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A few months ago I reviewed The Female Body Breakthrough

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by Rachel Cosgrove. I really enjoyed it and gave it a pretty high rating. One of the things I found as a potential drawback was the similarity of the workouts to another book (co-authored by her husband, Alwyn Cosgrove) called The New Rules of Lifting for Women
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I thought for those who have already read the New Rules of Lifting for Women (NROL4W) The Female Body Breakthrough might feel redundant in some respects, particularly the style of workouts. However, having had time to further examine both books I might have jumped the gun a bit.

While the types of exercises and layout of the workouts are very similar, there is one big difference. NROL4W wants you to not be afraid to lift heavy and puts on emphasis on getting strong.  Not that the Female Body Breakthrough doesn’t challenge you, it does. But it doesn’t put as much emphasis on building strength through lifting heavier.

I think this is important because many women are afraid of anything bigger than a 5lb dumbbell. I see it all the time. The same tired bicep curls with the same tiny weights. Or using the leg press with maybe 50 lbs on it, seesawing back and forth at lightning speed. Yet we carry huge baskets of laundry upstairs and down or kids to and from the car, both of which I guarantee weigh more than 5lbs. We need strength!

The program in NROL4W is designed to do that and I think can be very effective for someone who has been lifting for a while and perhaps finds themselves in a bit of a rut. The exercises are basic, yet challenging and the structure really encourages you to push past your comfort zone when it comes to the amount of weight you can lift.

Nutritionally the program is also sound. I really like the fact that this book is not about extreme calorie cutting. After all, you need some fuel for that heavy lifting. It gives you a simple tool to help you find your maintenance calorie level and recommends trying that for the first four weeks. Then you assess your progress and look at the whole picture. Not just the number on the scale, but how do your clothes fit and how do you feel? If you aren’t seeing results it then recommends cutting a maximum of 300 calories per day for another four weeks before assessing your progress again.

I like this approach. It is counter to the crash diet, lose weight quick trend I am so not a fan of. It also helps us remember that weight loss is not an exact science. Everyone is different. Start with the small reduction in calories and see how your body reacts.  Make adjustments based on your individual progress not some one size fits all number.

I would rate this book a 9 also and would recommend checking out either or both. In fact, I want to help you do that.  I have one copy of The New Rules of Lifting for Women that I would like to send to one lucky reader.

Here’s what you have to do. Post one comment (one entry per person) to the blog and tell me what your favorite weight training exercise is.  All entries must be posted by 10 pm CST on Wednesday June 23 to be eligible. Only U.S. residents are eligible. A winner will be chosen at random and notified by a post to the blog and email (when possible). Good luck to all!

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