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Review: The New Rules of Lifting for Women

by Meghann on May 24, 2011

I should probably preface this review by stating this is the first diet/ strength training/ exercise book I’ve actually read (and not just skimmed). I learned a lot and fully intend to read more instructional books towards running and various other exercise related books in the future. πŸ™‚

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Overview

The New Rules of Lifting for Women is geared towards encouraging and teaching women to lift heavier weights. The author is open and honest with his opinions that women need to be lifting heavier weights if they want results. The first couple of chapters breakdown what he believes women have been doing wrong in the gym for years. I enjoyed his somewhat brutal approach, it was the kick in the pants I needed to take him seriously!

The next chapters breakdown his views on muscle development, the cardio trap, a prescribed diet plan, and a strength workout that women should be using for results.

Muscle Development

Though women and men do have differences in the way they carry themselves, the muscle fibers breakdown the same way. He argues there is no reason why women and men shouldn’t be performing the same moves in the gym. He continues to emphasize that women shouldn’t be afraid of ‘building bulk’ because unless you’re taking some sort of enhancements, the muscles won’t grow too large, they’ll simply define themselves.

The Cardio Trap

The author references endurance exercise (aka tons of cardio) as a big no-no (there’s an entire chapter called ‘Step Away From the Treadmill‘), which I had been warned about and expected. He does make some valid points in his argument, but I could make equally valid points against his arguments. It’s basic knowledge that running at a steady pace for long distances is going to be come less effective overtime in losing weight because your body gets used to it. That’s why interval training (he speaks of this) and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is key in seeing results.

The author doesn’t encourage running half marathons, marathons, or – errrhalf ironmans, but there is a point where he respects people who do. He sort of sweeps it under the table with ‘if you’re going to continue endurance training, just make sure to do the specified interval training first, take a break, and continue running.’ Got it! {also, my half ironman plan includes track work and other various interval work, so this shouldn’t be a problem}

Diet

The New Rules of Lifting For Women does include a diet plan, but I found it lacked creativity and variety. Reading through the meals was like reading through the standard ‘diet book’ of egg white omelets, turkey wraps, and chicken breast salads. The author promotes a happy balance of fats, proteins, and carbs with a heavy emphasis on ‘just stay away from the junk and you’ll be fine.’ I love how he de-mythed the no-carb diets, a life without carbs is just sad. However, I wasn’t a fan of his heavy emphasis on protein powders and shakes. Granted, protein powders and shakes seem to be all the rage when it comes to lifting or strength training (lord knows my little brother can’t get enough of the stuff), but I’m not sure I could stomach it.

I may be able to incorporate the idea of a pre-workout shake of some sort (that sounds appealing to me since I usually workout in the morning by fueling on a piece of a bar), but I need to find something that works that’s super easy to make and take on my way out the door (and doesn’t just involve adding protein mix to milk/water and shake). This just requires additional planning on my part.

The Plan

The workout plan included in The New Rules of Lifting for Women is divided into seven stages that consists of alternating workouts three times a week. The entire plan (all seven stages plus bonus workouts and rest weeks) should take 6 months to complete.

I’m going to come back to this topic in another post because I fully intend to give the plan a try. I mean, how can I read the book and not be inspired to put what he’s talking about to the test.

I think that about covers it.

Have you read The New Rule of Lifting for Women? What were your thoughts?

1 Heather @ Side of Sneakers May 24, 2011 at 9:10 am

The emphasis on not doing cardio and endurance events is a little strange, but I love that it stresses that men and women can be doing the same things, and our bodies will react the way they’re supposed to (as in not getting all Hulk Hogan-y for women!)
Heather @ Side of Sneakers recently posted..The 21 Lessons of Fitbloggin’11

2 Dori May 24, 2011 at 9:11 am

This book sounds so fascinating! I also strongly believe that spending hours on the elliptical is a waste of time and won’t provide any results unless you really have a lot of weight to lose. I’m not good at doing things on my own which is why I love going to strength classes almost every day, like Refine Method and Core Fusion. I love feeling strong and having muscles — and having lean muscle mass really is effective for those who want to lose weight or maintain their weight. Also important for women because we are at risk for losing bone density and don’t want to have to take medicine for that for years.

Thank you for helping to break down the myth that lifting weights will cause bulk. They won’t! It is SO important for women to incorporate strength training in their workouts.
Dori recently posted..Skechers Shape-ups for Girls- Body Image- Safety &amp Misleading Marketing

3 mindy @ just a one girl revolution. May 24, 2011 at 9:14 am

I haven’t read it yet (bought it not too long ago), but from what you described, I also have issues with his rant against cardio. I think what is truly important is a good mix of both to get the best results.
mindy @ just a one girl revolution. recently posted..red velvet ice cream

4 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday May 24, 2011 at 9:26 am

I think the rant is more about spending extensive amount of time doing the same type of cardio. There’s nothing inherently wrong with cardio itself but if you don’t push your body or change your routine up a bit then your body will become accustomed to the exercises and you won’t see any changes.

…the same is true for strength training. Which is why it is recommended to switch up your weightlifting routine at least every 8 weeks.

5 Tami May 24, 2011 at 9:15 am

I did the plan for three months last winter -just the weight lifting plan not the diet part
It works, it’s hard you need to keep am log so youmwill push yourself to lift heavier weights, each week I found myself increasing the weights -my arms never looked better

I have most of the plan typed out that I will email you

I dipo think it will be a lot to do while training for a half ironman-it’s a great off season program

I have yet to find a good in season program so i just do some of the stuff

6 Meghann May 24, 2011 at 9:22 am

Thanks Tami! I would love to hear your thoughts on your personal experience with it!

7 Leah @ L4L May 24, 2011 at 10:52 am

I also created spreadsheets to log the workouts or you can download ones for free from from Werk It (http://www.werkit.com/programs/nrol4w?token=7903af30-bb16-012a-f18c-001b63c16cd4) But I like my logs better because I’ve got it condensed down to each Stage is on one page.
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8 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 24, 2011 at 9:16 am

I haven’t read this, but I’m glad to have your recap to reference! I agree with you and Heather above about the endurance events… that seems a little odd. However, like you said, I think the emphasis that we need all 3 macronutrients (carbs protein and fat) for optimal functioning is definitely a good point. I have to admit that I probably consume more protein powders than the average female, but one of my main fitness goals is to build muscle so if that’s what I need to do it, then so be it. Having said that, I still aim to eat as many whole (real) foods as possible. Great review Meghann!
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat recently posted..Shopaholics Anonymous

9 Holly @ The Runny Egg May 24, 2011 at 9:16 am

I have that book and read it last year — I have yet to start the routines though. I didn’t want to do a heavy strength training program + marathon training (I was worried about overtraining and injuring myself) so I actually think I’m going to start this or a similar program in July once my marathon is over. I’m very excited, much of what he says makes a lot of sense!
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10 Katherina @ Zephyr Runs May 24, 2011 at 9:18 am

I will probably buy this book based on your review, just fyi. As far as shakes go, just put some oats/protein powder in a regular smoothie. My boyfriend and I always add a little hemp protein powder to our smoothies and occasionally oats, if we need it. It’s more important that you make it easy, fit it into your regular routine rather than starting a new one.
Katherina @ Zephyr Runs recently posted..Another One Mile

11 Katherina @ Zephyr Runs May 24, 2011 at 9:21 am

As far as the cardio bit goes – I’m pretty sure it’s true and that we weren’t meant to do extreme cardio. There’s nothing wrong with it necessarily, but I think he’s right that people get addicted to cardio and for our health it’s good to explore other workouts. Marks Daily Apple is an awesome blog that talks about that – http://www.marksdailyapple.com/chronic-cardio/
Katherina @ Zephyr Runs recently posted..Another One Mile

12 Vikki May 24, 2011 at 9:22 am

I make a thinner smoothie at night before I go to bed. They aren’t as thick as making them in the morning but they taste better than the protein shake mixes. Ick…

13 Ali @ Ali Runs May 24, 2011 at 9:23 am

I have heard a lot of great things about this book. I would love to get my hands on a copy–I really enjoy lifting, but don’t do it near as often as I should. It sounds like it would give me the encouragement I need to start getting serious about it.
Ali @ Ali Runs recently posted..Total Body Conditioning

14 kristin May 24, 2011 at 9:29 am

question – ive thought about buying this but dont belong to a gym. is the lifting plan something you can do at home?

15 Meghann May 24, 2011 at 9:32 am

He does give options to perform the workouts at home, but a set of heavier dumbells is still required.

16 Leah @ L4L May 24, 2011 at 10:49 am

I would actually find this an extremely challenging program to follow at home unless you had almost a full set of weights – a lat pulldown machine, squat rack, etc. I think you would be sacrificing a lot if you made changes to every single exercise in the book to accomodate it at home. You are better off doing something like P90x or Insanity that doesn’t require equipment.
Leah @ L4L recently posted..Rhody Run 2011

17 Brie @ Brie Fit May 24, 2011 at 9:40 am

I love this book.

Re: the protein powders and shakes–if you’re trying to build muscle, there is a critical window right after you’re done lifting in which you NEED to get the broken-down proteins to the muscles. Eating 3 eggs or a protein bar will get you the same amount of protein as a small protein shake, BUT your body will have to break everything down first, so it won’t get to the muscles in that critical post-workout period. Someone described it to me once as the difference between bringing a working fire hose or a build-your-own-fire extinguisher kit to a house fire…yeah, they both can fight fires, but by the time you get the extinguisher ready, there won’t be much left to put out!

That said, it’s not crucial. I still see awesome changes and strength gains without a post-workout shake, but if you’re really hardcore, I’d definitely incorporate one!
Brie @ Brie Fit recently posted..Travel Ninja Update

18 Leslie @ The Running Chasqui May 24, 2011 at 9:42 am

Thanks for the review, I had been thinking about buying the book. I’m almost done with phase 3 of P90X and I’m looking for a new program.

Also, what type of protein powder do you prefer?

19 gabriella @ embracement May 24, 2011 at 9:52 am

I’m starting this workout plan exactly as he prescribes after my half marathon this weekend. I really need something that tells me what to do and I love the 6 month plan aspect. I want to keep my mileage up so I can still run a half whenever I feel like it, but I haven’t decided when to work those days in yet. Since I usually do two shorter runs of intervals a week anyway, that shouldn’t be a problem. I really like his tone, although I agree about the diet section. I’ve been drinking more “shakes” as post workout fuel because I often find it hard to eat right away. I like to supplement the protein powder with using a chobani yogurt or something to that effect. It might not be the perfect amount, but it’s something to get in my system

20 Katie @ cooklaughmove May 24, 2011 at 9:58 am

I read this book and didn’t really care for it. I thought his attitude was a bit too much know-it-all and I didn’t like the diet plan.

I think the emphasis on putting down barbie doll weights was good though, how many fitness/health/woman’s magazines claim to have sculpting/toning/trimming workouts with a 3 – 5lb dumbell? That is not enough weight to do any good!
Katie @ cooklaughmove recently posted..Race Day!

21 Michelle May 24, 2011 at 9:59 am

I read the book maybe a year and a half ago and I used the program but then, like a lot of programs I try, I lost interest fast.
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22 Megan @ Megan Mumbles May 24, 2011 at 10:02 am

Very interesting and in depth review of the book. I tend to skim through weight loss / diet books as well and just take some of the info. I am currently not into weight lifting as I am more into yoga and using my own body to build stength but if things change perhaps I will read the books.
Megan @ Megan Mumbles recently posted..6 Things

23 Sarah May 24, 2011 at 10:07 am

I just finished reading this book. I pretty much agree with your review. I am planing on following the workout plans but I feel I eat healthily enough so I am not going to follow the diet plan in the book at all. The one thing I was confused about is how to keep running and follow the workouts. I enjoying running and I consider myself a runner but the author seemed to notlike the idea of running.
I started the first workout yesterday and I am so sore today, but a good sore. It kicked my butt but I felt good afterward.

24 Amanda May 24, 2011 at 10:08 am

I love this book! I just started Stage 4 this week. It’s so helpful to have a plan when lifting weights. Otherwise I always felt like I ended up doing a million bicep curls. I’ve noticed it has helped to improve my running times too. I don’t follow the nutrition part though. I have my own plan for that and really only skimmed that part of the book.

25 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food May 24, 2011 at 10:09 am

Thanks so much for the great review! I really appreciate that you truly read it and didn’t simply skim that material πŸ™‚

I can’t wait to get my copy and see how I like it! πŸ™‚ Hope you have a wonderful day! πŸ™‚

26 Carly D. @ CarlyBananas May 24, 2011 at 10:10 am

Hi Meghann! I’m so excited to see your review of this book. I started reading it and then got really nervous about his cardio aversion. I’m training for my first half and I’m not sure if I should even bother trying the plan in the book – are you planning to try it before your half Ironman? Or while you train? I can’t imagine that mixing strength and cardio is a bad idea but it seems like the author thinks so. I’m sorry to have a million questions for you!
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27 Meghann May 24, 2011 at 10:18 am

Hey Carly! I’m actually writing a follow up post now on how I intend to incorporate the lifting workouts with training! πŸ™‚

28 Lorraine May 24, 2011 at 11:54 am

Awesome! I just ran my first half marathon on Sunday and am going to train for another in the fall while adding lifting into the mix. I’ve been working on a plan to incorporate the routines from this book (+ an ashtanga class or two each week) myself. Can’t wait to see your strategy!

29 Silvia @ skinny jeans food May 24, 2011 at 10:17 am

Somehow…. I would trust a book written by a woman on “The New Rules of Lifting for Women” more. Thanks for the book review!
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30 Meghann May 24, 2011 at 10:19 am

He actually spends the first chapter explaining why you should trust him as a non-woman giving advice on woman lifting. It was entertaining to say the least.

31 Melissa May 24, 2011 at 10:41 am

I’m looking forward your follow up post about how to incorporate this plan with your other training plan. Although I’ve gotten (a little) better about adding weight training into my routine, when I really start to up my mileage I always push weight training to the back burner…which I know is not good!!!
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32 Leah @ L4L May 24, 2011 at 10:47 am

I’m going through the program for the second time now (almost done!) and training for my first half marathon simultaneously. I really enjoy the structure the program offers and the unique lifting moves. I certainly feel a lot stronger. But like you, I am not 100% on board with the diet and protein emphasis and I’m obviously doing some longer steady state cardio.

33 Emma June 17, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Do you feel like you are getting good results still while training for a 1/2? I started the program but signed up for my first 1/2 in November. I would like to balance both but don’t know if that is counterproductive!

34 Leah @ L4L June 18, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Yes and no. I’m also watching what I eat and not following the programs nutrition. As I said, I definitely feel stronger but I’m not getting muscle definition. I attribute this to maintaining a calorie deficit and just my body type. The closer I get to the half and further into the program, the harder I find it is to keep up with the lifting but we also have a ton going on in our lives right now that doesn’t help.
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35 Katie @ Life... Discombobulated May 24, 2011 at 10:53 am

I ordered the book a couple of weeks ago after seeing it on Kelly’s blog and after seeing that Mama Pea used it. I like it a lot and, since I am in an off-season and not training for any distance races right now, it seems like the perfect time to incorporate it.
I have always enjoyed lifting, but it’s something I don’t make the time to do often enough. I usually manage to get something in twice a week, but with no actual PROGRAM (like the ones I use to help motivate me to train for a race), I let that part of my training fall by the wayside. For me, lifting helps keep me from getting injured and therefore is a really important aspect of training that needs more focus. This book gives me a plan to follow and seems simple and straightforward so far. I did the first workout last week and was sore for a good two days afterwards, which I felt was a very good sign.
I also felt weird about all of the protein powder recommended, but I agree with you that a smoothie would be a great, easily digestible way to fuel pre- or post-workout.
I am really interested to see how you’re going to incorporate the lifting into your training! Can’t wait for that post! πŸ™‚
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36 Lauren May 24, 2011 at 11:06 am

I do agree that too much steady cardio may not be helpful, and strength is so important for variety & helping prevent injuries. I’d love to try this because I lift weights once a week, but I don’t know too much about it, and a plan to follow would be great. I think endurance cardio is fine, and I’m still going to do it, and this is just a great reminder to be better about getting speedwork in.

You said he talked about intervals, but does he mention if other types of speedwork are effective too (like tempo runs)?

37 Meghann May 24, 2011 at 11:25 am

He doesn’t. He only refers to interval as a method for weight loss, not in training for endurance events.

38 Courtney May 24, 2011 at 11:09 am

I’m so burnt out with working out and I totally think its because of not providing myself with variety, I’m going to check this book out!
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39 Cassie @ Back to Her Roots May 24, 2011 at 11:21 am

Oh! I so need to read this book! I’ve been so frustrated with running because during training for my half, I lost pretty much all my muscle tone and could not stop packing on the pounds. Now, I’m trying to focus on strength this summer.
Cassie @ Back to Her Roots recently posted..monday motivation- get movin’!

40 Gina @ Will Run For Cupcakes May 24, 2011 at 11:22 am

I’m training for my first Marathon and this review is super helpful. I never ever strength train and this just confirms how important it really is. Thanks for all of the useful information. I might even buy the book…. πŸ™‚
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41 amyt May 24, 2011 at 11:22 am

I haven’t read this book – but I have been lifting for over a year now, and I’m a big fan – I did zero cardio, I’m not against it at all – just not a fan of running. I would like to add it in…just haven’t yet. I started working out 5 days a week – taking Wed/Sun off. I lost over 35 lbs – probably really more because I gained muscle – lost tons of inches – I did measure myself. I work a body part out a day – biceps one…triceps…legs etc. I do 3 sets of 4 different excercises. I kept a journal at first (it’s full) – wrote down what I did daily and at what weight so I would remember – after each set I would add weight…going up every week. I LOVE it!! btw..I’m a Florida girl too…..GO NOLES!! Heading to Universal in 2 wks!

42 Biz May 24, 2011 at 11:58 am

I am still a firm believer is that when it all comes down to it, its calories in/calories out if you want to lose weight. Of course, the calories matter, which is why I am loving the new WW plan – plenty of fruits and veggies and lean protein and good fats – olive oil, avocado, etc.

I am down almost 15 pounds since March 1, and I hadn’t lost a pound in the 2 1/2 years ago I started my blog to “get me motivated” to lose weight.

Plus, I am competitive, so I like to see a loss on the scale each week πŸ˜€

43 Meghann May 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm

You’re doing awesome Biz! I think what it really comes down to is discovering what works for you. Right now, for me, it’s not all about weight loss, it’s just about tightening up, which is why I want to take on the challenge. πŸ™‚

44 Hollie May 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Me, too, Meaghan- calories in vs calories out definitely leads to weight loss, but also possible a much smaller version of the exact same shape. To change the body’s shape weights are necessary in my experience! πŸ™‚

Just got the book, too- look forward to reading it.

45 Katherine: Unemployed May 24, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I’ve been really curious; I need to lift WAY more
Katherine: Unemployed recently posted..Hamlet

46 Chelsey (Cookteen) May 24, 2011 at 12:30 pm

for smoothies–I make mine at night and then put them in the coldest part of my fridge and they seem to last. I don’t have time before school so if I want a smoothie this is a perfect fix! πŸ™‚
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47 Clare @ Fitting It All In May 24, 2011 at 12:43 pm

I totally want to go buy this book now. I’ve been added more strength training to my workouts ever since my marathon, but I’m kind of clueless! Thanks for the review!
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48 Sarah for Real May 24, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I just put it on my library list! Apparently 2 other gals were ahead of me though. Boo.

49 Christine May 24, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Is there any advice on busting weightlifting boredom? That’s why my efforts have failed in the past, I think.
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50 Liz May 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I think it’s pretty good at that because the workouts change pretty regularly and the workouts are pretty dynamic. I definitely didn’t get bored like I have with other routines.
Liz recently posted..Tooling Around in the Kitchen- Soya Power Plus

51 Meghann May 24, 2011 at 1:50 pm

I think it’s finding a plan that offers a lot of variety. This plan doesn’t have you doing the same moves every workout and just when you get used to it, it switches it up. I deal with weight room boredom too, so I’m hoping this approach works for me.

52 Tracy May 24, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I’ve been a little apprehensive about buying the book b/c I was under the impression you have to belong to a gym in order do complete the workouts. Do you think this is true or do you think the workouts can be done at home?

53 Liz May 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm

If you have a weight set, the workouts can be done at home. Otherwise, probably not.
Liz recently posted..Tooling Around in the Kitchen- Soya Power Plus

54 Meghann May 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm

I think it’s probably better to belong to a gym. He makes some points that the moves can be modified to be performed at home, but it seems even those moves require a full set of dumbells at your disposal.

55 Maria May 24, 2011 at 1:18 pm

I’m in the middle of reading it right now! I lift weights (heavy ones and full body pull ups) and while I agree with most of his concepts, I do know that each person is different. For instance, if I lift too much and do too little cardio or no stretching, I don’t see results. For me, a good combination of all three (just as we’ve always learned) is my happy medium.

Though I don’t take my own advice and I’m so hooked to yoga right now that it’s all I want to do πŸ™‚
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56 Liz May 24, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I read the book (also the first that I actually read) and really enjoyed it. I still run long distances, but the strength training plans definitely have value – I got stronger and felt better. I didn’t follow the diet plan because I eat pretty healthfully already.
Liz recently posted..Tooling Around in the Kitchen- Soya Power Plus

57 Mac May 24, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I have not read it, but it’s on my list of books to check out!
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58 Linda @ Lemons May 24, 2011 at 1:42 pm

I bought this book a couple of weeks ago, and there are parts that I think are very good. I am totally turned off by his aversion to cardio, I think he is neglecting a very important part of running/biking/swimming/whatever which is the effects that one gets mentally from a long cardio workout. For some of us, this is very important, equivalent to meditation. I don’t get that from strength training.

It is hard for me to stick to a program in a book because I get bored, which is why I bought a couple of DVDs to keep things changing.

As for protein powder, my favorite is Syntrax Nectar Chocolate Truffle. I also have the vanilla flavor to mix into smoothies, but the chocolate I can drink straight mixed with water. It’s great after a workout when I have to drive home – I can mix it right in the car.
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59 Meghann May 24, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I think my problem with protein powder and water is I’m not a fan of straight milk or chocolate milk, and that’s the flavor (and texture!) the mixes always seem to replicate.

60 Wendy May 24, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I love seeing books like these get a bit more attention. My routine is based on heavy compound exercises, and I often get a “You lift heavy weights? How come you’re not huge?” at the office if we ever get on the topic (I’m quite petite). I tell people that I’m a good representation of how women cannot easily bulk through heavy weights. Strength training is a must for me, particularly since I have a bad knee from a soccer injury – keeping the muscles strong alleviates the pressure. Also, weight training in general has helped my speed in sports and running! Cardio is minimized to 3o mins at a time – while I believe it is good for health, unless I’m training for a race, I don’t feel the need to do more than that to keep the heart strong.

One advantage I find with a heavy compound and cardio routine is that I’m in and out in an hour, and I only have to do it three times a week! It’s a bit of a timesaver and lets us have more time for ourselves!
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61 Kristi May 24, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I have not read the book, but by reading your notes-none of it is a suprise to me. I teach SPIN 3-4 times a week (an hour each class) and was told that soon it wouldn’t matter because my body would get used to it. Do I agree-to a point. I still think the body will burn calories and provide muscle strength since my classes are different formats-strength, interval, endurance etc.

62 Jenny May 24, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Thanks for posting this! I’ve read several reviews, so I actually bought it on Amazon last night. I just started running and doing yoga a few months ago, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to dip my toes in the strength training waters, so to speak. Super excited to see your follow up about how the plan works for you!

63 Jamie May 24, 2011 at 2:58 pm

I am currently waiting for this book to be delivered to my house. I am at a total plateau with my weight loss and am hoping that this will help shake things up. I only have about 10 more to lose and it is not budging!

64 Wendi Matt May 24, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I haven’t read this book and typically, I get a little skeptical of books like this. Authors like this make the assumption that everyone’s purpose for fitness is body composition and that’s just not the case. In fact, I would say that most runners/endurance athletes probably started running to lose weight but in the end, it turned into something different. It’s like people that do yoga for fitness… you can certainly get that from it but it’s not necessarily the point.

If you’re goal is to look like a fitness model, then I would eat a diet heavily weighted in protein, cut out processed carbohydrates & do crossfit.

If you’re goal is to be healthy, then do what you love. For me, I am not super interested in spending my life in the gym. I love running with my friends and it’s a great way to get outside and be active. So is hiking, cycling, etc. Why spend an hour in a gym to look good when I can get the same health benefits outside doing something social…

just another perspective πŸ™‚
& p.s. I still do go to the gym & lift weights… i just prefer to run half marathons

65 Meghann May 24, 2011 at 3:19 pm

I like your outlook. Well said. πŸ™‚

66 Amanda@RunningOnCoffee May 24, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Yes, nicely put, Wendi!

If your goal is to run long distances, obviously you wouldn’t cut them out of your routine.

Body composition is not my main goal, improving my running times is. So I mostly run, but I have a variety of runs within one week: long, speed work, pace, tempo, short/easy. I also incorporate riding my bike or spinning classes, and boot camp for building core strength (or I try to replicate in my living room when I can’t make it to class- by doing lots of planks, crunches, wall sits, pushups and lighter weights). It’s working for me.
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67 D May 24, 2011 at 7:43 pm

I think this is a great attitude, and I definitely agree with you to some extent, but you also have to keep in mind that this is a book with the words “rules of lifting” in the title and a picture of a very toned woman holding dumbells…this isn’t a general fitness book on advice, it’s got a very specific purpose, so the advice in the book is geared towards that purpose. I don’t think he’s saying there’s something wrong with cardio in general (and I have read the book:)) but just that, if you are trying to achieve a particular goal (and if you picked up this book, chances are your goal is toned muscles…) then you need to cut out the cardio, lift weights, spend time in a gym, etc.

He isn’t making the assumption that everyone has the goal of looking like a fitness model – but it’s probably the goal of people who picked up this book.

68 Stephanie May 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I haven’t read it, but I have ben thinking about adding weight lifting/strength training into my workouts but keep getting overwhelmed by the weights. I may have to get the book. Hopefully it can help me from feeling overwhelmed.
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69 Lexie May 24, 2011 at 4:20 pm

This book was really smart. I like how he talked about recovery being more important for building muscle than working out.
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70 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife May 24, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Haven’t read it, but from your review it sounds pretty standard, great info I have gotten from my own research, my Master’s degree, and being an instructor myself.

SO true, that women do NOT need to worry about bulking up if they lift heavy!!! And get off all those cardio machines for hours on end and lift weights πŸ™‚ Like BodyPUMP! <–but I do love a good, long run once in awhile as well!

71 Courtney May 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I lift and I love it! Weights are a girls best friend! I am asked DAILY what I do to get my legs to look the way they do!
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72 Mara May 24, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Great review!! I never used to strength train and last summer I started doing a boot camp. I did it 3 days a week and ran three days a week/trained for a half marathon. My boot camp instructor treated everyone the same, male and female. I was lifting the same if not more than the guys at camp. I could not believe how much boot camp improved my running. No more back aches, leg aches, nothing. I think the strength training/boot camp really helped my running and helped me shave 17 minutes off my half marathon PR. I am now a firm believer in strength training. It’s a balance between cardio and strength training for me, now.

I would love to read this, it’s going on my amazon wish list! πŸ™‚

73 Kristen @ The Concrete Runner May 24, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Thanks for the review. I am really into weight lifting in addition to running. I have been a runner for about 10 years now, but really got into weight lifting after I graduated from high school. I totally agree that LSD runs do nothing to help you lose weight. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism. I have found that the more miles I run, the less apparent my toned muscles are. The best my body has ever looked was when I was doing very little cardio and a lot of weight lifting. Unfortunately, I LOVE running so I’m not going to stop doing it, but I always make sure I am lifting heavy weight 3-4 times per week to keep my muscles strong and toned.
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74 Kelly May 24, 2011 at 9:25 pm

It’s preface, not preference! Lol!!

75 Shah'ada May 25, 2011 at 12:38 pm

I have the book because I have heard amazing things about it … I just haven’t been inspired to read it yet! Looks like I may be hopping on the reading bandwagon soon. Thanks for the review!

76 Jaime Doornbos February 2, 2012 at 9:33 am

I have just ordered the book at the encouragement of my boyfriend, who has been following the men’s version for a while now.
I don’t think I will take it as the “only” way of thinking like he does, but, I like that he agrees the women don’t have to lift differently than men.
As for the cardio being unimportant, many of my trainer friends feel the same way. I know for me, if I am doing a great work out it gives me cardio as well. I do think if you want enduracnce you have to do some strictly cardio training as well though. My boyfriend is a police officer and he still does a cardio day so he is able to have endurance duing a foot chase if needed.
No one trainer is the “God” of expertise. I think they all have good and maybe not so good advice.
Be smart, educate yourself and know your body and take that to your workouts!

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