Strong: Nine Workout Programs for Women to Burn Fat, Boost Metabolism, and Build Strength for Life

Strong: Nine Workout Programs for Women to Burn Fat, Boost Metabolism, and Build Strength for Life

by Lou Schuler, Alwyn Cosgrove

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781583335758
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/10/2015
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Lou Schuler is a National Magazine Award–winning journalist, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, and the author or coauthor of several popular books about diet and strength training. He has worked as fitness editor at Men’s Fitness and fitness director at Men’s Health, and has contributed to a long list of magazines, including Men’s Journal, Fit Pregnancy, and Better Homes and Gardens. He lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania, with his wife and their three children.

Alwyn Cosgrove is co-owner, with his wife, Rachel, of Results Fitness in Newhall, California. He is a professional member of the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American College of Sports Medicine, among other organizations, and is a frequent contributor to a variety of magazines, including Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness.

Read an Excerpt

Introduction: You Aren’t Who You Used to Be
 
Dana Smith remembers the first time. It was late summer 2009. “The arthritis in my knees was getting so bad my doctor was ready to put me on constant pain meds,” she told me recently. “I told him I’d think about it and get back to him.” Thinking about it meant research. Research convinced her that it was time to take action. Specifically, to strengthen her muscles with a serious training program. That led her to The New Rules of Lifting for Women, a book my coauthors and I had published the year before. We wrote it for a simple reason: Readers asked us for it. They asked because the guidance women received from the media, from their peers, and even from fitness professionals in health clubs was the opposite of what we provided for men.
 
This was despite the fact there was no reason to give different advice to men and women. Exercise science had concluded long before that the muscles of men and women are exactly the same. Your muscles and my muscles perform the same actions and produce the same movements. Pound for pound, they generate the same amount of force. When trained, they respond equally well. But here’s the worst part: This wasn’t secret information. Everyone who wrote about strength training or trained female athletes or worked with female clients either knew or should have known.
 
The exercises in NROL for Women weren’t the ones readers like Dana were used to seeing in books and magazines. She’d never done a push-up before, or a deadlift, or a squat with a barbell on her back. And the advice to focus on strength and muscle development, rather than “toning” and “shaping,” was a paradigm shift for women who’d developed an irrational fear of “bulking up” if they lifted anything bigger than their forearms or heavier than a purse.
 
So on September 9, 2009, Dana tried it. Arthritic joints and all. She could barely bend her knees on the squat and had to do her push-ups against a kitchen counter. But by the end of the program, she could do eight push-ups. Traditional push-ups, with her hands and toes on the floor. She could lift a 135-pound barbell off the ground and squat with 100 pounds on her back. And those pain meds her doctor was about to prescribe? Turns out, she didn’t need them. She just needed to get strong.
 
“Anyone who actually finishes the program comes out a changed person,” she told me. “Most of us never knew how strong we could be. It opened doors we didn’t even know were there.”
 
OUR GREATEST MISTAKE
 
Here’s the irony of Dana’s transformation: We never thought readers like her would pick up the book. The original title, Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess, signaled our goal of reaching women who were already working out but not getting the results they wanted. I saw countless women like that in the gym. They were healthy and appeared able and willing to work hard toward their goals, but did so with workouts that were unlikely to help them accomplish anything useful. Those are the readers who contacted Alwyn and me when we published The New Rules of Lifting, our first book together, in 2006.
 
To our delight, NROL for Women (the title we very wisely switched to after the book was already written and photographed) reached that target audience. We heard from readers who’d lost fat, improved their physiques in noticeable ways, and found they enjoyed doing the type of workouts we provided for guys in the original NROL.

But we also heard from readers like Dana, who was so excited by her progress that she started a Facebook group for her fellow lifters. Beyond their gender and the fact that they love lifting heavy things, they have little in common. In fact, these days I rarely hear from anyone who fits my original concept. Our universe of lifters includes women from their twenties to their seventies. From competitive athletes to complete beginners. From underweight to severely obese. From healthy to anything but.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: You Aren't Who You Used to Be xi

Part 1 What works, what doesn't, and Why We're Still Confused

1 Why Strength Matters 3

2 Why Muscle Matters 11

3 Why Weight Control (Not Weight Loss) Matters 16

4 Why Protein Is the Key to a Successful Diet 25

5 Why All This Still Seems So Confusing 32

Part 2 The Training Program

6 How the System Works 43

7 Phase One: Develop 51

8 Phase Two: Demand 64

9 Phase Three: Display 89

Part 3 The Exercises

10 Moves That Matter 111

11 RAMP 113

12 Core Training 135

13 Lower-Body Exercises 167

14 Upper-Body Exercises 203

15 Intervals, Cardio, and the Perils of All of the Above 234

Part 4 Yes, But…

16 All Those Nagging Doubts 247

Appendix A A Beginner's Guide to Lifting 251

Appendix B Strength-Training Equipment 255

Appendix C How Much Weight Should I Use? 262

Notes 264

Index 277

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Strong: Nine Workout Programs for Women to Burn Fat, Boost Metabolism, and Build Strength for Life 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice prophecy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good! Keep it up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story is great so far! The only thing I have to say is seperate your authors not from the rest of your writing with a < br > < p > if you know what I mean. I know I got a bit confused when you jumped into your note so suddenly, and Im sure other people will as well