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

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  875 ratings  ·  65 reviews
A revolutionary method of weight lifting using today's science for maximum results. In The New Rules of Lifting, fitness guru Lou Schuler and strength-training expert Alwyn Cosgrove boil down the most recent findings on weight lifting and fitness to create a program of workouts that focuses on the movements at which the body naturally excels. These six "real-life" movement ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published December 29th 2005 by Avery (first published December 1st 2005)
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Duffy Pratt
Nov 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: exercise
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
Sean Blevins
Jun 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Steve Moskowitz
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Written in an entertaining style - a good primer on lifting. Perhaps one of the best ones I have read. Now, if only this review could do the work for me!
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
John Gonzales
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

Wide range of knowledge with experiments/tests cited to back up his opinions. Also, he enjoys the skeptical reader which is a major plus imo. Very sarcastic...made it all the more enjoyable...if you are new to lifting or admittedly express that you have limited knowledge in this area then you should get this book. There seems to be a few things you do in life that is life changing...allow you to crack a smile in this miserable world. This book may very well be a life changing event.
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
It was a good attempt, but the book lacked clarity. I think the primary author spent more time comparing and contrasting to talk about differences than to actually drive home the point based on sound fundamentals. There are good nuggets out there, but has to learn to stay put with all that is going on.
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting training background

I truly enjoyed reading this author. I even started putting a plan together. And then from the squats I blew out the t-band in my left leg and it has been hurting for three months. Can't do squats now. And then with all the excellent increase in weights I was feeling great. And then the pressure caused a torn retina so after laser surgery I'm not allowed to do any exercise or lift heavy weights for two weeks at least. Sigh. There goes the making of a six pack.

Sydney Stories
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I really enjoyed this book. I'm more experienced of a lifter and didn't need the programs, but the information presented earlier in the book (the first 200 pages or so) was really helpful to me. The author's voice was a little annoying sometimes but overall he taught me a few things I didn't know before and reinforced what I did. Really more geared to newbies and men (as always- lifting books always focus on men :/) but I found the information very helpful, presented in a straightforward mann
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I learnt a lot from this book, it was a good read.
Jul 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
Waste of money
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Probably one of the best lifting workout books for everyone who is just looking to be more it and develop strength. Not for competition body builders but the regular joe. Looking forward to starting the break-in program and begin the journey.
Aug 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Enrique Mendez
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well written, simple to follow

This book answered all my questions in a very clear and concise manner. I have been lifting for years, and i think i know quite a bit, so it is refreshing when a book comes along reminds you of ways that worked in the beginning. For example, i used to workout and do cardio in some combination every day and wondered why i had no gains. Now my gains have stayed again by doing two sets of watch exercise the times a week. Definitely a time saver and a way to stay song
Jul 31, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: reference
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
Feb 26, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-new-york
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
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) ...more
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Steve H
Apr 27, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 613, fitness
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.
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
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! ...more
Nov 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: skills-how-to
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.
Apr 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
Not impressed. Great look, nice pictures, layout and overall presentation, but useable content and programming is sub par. Stick with effective programming like Starting Strength, Tactical Barbell, and Wendler's 531. I could be wrong but I believe this book is from Men's Health, and that's exactly what it reads like, a long MH article.
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