I was a little surprised by the title of Rachel Cosgrove’s

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latest book:

Drop Two Sizes!

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The words burst from the cover in giant print. They sounded like a headline from a magazine cover promoting the latest fad diet.

I am a huge fan of both Rachel and Alwyn Cosgrove. Their focus on functional fitness and common sense nutrition have led me to read almost every one of their books. They are also smart business people who own one of the most profitable gyms in the nation. I have taken their course on the business of fitness and learned their methods of program design via their training manuals. I have a great amount of respect for them as fitness professionals and entrepreneurs.

Yet something about a guarantee to drop two sizes in 12 weeks always makes me a bit leery. But as we all know the devil is in the details.

When the book arrived in the mail (from Amazon and on my own dime) I saw the small print:

A Proven Plan to Ditch the Scale

At the Cosgrove’s gym, Results Fitness, they hold a Skinny Jeans Challenge several times a year. Using the same plan documented in the book, they help women drop 2 sizes by the end of the program. But this is not a weight loss challenge. In fact some women actually gain weight while fitting into a smaller size. The goal of the challenge is therefore to change the body for the better not change the number on the scale. The results once again prove that weight loss and fat loss are not the same thing.

The beauty of it is the plan is neither hardcore or revolutionary. Since I have learned from their training manuals the workouts are very similar in the methods I use with my clients: functional compound exercises for both strength and cardio workouts. She lays out each month of workouts for you in an easy to follow and print calendar. The workouts don’t take a lot of time per session and there are only 4 structured workouts a week. The rest of the week is for rest, active recovery or other activities you might enjoy (like running).

Strength workouts are the focus and cardio is body weight based metabolic training.  I love the workouts but they would be hard to do at home (unless you have TRX and a good place to anchor it and a resistance band at home).  I love the addition of mobility-focused exercises in these workouts, a change from the program in the Female Body Breakthrough.

The nutrition sections are common sense and, in another difference from her previous book, there is a meal plan to follow. I am struggling with the idea of meal plans right now.  I’ve always been about teaching people to fish yet I am starting to see the need for clearer guidelines for some, especially in the beginning. If you use it as a training tool to start making your own meal plans in the future this meal plan can be a useful tool. Be warned vegetarians: there is a lot of meat and, if you choose to follow, you’ll have to make substitutions.

If you’re ready to rock your jeans this fall check out this book from one of the smartest women in fitness.

Anyone else tried this book or The Female Body Breakthrough? What about the New Rules of Lifting for Women?

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