04 September 2012

"New Rules of Lifting for Abs" Book Review

I checked all the "New Rules of Lifting" titles that I could out of the library.  I got the original book title (NROL), the "For Women" (NROLFW), and the "For Abs" (NROLFA) title, though I am still on a waiting list for the "For Life" (NROLFL)- the latest release.

After working my way through the first routine, I ordered "The New Rules of Lifting for Abs" immediately.  The original title, while interesting, is out of date now and really did not capture my attention.  The "For Women" title is interesting, but geared more for someone who has never lifted before ... which is not me.  The "For Abs" title, however, is exactly what I was seeking.

NROLFA is not a book on how to get a six pack (which, I suppose, makes the cover photo a bit misleading, doesn't it?), but rather a super core conditioning based book that includes 3 progressive training rounds of 2 workouts each, enough to keep you occupied for about half a year.

The book does follow the basic premise of push/pull compound lifts - meaning, you want to push some weights and pull other weights with the opposite muscle set.  A typical combo is bench press (the push) and rows (the pull); which, if lifting appropriate weights, works most of the upper body.

This book does not offer spot training/lifting, so there are no biceps or tricep specific movements, rather the push works triceps and the pull works biceps.

Which means???  Your workout is faster.  When you do a lot of small muscle specific lifts, it takes forever to finish a workout.  When you are doing 4 compound lifts, core specific conditioning, and a warmup ... less than 1 hour start to finish.

Thank goodness, especially since I finish my weightlifting workouts off with a short 25-30 minute run on the treadmill (I jokingly call it a dreadmill on occasion, but I don't really dread my runs, so perhaps I am doing the treadmill a disfavor). 

I am now on week 5 of the first training round, doing each of the 2 routines once a week, and finish off my week with a WL video, Ilaria Montagnani's "Athletica," and a yoga video.  So, in actuality, I am lifting 4 times per week, which is a bit much.  However, the Athletica is not heavy lifting, but endurance training, and yoga is not intense.  I would not recommend doing a NROL routine more than 3 times per week.

I did not increase weight much for those first two weeks on the NROLFA routines.  However, weeks 3 and 4 saw some interesting weight increases that I would not have believed early on.  I am about to outgrow my adjustable dumbbell set that only goes to 21 lbs (9.5 kgs), and will need to buy the set that goes to 50 lbs (22.6 kgs) - another totally justifiable expense.

I work out at home, and can just about get all the routines in as written with a weight bench, a step bench, and my adjustable dumbbells and barbell.

I've also jumped up the weights I'm swinging along with the Athletica video ... her first round of intervals used to wear me out with 10 lbs, I'm now up to 15 lbs in two weeks.  I'm pretty sure that is all due to NROLFA, and working the entire body 2 times per week.

Do I recommend NROLFA, abs-olutely!  (I could not resist!)  However, if you are just starting to lift weights, it may be too much for you, and I would recommend you start with NROLFW.

I cannot wait to see what strength gains I make in the second round which starts on week 8!

Am I seeing much physical change?  Not really.  I suppose my triceps might be a bit more defined, but that is about it as far as observable change.  No, my changes are taking place on the inside, those muscles are definitely adapting.

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