One line from authors Wayne Wescott, Ph.D., and Gary Reinl sums up their book: “Remember, you are not trying to lose weight. You are trying to lose fat.” Get Stronger, Feel Younger is about building muscles, the calorie-burning engines we need to stay strong, lean and healthy throughout our lives.
While the 200-plus-page book is aimed primarily at women, men can learn a lot from its contents—and if you’re an experienced male bodybuilder, you may have a girlfriend or wife who will benefit from the information and motivation in it.
The strength-training programs are relatively simple—one requires only 20 minutes two days a week and a more advanced version is a three-days-per-week routine, each workout lasting about 30 minutes.
Obviously, it isn’t a book for getting your body into competitive shape, but it gives you a great starter plan that claims great fat-off, muscle-on results with no cardio and no strict dieting. In fact, Wescott and Reinl discuss in Chapter 2 why diet plans don’t work—one of the big reasons being muscle loss. As you lose muscle, your body needs fewer calories, so your metabolism slows down—your resting metabolic rate can be reduced by as much as 350 calories per day. No wonder people who go off diets gain all their weight back and more.
On the other hand, stronger muscles burn more calories, and the authors do a good job of explaining why in Chapter 3. Then they get into the specifics of training, covering everything from sets, reps and progression to training speed, posture and breathing.
They outline a number of programs that use various equipment. There’s an all-machine workout for those who train at a fitness facility. There’s an at-home workout that requires only dumbbells, an adjustable bench and floor exercises. They even outline a complete Bowflex workout, and they include advanced versions of each of the programs as well.
The end of the book is all about proper nutrition, and I was surprised and pleased to see a distinct bent toward protein in every menu presented—a total of 12 complete meal-by-meal menus.
The last chapter is filled with great recipes, like California chicken soup, Thai chicken stir-sizzle, home-run hamburgers and spicy ’n’ light shrimp curry. There’s even a section of vegetarian recipes.
As I said, this book is not for advanced bodybuilders. Rather it’s for the advanced bodybuilder to give to a female acquaintance to get her started building muscle to lose fat. It’s full of sound advice, simple programs and detailed nutrition recommendations and menus. IM
Editor’s note: Find Becky Holman’s before and after photos as well as her fat-to-muscle transformation story at www.X-tremeLean.com.