The New Rules of Lifting for Women

-by Lou Schuler 
I was up all night last night (caffeine overload!), so I read NROLFW in its entirety. Through my own personal research, I've learned that lifting heavy is a GOOD thing for us women - Schuler's research certainly confirmed this. I am rather disappointed, though, that I won't have the opportunity to give an honest "tried and true" or "meh" opinion on this actual program anytime soon.

I truly enjoyed the author's writing style. He has a great sense of humor and the science was well presented and easy-to-understand for the most part, so I was able to take quite a lot away from it. I love the fact that he debunks the myth that more reps with light weights are optimal for women, along with low-calorie diets and excessive cardio as means to "healthy weight loss".

However, there was one thing that rubbed me the wrong way, near the end of the book. In chapter 13 entitled "YES, YOU", Schuler mentions a woman who approaches him about doing a workout, but was not prepared to enroll in a gym or purchase home gym equipment. His response was:  

"I assume she doesn't really want to do the program... There's a clear path from where they are to where they say they want to be. But there's just as clear a roadblock they've installed that prevents them from following that path." 
Perhaps I'm misreading it, but I found Schuler's tone smuggishly dismissive in this instance. Did this woman install that 'roadblock' by choice, or perhaps was it because she simply could not afford either of the options this book calls for (gym membership or home gym)? The fact that she approached the author for information clearly shows she was willing and interested in the program. And yet, he *assumes* she doesn't want to do it. For some, it is not due to lack enthusiasm, willingness, or desire to try the program... but sometimes circumstances just don't allow it. Sometimes we don't create the roadblocks - they are just there!

The program calls for at least a dumbbell set, barbell with weights (and a rack, I'm assuming), chin-up bar, stability ball, adjustable weight bench, and steps. Many of the other workouts call for more elaborate equipment. I dare say a good number of New Rules readers aren't financially able to purchase a gym membership or even gym equipment for that matter, either of which are necessary to do the program. In fact, many don't even have access to a gym in their area - I don't, living in a very small town. Granted, there are 'Body Weight' training moves that one could do without equipment, but they only make up a small part of the actual program and do not really offer the full degree of training the book advocates.

So, while I would love to put the program to the test - and am ready to give it the time and effort it deserves - I cannot because my circumstances don't allow it. Maybe someday. Guess I'll just stick to my kettlebells for now.