Sunday, May 30, 2010


I just ordered this book.  I have been convinced for years that excessive cardio is counter-productive, and this book says the same thing.  "Step away from the treadmill!"

Also, I have been reading a lot lately about how using isolation exercises are not good, but rather, resistance exercised that use the whole body, or whole muscle groups, make more sense.  In the past, the only weight training I have done is on the machines at the gym, which are, by nature, isolation exercises.  Here is an excerpt from one of the reviews on

"This book argues that to build muscle, gain strength and lose fat, you need to concentrate on multi-joint type exercises (i.e. squats, deadlifts, pushups, step-ups etc.) and not waste time with a multitude of individual isolation type exercises (i.e. bicep curls, tricep kickbacks and pushdowns, etc.), Alwyn Cosgrove's exercises are designed for practicality in real life utility. Having the strength to lift heavy things is a reality....hence the value of squats. On the other hand, laying back at an angle on a leg press machine and pressing weights outwards and upwards is not something we would do in real life. He stresses fewer reps with increasingly heavier weights. Strength over endurance. The reasoning behind each exercise is explained, and you need to be willing to do the background reading in this book so you can absorb the logic of the workouts and their design and sequencing. Coming into this book with my previous weightlifting experience, faulty though it was, this program immediately made a whole lot of sense as a truly different approach. I knew all my previous efforts hadn't paid off to my satisfaction, so I was finally ready to try this new approach: Stick mostly to big muscle exercises, no isolation exercises at all, fewer reps, lifting progressively heavier (no "Barbie weights!!"), and LIMITED exercises per workout (usually just 5 exercises), and short but high intensity interval cardio if any at all. (Cardio is not emphasized here). Each workout takes about 30 minutes, ideally done 3 days a week (although two workouts can suffice, but 3 is ideal) requiring at least a day between weight workouts (I generally did Mon-Wed-Fri). I have resisted my previous tendency to "do more", so I've done the workouts strictly as written and haven't added anything additional. I wanted to see what results I would get with the program "as written." And surprise....I've got better, more defined biceps doing pushups, squats and deadlifts (but not a single bicep curl), my quads, glutes and hamstrings are rock hard and strong without any of the hamstring curls, leg extensions, etc. The squats, deadlifts, step-ups, pushups and a few other things have worked wonders in just 4 weeks. In this short time I'm stronger and more defined than I've ever been. I'm really quite amazed."

I'm pretty sure, based on a few tidbits I got from the reviews and interviews with the authors, that they do not teach a traditional low carb eating approach.  Oatmeal and bananas are mentioned, for example.  But I already know how to eat, so I will just ignore the nutritional section.  On the other hand, I need to learn all I can about sensible weight lifting for women.

I can't wait to get the book!  I'll let you know how it goes as I try it out...


  1. Check out "The Cardio Free Diet" by Jim Karas... I think it will interest you.


  2. Hi, Tril! Funny you should mention that book - I have read it and was very impressed with the exercise portion of it, and have recommended it in the past to people on the Atkins Forum.

    Of course, the diet part was all low fat high carb hooey!