The New Rules of Lifting: Six Basic Moves for Maximum Muscle
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The New Rules of Lifting: Six Basic Moves for Maximum Muscle

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  422 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Ten unique programs for fat loss, muscle gain, and strength improvement for beginners and elite lifters.
Want to get more out of your workout and spend less time in the gym? Many guys devote so many hours to lifting weight yet end up with so little to show for it. In many cases, the problem is simple: They aren't doing exercises based on the movements their bodies were de...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published December 29th 2005 by Avery Publishing Group (first published December 1st 2005)
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If you only buy one book on weightlifting - and you're just interested in fitness, not competition - this should be it.

New Rules contains programs for fat-loss, hypertrophy, and strength training, as well as explanations about how muscles grow, how the body uses fat, and how the skeleto-musclular system becomes stronger.

The book's basic organizing principle: your time weight training is best spent doing compound (multi-joint/muscle) exercises that mimic basic real-life motions. There are six s...more
Duffy Pratt
I first did weightlifting back when Nautilus routines were all the rage. The idea then was that one circuit of the machines, doing 8-12 reps on each machine, was all you needed. Also, the thinking then was that isolating the muscle you worked was most efficient. The only problem with these ideas is that they were probably all false.

This book makes a pretty good case against "doing the machines." In it's stead, it promotes six basic functional movements as the basis for an exercise program: squat...more
An excellent overview for both exercise beginners and more advanced lifters alike. Schuler starts with the importance of resistance exercise in fat and health. He then explains his six core moves (squat, deadlift, lunge, push, pull, twist), and gives variations on exercises for each category (with descriptions and photos).

Then he provides a workout plan that builds on fat loss, muscle growth, and strength-building. The programs could take a full year if one wanted to follow them completely, wit...more
Rob Weaver
The good: This book is better than 90% of the workout books out there. The author rightfully points out the importance of getting off the machines and primarily using free weights. The book also introduced me to two of the most important exercises in the gym: The barbell squat and deadlift.

The bad: There are better books out there. I gained more in the gym in less time in 6 months with Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe than I did over a year with this book. New Rules presents too many plans for...more
I liked this well enough to chuck my current weightlifting routine and switch to the one laid out here. At least for a couple of months, depending on what sort of results I get.

The book is persuasive, clear, and sensible. The exercises are ones which help your body to do everyday tasks, rather than make pretty bumps in places regular folks don't have pretty bumps. These are routines designed to help one's everyday life work better, and as a bonus they are quick. I was in and out of my gym today...more
When it comes to getting stronger, this one doesn't hold a candle to masterpieces like Starting Strength, but this is a good overview of a lot of important concepts and it's written in an engaging way.

It also serves a market of people who aren't necessarily after getting stronger (perhaps they just want to look strong or lose fat). I would argue that being actually strong helps with either of those goals, but that hardly negates the book itself.

An enjoyable read.
I'm not sure how new most of the information in this book is, but I found it very helpful in moving off the machines and starting a more functional, more time-efficient weight training program. The writing style is breezy and easy to read and the information very useful to a novice.

This book emphasizes compound movements that work the body the way that it usually functions in real life, such as squatting, deadlifting, lunging, pushing, pulling, and twisting. It contains programs for various lev...more
Full stars in this context- for what I am currently looking for in the gym, this is a perfect companion.

I've been hitting the gym consistently 4-5 times a week for the last three months. My training started with sessions half on the treadmill then half on the machines. I wasn't enjoying myself enough so I switched from the machines to free weights. Then I wanted to increase my gains and ditched the treadmill. From there I started watching vids and other folks in the gym to learn new exercises t...more
This book brings sensible, time-tested advice for getting started or out of a rut in your lifting. (If these guys don't know the right stuff, nobody does!) I cherry-picked some of the information that I found most useful, but if you want to you can use this book as a complete step-by-step guide to lifting effectively and efficiently. It includes information about training, diet, motivation, and lifestyle. Also, the writing style is very accessible and smooth. One failing: the text really exclude...more
I don't know how new these "rules" actually are. A lot of the information here has been around for quite some time. In fact, all the studies quoted by the author are from 30+ years ago. He also tends to under-explain things. In the section about aerobic exercise he states that strength and endurance should not be trained concurrently because the "interference effect" will force your body to choose endurance over strength. Nothing further is said on the matter, and I for one would be more incline...more
With my recent weight-loss I have been "re-booting" my approach to fitness overall. About half way through my weight-loss I started using the kettlebell. I'm considering a move back into traditional weight lifting.

Contrary to the title, the new rules are pretty much the old rules. I gathered that much thumbing through the book in the book store and that's why I got it. They're very focused on 2 things that I like.

1) Use large muscle groups and multi-joint movements
2) Training that doesn't focus...more
Functional compound lifting movements with an emphasis on power are becoming increasingly popular in the weight rooms these days. Likewise, more and more books are coming out with this sort of topic in mind. This one is no exception but it is generally one of the more practically applicable. That said, there are some workout recommendations that really are just not practical at all unless you own your own fully-equipped gym. I'm specifically speaking about the final weight loss series of workout...more
Ash Moran
NRoL applies very simple principles to generate an effective strength training programme. It is based on the idea that compound exercises that work your body in the way it evolved to be used are most beneficial - so squats and deadlifts, pullups and presses etc feature heavily. Definitely the best introductory book I've seen. (Although, I slightly prefer the workouts in Built for Show: A Guy's Guide to Looking Good Enough to Hook Up)
This book focuses on using large muscle group exercise to build all muscles. For instance, if you're doing pulldowns, then you're working biceps and forearms and back and so on. While I'd say it works, it does not provide the same kind of sculpting and focus that many other programs do. For me, it caused me to thicken all over - my legs and buttocks grew, as did my waistline. When I stopped, I looked more rectangular than ever before.

So if you're interested in building overall strength, more so...more
This is the book that got me to enjoy going to the gym! It has helpful diagrams and (usually) clear explanations of tons of lifts, as well as a whole bunch of workout plans to follow, so it feels like you have a clear path and goals. The philosophy is one that makes sense, and the advice generally accords with methods I have heard and seen people get good results with. He's a decent writer and leavens the book with a little humor, too.

I've heard nothing but good things about the New Rules of Lif...more
Picked up this book on the recommendation of a friend who has been following the program for the past year. I must say I have seen noticeable changes in his physique. Whether or not I can stay consistent with the program and see the same changes is up for debate but I am determined to try. I don't want to become the "fat dad" and gain 30 pounds while "sharing" pregnancy with my wife. This is the first step in that process!
Steve H
Easy to skim. A bit wordy and self-aggrandizing. Still, it has some good ideas for overall strengthening and fitness: don't focus on isolating muscles or groups. Instead do exercises that work the whole body and help with natural activities, like twisting, lifting, pushing, getting out of a chair when you're 90. Also, vary your workouts to exercise all of your body over time.

Didn't bother with trying the 52+ weeks of workouts.
Good strength training reference. Contains sufficient theory and background to back up the accompanying programs. Gives good descriptions of the movements. Programs offer some variety without sacrificing too much program efficiency. The program sections require some careful reading to determine optimal loading, but it's worth spending time on.
Apr 10, 2009 Bill rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in fitness.
Great writing with awesome lifting programs. This book explains why you would want to build your programs around the six basic moves: deadlift, squat, lunge, push, pull and twist. Then it gives you a variety of programs with a variety of workouts that will serve you exceptionally well. This book is targeted at beginning to intermediate lifters.
I searched for a long time to find a book that could teach me something new about working out, and at the same time would offer me suggestions on programs to do while in the gym. This book nailed my expectations. I learned a lot while reading the book, and already started putting a program together based on suggestions in this book.
I find Lou Schuler's writing style to be a little annoying. Way too many corny jokes. However, the content of this book is really fantastic and this book has given me everything I need to start lifting again. Tons of great information if you can ignore the cheesiness.
This book is fantastic. I've read and done the program from The New Rules of Lifting for Women but this book goes into a lot more detail about the why of each of the lifts.

This should be required reading for anyone that wants to sign a gym contract.
This is a great read and a very good follow-up to New Rules of Lifting for Women, you know, for women. It got a little too science-y and muscle specific for my interest level in such things but it gave more information on correct form than the girl version.
If you have to read a book about lifting, and if you are lifting you should read at least a book, is has to be this one.

Fun as hell, I've laughed my arse off a couple of times, great information, common sense, science.

Really enjoyed it.
Fantastic book. It sits in my kitchen, as a constant reminder.

Great combination of nutrition and fitness, rolled into a comedic outlook and writing style. I was laughing from the first page, and nodding along in agreement.
Melissa Shirley
There's a women's version of this too, but I suspect they just tweaked it slightly. So far I'm enjoying the program. No nonsense weight-lifting advice that anyone can understand, and is backed by both science and common sense.
I liked this better than the New Rules of Lifting for Women, however, NRLW makes more sense after reading this. And I still really like his writing style.

I also tried the warmup exercises and could barely do those. *sigh*
Jonathan Cabrera
Muy buen libro que describe desde las buenas prácticas al levantar pesas hasta buenos hábitos alimenticios, con ejercicios que no se enfocan sólo en ejercitar una parte del cuerpo.
Another great book by Lou Schuler - witty explanations mixed in with a lot of good old fashioned common sense. Halfway through the New Rules for Women ..this is next.
This is a pretty good guide to the state-of-the-art in weight training theory and practice, but the workouts leave a great deal to be desired for uncoached beginners.
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