I get a sense of pride when someone from our bodybuilding world takes proper weight training to the masses. I emphasize proper because so many “trainers,” if you will, make the mistake of overworking neophytes to the point of no return—as in no return on their effort followed by no return to the gym.
IRON MAN editor in chief Steve Holman and his wife Becky have done it right. They’ve reworked and updated Vince Gironda’s density training principles to create their F4X System. IM readers will be familiar with Steve’s moderate-weight 4X method, and in Old School, New Body, he and Becky have applied it to excellent programs primarily geared to the over-35 set looking for health, some muscle and the amazing anti-aging benefits of resistance training.
They have three levels: Lean, Shape and Build. The Lean program is a basic four-exercise protocol that’s excellent for beginners—and it can be used by anyone three days a week to reap the benefits of weight training. Many will want to stick with this core four or a variation of them for life, depending on goals. No, with only four exercises, Lean is definitely not a hardcore bodybuilding routine, but it’s designed to increase growth hormone, melt bodyfat and build just enough new muscle for a healthy quality of life. And the workouts take less than 30 minutes in a gym or at home with dumbbells.
The Shape program is also three days a week, but it’s somewhat more extensive, with more exercises, so each session takes about 45 minutes. Don’t let the title fool you. This is basic bodybuilding for men and women, and as with the Lean program it uses the F4X twist on every exercise—no heavy joint-bashing poundages necessary.
The Build program is Steve’s full-range Positions of Flexion protocol applied to every muscle—with 4X. It’s very similar to the more advanced workout that Steve, in his early 50s, uses now. This chapter also includes ways to up the intensity of F4X, such as with rest/pause, the plus-one method and Tri-X, a multi-tempo sequence for superior fiber activation.
Old School, New Body also contains their diets and a list of alternate meals, fat-loss and nutrition tips, Becky’s transformation story and sections on key supplements, alcohol (not so bad after all), the truth about etching abs, testosterone boosting and more. Plus, you get bonus e-books featuring items the Holmans have collected over the years on anti-aging, better sex, muscle building, fat burning and health and happiness. All are treasure troves of information, as is the main e-book.
Granted, Old School, New Body is aimed more at those in the general public who need weight training—but in my opinion, that’s everyone. I highly recommend it. (To order or for more information, visit OldSchoolNewBody.com. If you know someone who would benefit from the OSNB program, please forward them this review.)