for exercises when it was so tightly regimented. In abs, at one point you do the second day's workout, which requires you to do a plank with dynamic stabilization. It's not clearly marked (it's often asked on the jpfitness.com forums), but if you search through you find a paragraph indicating the specified exercise is the start. In Supercharged, it makes sense. You start with basic training I, and you have to choose core, power, and strength exercises yourself. So having the exercises lumped into each basic movement helps. The exercises have the same level of explanation as before which at times is lacking, but in the age of smartphones and youtube, you'll be able to figure out what to do.
Next, the workout programs are explained, you get to see lots of tables. Here the exercises are put in their movement categories with appropriate leves along with charts showing what you'll be doing for the workouts.
The new twist to hypertrophy is introduced, "undulating periodization", where you do three sets of sets and reps during each workout. For example, during hypertrophy 1, you do 4 sets of 6 one day, then 3 sets of 12 the next time you work out, then 2 sets of 20 before starting over. Obviously you vary your weights for number of reps (again, a chart that appeared in the front of the book, where you search for it)
I will say that the exercises in supercharged are a bit less "different" than Abs. A lot of the using two different size dumbbell exercises are no longer there. However, I'm definitely switching to it from Abs, I feel I need more upper body from reading through I think it will have more, and there are plenty of fun exercises to choose to make lifting more interesting than just grunting under a pipe. The book feels very familiar, it definitely shows evolution along with some revolution, but if you like NRoL before, you'll still like it.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Plan,
Lou Schuler is the guy who explains Cosgrove's plan. I think Schuler is one of the best out there in the fitness writing business. Like Gretchen Reynolds who writes for the NY Times, he cuts through the science and makes it digestible for us non-experts. I have read countless fitness and training books and find some books just too dry, technical and hard grasp on the first go round. I'd like to think I'm not a complete moron, but some of the best sources of info really aren't user friendly to read. Schuler seems to hit the right balance for someone like me.
Now the book just came out, so I'd be lying if I said I've actually done the program laid out in this book. That said, I've read the authors' previous material and it has changed (for the better) the way I train. My suggestion is to skip the crap hocked on infomercials and skip the fitness magazines that make outrageous claims and want only to sell you products advertised in their pages. Rather, pick up some solid exercise advice and a well thought out plan from guys who actually know what they are talking about.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! Supercharged is a great addition!,
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book. Routines take some getting used to.,
Let's start with the bad stuff:
- Little nutrition info. Lou acknowledges this in the book, but I can't help but think just a smidge more info would be helpful. It is definitely glossed over a bit.
- There's a bit of a learning curve with developing your own program. You are going to have to sit down and take some time to come up with what works for you. If this is your first real gym routine, it will take even more time.
- The routines consist of potentially dangerous moves. This applies to all NROL books. Moves like the squat and deadlift are described in detail, but nothing compares to having a trainer analyze your form. Doing these exercises solely with the knowledge from this book may lead to improper form and injury.
- RAMP takes some getting used to. It is a routine of about a dozen moves that are to be done at the beginning of each workout. With time it should become easier.
- Unless you have your own fully-equipped gym, you will probably end up waiting for equipment. The workouts have such a smorgasbord of exercises that you will use what seems like every piece of equipment in the gym. And since many of the workouts involve alternating sets, you will sometimes find yourself running from one end of the gym to the next in between sets. It can get quite frustrating.
Now for the good:
- Lou and Alwyn go into much more detail in this book when it comes to describing certain exercises and how they should be performed. I felt like Lou got into my head and knew all the questions I was going to ask before writing the book.
- It works. I have been doing the original NROL for about six months now and I have definitely seen results. Alwyn knows his stuff and his programs will work if you do them consistently and eat right.
- Fun to read. Lou has a great sense of humor and presents even the most boring information in a way that keeps the reader engaged.
- YOU design the routines. This can be either good or bad depending on how much you know about lifting. For me, I feel I have a good enough understanding of basic weightlifting principles to be able to wisely choose the exercises I want to perform in a given program.
- Programs are more fun. These programs include metabolic training, foam rolling, kettlebell moves, TRX suspension moves, and more. You will never get bored.
All in all, I think it's an excellent book. The main reason I'm not giving in five stars is because of how difficult it is to do these routines without interruption in your average gym. Other than that, I think the programs are fun and effective. I'm looking forward to getting more accustomed to the workouts and seeing my results.
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The New Rules of Lifting Supercharged: Ten All-New Muscle-Building Programs for Men and Women by Lou Schuler (Hardcover - December 27, 2012)