I bought The New Rules of Lifting for Life yesterday. I haven't been keeping up with the series. I don't know why. Lou Schuler is hilarious, and Alwyn Cosgrove writes brutally effective workouts. Perhaps they're a little too brutally effective! I may still have some post-traumatic stress from Afterburn. Here's what caught my attention about this book, Lou and Alwyn realized they could no longer do their own programs, or any programs, exactly as written. They were having to modify them because Lou is a million years old now and Alwyn has survived stage 4 cancer a couple of times. With that in mind, they have written a book for those of us who, although we may have been elite gym warriors at one time, are now old and crunchy. If you're a beginner, if you're overweight, if you're working around injuries or limitations, this is the New Rules book for you.
Instead of giving a generic program for everybody, it's what Alwyn calls a Chinese Menu system. You pick something from every column, only instead of it being a soup, a meat, two vegetables, a sauce, and rice or noodles, it's movement prep, core training, power training, strength training (a squat, a hinge, a lunge, a 1-leg stance, a push, a pull, or a combo), metabolic training, and recovery. You get to pick the exercise that matches your fitness level and doesn't aggravate your injuries. Or, if you're too lazy to do that, there is a sample protocol for beginner and advanced lifters with all of the exercises already filled in for you. There are three phases: Transform, Develop, and Maximize that will each be 4-6 weeks in length depending on how many days per week you do the workouts (2-3x per week is recommended).
These workouts either require a gym membership, or they require you being pretty well setup at home. You need a barbell, and if you don't have a cable pulley system, you need an assortment of tubing and something sturdy to attach it too. If you have a pull-up bar, a TRX, or a kettlebell, you'll be using it. You might also need some tall boxes or steps, a bench, a stability ball, a foam roller, and a mat.
Am I going to do this? I haven't decided yet. It's conceivable that I could start it when I finish Lauren Brooks' program. That gives me like 8 weeks to convince myself that Alwyn Cosgrove is not trying to kill me. He's trying to help me. :-) In any case, it's a fine and entertaining read that made me laugh out loud numerous times and gave me some great new exercises and workout options. The chapters and rules have names like: Middle Rage, Hurt's No Good, Flabby Road, and You are not a rural Okinawan.