If you missed my post last night about my current lifting routine, you can find it here.
Good morning and most importantly, Happy Friday!
I know I have mentioned the "New Rules of Lifting for Women" several times this week so I wanted to tell you guys a bit more about it. The guy who wrote the book, Lou Schuler, first wrote New Rules of Lifting in 2006 and decided to write this book after he received a lot of complaints from women about being ignored in the previous book. Lou believes that guys and girls should be lifting in similar ways, hence the phrase, “lift like a man, look like a goddess” found on the front cover.
He addresses many of the issues with women and strength training, including:
*Women often talk about wanting to “tone or sculpt” their muscles rather than build them, he says it’s really not possible to “tone” your muscles- you have to build them, and that must be done by adding weight.
*Women often try to begin a strength training routine while also cutting calories. Lou is completely against this plan. It’s bad for metabolism and for building muscle, not to mention a bunch of other arguments about the effect it has on your length of life, yikes. He supports eating frequent meals to keep metabolism going, and lots of protein.
*Using the machines at the gym that only target isolated muscles and often move muscles in ways that are not typical of actual daily movement of your muscles. He believes more on focusing on larger muscles, exercises that work several muscles at once and move muscles in a way that is similar to how you would move them if you were say, picking up a child from the floor, or some other authentic movement.
The nutrition section of this book is written with the help of Cassandra Forsythe M.S. It is focused on increasing your metabolism, not necessarily on losing weight, though that may happen. They give equations and charts for figuring out your resting metabolic rate, how many calories you will probably burn on a day you don’t work out versus a day you do etc. But in the end they admit that these numbers do not take into consideration your own genetics, so you really have to figure out for yourself how many calories you can realistically eat to maintain and/or lose weight. They recommend that when you start the program you just use your maintenance level of calories and see how things go for about four weeks- did you gain weight? How do your clothes fit? How much energy do you have etc.
The exercises in the book are designed by, trainer, Alwyn Cosgrove. They are focused on big muscles and authentic movements. They divided the workouts into six stages and give two workouts for each stage that you alternate between. At each work out, they focus on using more weight than before or on doing a more difficult version of the exercise in a case like push ups where body weight is being used. If you do these work outs 3 days per week (the recommended time, 2 is okay, 1 is too few, more than 3 is too much) it will take you six months to get through the whole program. It appears that many of the exercises need to be done at a gym, but with some modifications or equipment a lot of them could be done at home. There is a chapter dedicated to how to do each exercise, including pictures, and a great explanation of why you are doing each exercise.
I cannot fully start the program now because I am already two weeks into my weight lifting class, but if I wanted to start my program tomorrow, my first work out would be…
2 Sets, 15 Reps of...
2. Push Ups (alternating sets with seated row)
3. Seated Row (alternating sets with push ups)
4. Step Ups (alternating sets with prone jackknife)
5. Prone Jackknife (alternating sets with step ups)
That’s it! A lot shorter than my 1 hour lifting class I’ll tell you that. There is a good possibility I am going to start this after my lifting class is over.
My favorite part about this book was how honest and to the point Lou was in writing it. He admitted times he has been wrong in his previous books, he told us not everyone will get the same results because not everyone is the same and it’s a book not a personal training session etc. I also loved the stress on what you eat, when you eat rather than trying to cut calories. Finally, he was very realistic that we do not all have a million hours a day to focus on our body even if we might like to. The nutrition and the work outs are designed with real people in mind.
I found a couple of aspects of the book controversial, including the fact that Lou really downplays cardio a lot. He advocates short, fast intervals, which are really more like strength training in the end. He is not a big supporter of endurance training. I find his argument interesting, but I am not ready to abandon my spinning and elliptical work just yet. It is nice to hear I can be strong without running though- forget that in the blog world sometimes ☺
He also recommends a LOT more protein than most others do, and while he may be right, I am only willing to do the best I can as far as protein goes. I don’t know if I’ll be reaching his recommendations.
Have you read the book? What were your favorite parts? Even if you have not read the book, what do you think about some of the points I mentioned? I highly recommend this book especially if, like me, you struggle with the strength training aspect of exercise.
On a totally different note, I am considering starting a teaching blog. I wouldn’t update as often, but I’m thinking it might motivate me on the kindergarten front…Does anyone have any creative name ideas for my a teaching blog? I want to design it this weekend so please send creative name ideas my way :)