The New Rules of Lifting - Is It the Best Way to Burn Calories?

by Suzanne Hiscock
You hear it over and over again: get your heart rate going to burn calories, right? Not so, according to Lou Schuler, in his two books, The New Rules of Lifting: Six Basic Moves for Maximum Muscle and The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess (with Cassandra Forsythe, MS and Alwyn Cosgrove).

He presents an interesting argument for focusing on weight training (strength training) as THE best way to burn more calories, lose fat and get fit. And he's got me convinced!

I just finished reading The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess-- sorry, guys, I don't have the men's version, but I think it's safe to assume he feels the same way in the men's version of the book. A few things that struck a chord with me:
  • He doesn't believe in "eat less, move more" which is the traditional weight loss advice. In fact, he wants you to eat more and move more -- but time your meals after your workouts. (Nutrition timing is something you'll probably start hearing more about in the next few months.)
  • Endurance exercise/cardio is an option, not a necessity, for fat loss. And if you're going for some form of cardio, interval training is a better option. (If you really want to do steady-state/endurance cardio, he'll tell you the one thing you need to do to maximize your cardio workout.)
  • Forget about working out the smaller muscles individually. Instead, stick to the compound movements that exercise your muscles together -- the way the SHOULD be worked.
Lou takes you through the New Rules of Lifting in a friendly, easy-to-understand way. He covers just about all aspects of fat loss, in these 21 rules -- helping you figure out how many calories you should be eating, what kind of calories, when to eat them and how to burn them.

With Cassandra Forsythe's help, Lou provides you with sample meal plans and a simple meal plan template -- plus lots of recipes to get you started. What I loved most about this book is the workout plans (6 month's worth for women/12 months for men). Descriptions and pictures of the exercises are included, as well as optional exercises for those who don't have access to certain gym equipment.

No matter whether you've got fat to lose or muscle to gain, or whether you're a man or woman, The New Rules of Lifting may be THE book that sets you on the path to a healthy, fit body. This is one book that's staying on my desk and is not going into the bookcase!
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About the Author

Suzanne Hiscock is a PN L2 Certified Master Coach, ACE-certified Health Coach, as well as an ACE-certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist. For over 20 years, she's been helping people lose weight and get fit through her website,

And she’s really TRULY SORRY ABOUT THAT. You see, she didn’t realize she was contributing to diet culture; she just wanted to help people feel better. But losing weight isn’t the way to do it. She’s on a mission to change all that with an anti-diet approach. So, pardon the dust on the floor as the website gets revamped.