Thursday September 29th 2022

Review of The New Rules of Lifting for Women [weight lifting]

newrulesThe New Rules of Lifting for Women is a nutrition and exercise guide book written by Lou Schuler with input from nutritionist Cassandra Forsythe and well known trainer Alwyn Cosgrove. The book is a combination of information about how to eat well, the anatomy behind weight lifting and a workout guide.

Target Audience

This book is geared towards women who are new to weightlifting. However I believe there is also a lot of information that would be useful both for men and women who have some weight lifting experience. The title of the book “… for women” may be a bit misleading. There is nothing female specific in the book. The reason the book is for women is because it spends a decent amount of text dispelling the myths that women shouldn’t weight train. Many women think that if they lift weights they will get “big” or look “manly.” Schuler explains why this is not true and then goes on to teach readers the same nutritional and exercise methods and theories that men have been following for years.

Contents of the Book

The book is a 272 page paperback book. The first section of the book speaks about the anatomy of mens and womens bodies and the effects of weight lifting. As I noted previously he makes it clear that women simply don’t “bulk up” the way men do and there should not be fears of getting too big. I really resonated with his statements because I have been weight lifting for a few years and am far from “big.” It is great to hear this information from a professional.

The second section of the book discusses nutrition. Schuler recommends readers eat 5-6 small meals a day and emphasizes the importance of getting enough protein. This is not a diet book and Schuler doesn’t talk much about cutting out fat and carbs and all the information you expect in women’s dieting books. Instead Schuler speaks about the importance of getting enough calories for your body to be healthy and perform in your workouts. This section also includes sample meal plans with recipes. Personally, I feel confident in my knowledge of nutrition and did not follow the meal plans but they did look healthy and reasonable.

The third section, the largest in the book, talks about the workouts you will be doing. Schuler breaks the workouts into 7 stages. The seven stages will take you about 6 months if you workout three times a week. He says it is acceptable to work out 2 times a week but it will obviously take longer. I initially was confused about the workouts and the way he writes the information about sets and reps, but once I figured it out it was quite clear. I found the workouts varied in how long the took me – some days it was a 30 minute workout and some of the later workouts took closer to an hour. Each workout is laid out in a chart instructing you how many reps and sets you should do that day. It also refers you to a page in the book where each exercise is explained. The explanations have a photo of someone doing the exercise with detailed text on how to do the exercise. I have some experience weight lifting so I found the instructions clear, someone brand new to lifting may need a little more information to understand the exercise. Schuler is also clear on why you should be doing these sorts of routines and what you should expect to achieve.

My Experience

When starting a new workout routine women need to set their expectations appropriately. Your body is not going to change overnight, no matter what you do. Overall I have seen small changes over time. This partly validates the point that women can do the same exercises as men and not get “huge.” At the same time I did not try that hard. There are a couple keys to a good workout. One is knowledge, which this book will give you and the other is motivation which needs to come from you.

Overall I found the workout plan to give me some good ideas and help me focus my attention in the gym. I enjoyed the workouts enough that I went through them twice and then I purchased Schuler’s previous book – The New Rules of Lifting: Six Basic Moves for Maximum Muscle.

Review also posted on Epinions.

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One Response to “Review of The New Rules of Lifting for Women [weight lifting]”

  1. great post! I have been looking for a new workout routine in yahoo and I stumbled your site.

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