Progress report, New Rules of Lifting for Women, Lou Schuler

6/28/13 update to readers: I had an injury to my forearm, not long after this. Not from the program though! From lifting a heavy dumbbell out of an awkward position in the garage. I am now a member of the YMCA! Much safer… the equipment is all laid out neatly so you can square yourself before lifting it out of the rack. Also, the barbell rack makes a huge difference for safely getting the barbell onto your back  once the weights start getting big for things like squats and step-ups. I rested a few weeks and then started over with Stage 1. There is no rush. Life is long.

Starting Stage 3:

Barbell bent-over row
Barbell bent-over row
Dumbbell single-arm overhead squat close u
Dumbbell single-arm overhead squat
These are too heavy
These are too heavy
Dumbbell incline bench press
Dumbbell incline bench press
Plank 1
Plank 2
Plank, continued. Will this ever end?

Link to first two book reviews:

Lou Schuler, New Rules of Lifting for Women and
5 Reasons I Love Men: Book Review of The New Rules of Lifting for Women, by Lou Schuler

You want to sail through your life like a beautiful ship. book review New York City Ballet Workout, Peter Martins


…aware of your body as you move through space.


Gorgeous, in every way. The photos are art, the posed dancers are art, the philosophy is beauty, the effect is immediate. Feel looser and stronger after one workout. Be inspired while you do it.

…If you take care of your body, your body will take care of you. It sounds simple, but when you look better and feel better your outlook on life improves. That’s why I believe this workout is a success — because it’s not only based on dance, it’s grounded in good health.

…I think ballet can bring something to everyone. Dance, by its very nature, by the fact that glorious bodies are moving through space, needs no translation. Ballet is a beautiful art form. And dancers are not just beautiful people, they are some of the most dedicated people I know. Ballet is pure and demands you serve something larger than yourself, whether it be beauty or art, or a combination of both. It requires discipline, taking care of yourself, taking care of your own body first. Then it allows you to give of that beauty, the beauty that you acquire by sculpting your own body all your life.

We try to reflect many of these aspects of ballet in our workout. See if by using these techniques to sculpt your outer self, you don’t find a new poise and confidence radiating from your inner self is well.

Peter Martins

Ballet Master in Chief
New York City Ballet
New York City Ballet Workout, Fifty Stretches and Exercises Anyone Can Do for a Strong, Graceful, and Sculpted Body

Does this moment suck? Book review Stillness Speaks, Eckhart Tolle

Like when you have to do frickin laundry? When you could be creating?? Much more important!

Like when you have to do a U-turn to get into the store when you could have just made a right if you’d been paying attention? Frustration.

“Do you treat this moment as an obstacle to be overcome to get to some future moment?”


“Almost everyone lives like this most of the time. Since the future never arrives, except as the present, it is a dysfunctional way to live. It creates a constant undercurrent of unease, tension and discontent.” 

Hint: There is nothing wrong with this moment.

Try it.


One thought from many from this book, sticks. Slowly, little by little, it changes everything.

Audio version highly recommend.

“Feel the aliveness within your body. That anchors you in the now.”

“When you say yes to what is, you become aligned with the power and intelligence of life itself. Only then can you become an agent for positive change in the world.”

“There’s a sacredness to everything you perceive in the present.”

Free yourself by counting pennies? Book review Your Money or Your Life

Readers of all income levels have used this to free themselves:


Do you want to track every penny? Sounds awful, but look at it this way:

“A Spiritual Discipline
Religions, ancient and modern, as well as the personal growth workshops of the human potential movement all have techniques for training the mind to be here now, “in the moment.” These practices take many forms and include such techniques as watching the breath as it goes in and out; repeating a phrase over and over in order to focus the wandering mind; concentrating on an object…To this list we add another discipline designed to sharpen awareness—one that is indispensable to the financial program and perhaps more easily accepted by our grounded, materialistic Western mentality than some of the more ‘esoteric’ practices. Instead of watching your breath, you watch your money. This practice is simple:

Keep track of every cent that comes into or goes out of your life.”

Learn how to equate time, money and life energy.

“A shift will take place in the realm of values as your handling of money increasingly comes into alignment with what really matters to you.”

  • Make choices, not sacrifices
  • Choose simple pleasures
  • Work for money, maximize, save, and finally, “cross over”
  • Escape the hidden costs of working
  • Be a better friend, neighbor, family member, citizen

Quick link to Amazon:

Good for skiing… New Rules of Lifting for Women by Lou Schuler, book review

This book will take 6 months to a year to thoroughly review. Stay tuned for the results.


What’s to love?

  1. Learn to cook better.
  2. Eat more!  (And take fish oil pills.)
    Final meal
  3. New home-fitness toys.
  4. Bigger, stronger muscles… hopefully! (Check back in 6 months.)
  5. Less cardio.

What’s not to love?

  1. More calories do not come from alcohol.
    “I suspect you don’t need me to tell you that Kahlua and cream won’t make you sleeker.”
    You can have some, though. Red wine is best. We’re talking 4 ounces here, folks. 4. Four.
    4 ounces
    Not every day. Remember all those beers you saw in the skiing-lunch photos???? Not on the plan.
    Then again:
    “You’d think that the people who drink the most would weigh the most, but studies haven’t shown a connection between weight and calories from alcohol. One study showed that the most indulgent drinkers are more active than those who drink less…”
    Interesting. BUT
    “My overall goal is to make sure one special evening doesn’t extend into two or three special evenings in a row. Inevitably, I can feel it on my waistline.”
    Oh heck, we know this already.
  2. More calories in the right ratios means more cooking.
    more cooking
  3. “More calories” doesn’t refer to chocolate-chip cookies.
  4. If you don’t like to work out, you won’t like this book. But if you do, and you’re a woman, and you’re frustrated about working really hard only to get tiny muscles and a slow metabolism, check this out. I am just beginning but a friend of a friend had fabulous results, and she didn’t even do the eating part.
  5. Getting 30% of your calories from protein is challenging (but kind of fun) and pretty much requires whey powder (not too great tasting, kind of expensive, though Costco has it. Cytosport is a pretty good deal there.)

Note: I have used (MFP) (it’s free) for 18 months. It’s a good foundation with this program so you can eat your own stuff and track whether you are “hitting your macros” (macro nutrients, protein, fat and carbs) instead of following the menu (just use it for ideas). You’ll need to modify the default MFP settings a little to 40 percent carbs, 30 percent fat, 30 percent protein.

Link to book:

5 Reasons I Love Men: Book Review of The New Rules of Lifting for Women, by Lou Schuler

1. Men break the stupid rules. Quote from book:

you’ll see lots of guys pushing themselves out to the edge of acceptable form to get an extra repetition in their final set of an exercise.

I’d never advocate lifting with bad form. But there’s more to strength training than coloring inside the lines.

2. Men don’t put up with baloney. Quote from book:
When women are introduced to the weight room, they’re taught

and that small adjustments to accommodate individual biomechanics will put her in the ER. If anybody tries to instill such fear in a man, the sound magically stops before it reaches his eardrums.

3. Men are straightforward. Quote from book:
I’ve never once walked into the gym thinking, “Today I’m going to try to not get too big.”

4. Men aren’t sweet (unless they’re trying really hard, which is so sweet). Quote from book:
As a guy, I’m constitutionally incapable of being perky.

What I can’t bring myself to do is find a hundred ways to say “You can do it!” You can do it if you want to do it. I know it. You know it. Do I really need to say it over and over?

5. Men rock. Quote from husband:
“Honey, I want to get huge. Would it bother you if I got huge?”
“What about if I had really big shoulders, you know, like this.” Shapes Arnold-sized proportions in air over shoulders. “Would that bother you?”

Update as of 1/28/14: Taking a break from weightlifting right now as I work on yoga. But this book made me feel good. I bought The New Rules of Lifting for Life witih Christmas Amazon $ and plan to start it in a few months. 

Full title: The New Rules of Lifting for Women, Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess, Lou Schuler with Cassandra Forsythe, M.S. Workout programs by Alwyn Cosgrove.

Do you worry about bulking up too much?