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Customer Review

93 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid lifting and nutritional advice for anyone over 40, injured, overweight, and for personal trainers, April 26, 2012
This review is from: 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 (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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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 27, 2012 4:51:17 AM PDT
Excellent review--good points on being injured and staying fit.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2012 7:47:29 AM PDT
Thanks so much Joanna. I really enjoyed yours as well. And I think the reason I don't have a six pack must be due to the fact that I am not genetically inclined to develop one. Yeah...that's it! I'm not actually doing this program right now, I'm doing the original, and using this program for my dad, so we'll have to see what kind of results we get. Thanks again and best of luck to you with it!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2014 3:27:45 PM PDT
GeorgeNJ says:
Hi Scott. Great reviews. It's 2 years since you wrote this last comment. Have you and your father stayed with it? Are you guys happy with the results?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2014 7:50:31 AM PDT
Thanks a lot George. I didn't stay with it and moved on to P90X3, which I am currently doing. However many of the exercises from that follow the same type of balance/core exercises from this book and are very similar. I still think it is a good plan.
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