Well I’ve just finished my second week trying out this system, so I feel I’m in a position to give you the low down. I’ve followed the routine to the letter and have almost made some nutritional and supplement changes as well. So here’s what I think of it.
So what’s it all about?
Before I start I thought I’d just give you a bit of a background on the people behind Old School New Body. Steve & Becky Holman and John Rowley are the people who designed this system. Steve has been training for more than 35 years and Becky on and off for more than 20 years. When in her 40s after having 2 children she had put on quite a bit of weight. After just a few months she and Steve completely changed their appearance (see picture to the right – not bad for 2 people in their 50s). Becky is now a regular contributor to Iron Man magazine while Steve has been the Editor in Chief for more than 25 years. He has also written more than 25 books on bodybuilding, weight training and nutrition as well as interviewing legends including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lee Labrada, Tom Platz and Cory Everson. John Rowley is Wellness Director for the International Sports Science Association and PR Director of Powerhouse Gyms as well as being a full-time best-seller author, speaker and television and radio personality.
OK, so now to what this system is all about. The whole idea behind the F4X (Focus for Exercise) System is rather than using super heavy weights that a lot of people seem to think you have to do and end up getting injured and still not building the body they want, it uses moderate weights with short rests between sets. This causes less joint stress and causes high muscle fatigue. This results in growth hormone release triggering muscle building and fat burning on a much larger scale than using heavy weights for fewer reps and long rests between sets.
Here’s how it works. If for instance you are doing bench presses, you select a weight where you can get out 15 reps, but you only do 10. Sounds easy and it is quite easy for the first set. You then rest 35 seconds and do another set of 10, rest 35 seconds and do another set of 10 and finally rest again for 35 seconds and do as many as you can for the final set. Each rep must be done with good form and on the press up you should take around a second, but on the way down you slow it down to 3 seconds so you can really feel it. The first set I did on my first workout I was absolutely exhausted and my muscle was really aching. Doing sets like this causes each muscle you work on to get really fatigued which is what you want for optimum muscle growth and fat burning. Like I explained in a previous article, leave the ego at the door, the weights you lift will be lower than you usually lift, but at the end of the day it is about building a good muscular physique with good quality lean muscle NOT being able bench press 500 pounds.
There are 3 levels – F4X Lean, F4X Shape and FX Build. For beginners I’d start with the lean program, those who have been training 2 years or more I’d start with the Shape program (that’s the one I started with). I wouldn’t use the Build one until you have at least done the Shape one for a few weeks as this is a very advanced workout, but something to aim for. This type of routine is very demanding and the first time I did it I was exhausted. It takes around 50 – 55 minutes for the Shape routine and around 20 – 25 minutes for the Lean routine. Ideally you don’t want to be training more than an hour because shorter workouts mean your metabolism is working at it’s optimum level and so are your key hormones. Any longer and not only do you start to get bored, but you start to run into the laws of diminished returns.
Whilst performing these sets of fairly high reps with short rests between sets, you are also getting a great cardio workout as well. In fact you really don’t need to do any cardio at all if you don’t want to. Personally I like to go for a long walk twice a week, so you can always do that or take a class at a fitness centre if you feel you would like to do more, but you don’t really need to. The workouts are done 3 times a week.
The system also includes a nutritional and supplements section as well. I have a background in nutrition myself so I was interested in what this guide had to say about the subject. Quite a bit of it I already knew, but I did pick up some useful tips. For instance of was eating way to many carbs and not enough protein, which probably explains why I could never get rid of my love handles. Also the fact I was only eating 2 or 3 large meals a day instead of 5 or 6 smaller ones – it’s quite easy to fall into bad habits without even realising it. There are also some useful diets including Steve’s, Becky’s and John’s Daily diets as well as a list of alternative meals and options and a section on useful supplements to take.
After this there is a section of Q & A which should answer most questions and finally diagrams of all the exercises in the routine.
- Workouts are fairly short (under an hour) so you don’t get bored or start to lack focus.
- Using this system you don’t have to do tons of cardio as it has a built in cardio element in the workouts.
- Muscles feel really exhausted after the workout and you get a good pump
- Explains the scientific reasoning behind the system in an easy to understand way.
- Some really good nutritional and supplement advice and with some useful meal options and diets.
- Pretty in-depth (101 pages long)
- Good range of bonuses
- Would be nice to have some alternatives to the exercises in the routines. There was 1 or 2 alternatives but a few more would have been nice.
- There were a few advertisements for other books and courses in the guide.
Well after 2 weeks on the program my initial thoughts are positive. I took a picture before I started the program and another one after 2 weeks and I can definitely see some improvements. I’m going to keep using this workout routine for the foreseeable future as it has changed the way I think about exercise and nutrition. It can be used for beginners and more advanced trainers as there are 3 different workouts each getting progressively more advanced (and harder). The workouts can be used for people in their teens and 20s all the way up to people in their 80s and 90s and in fact there are some stories of people using this system in all ages of life. Is it for everyone? Probably not the types who are set in their ways or those that lifting heavy weights above all else is paramount for them, but anyone who’s stuck in a rut with their training, who’s not getting the desired results or for someone who wants to try something a bit different, it is well worth giving it a go. I forgot to mention that as well as the program there are quite a few bonus guides included as well:
- Ultimate Fat Burning Secrets
- Ultimate Health & Happiness Secrets
- Ultimate Sex & Anti-Aging Secrets
- Plus 5 Free Motivational & Instructional Audio Interviews from Tom Venuto, Kristi Frank, Bill Phillips, Jennifer Nicole Lee & Shawn Phillips
The Old School New Body Program plus all the bonuses is currently $27 and does come with a 60 day money back guarantee.
For more information please visit the Official Website
I thought I’d give you an update after 6 weeks of using the Old School New Body workout. I have definitely noticed a difference in my physique even at this early stage. I was debating whether to post pictures or not as it’s only been 6 weeks plus you can’t always tell how genuine some of these before and after pictures are, but I assure you I took the 1st picture 1 day before I started the program and the 2nd 6 weeks after being on this program. Saying that the second picture was taken on my new camera, whereas the first was taken on a cheap disposal camera and I think there was probably too much light let in – I’m not normally that white!!!
From the pictures you can see I have lost fat around the stomach and sides and my abs are looking more defined. My chest and shoulders also look more muscular and defined. You can’t really tell from the pictures, but by arms are looking a bit bigger as well. I didn’t take any of my back or legs but they also have showed signs of good improvements.
I have been following the workout 3 times a week as it advises and I also go for a long walk twice a week on my days off. As far as the diet goes I’m eating 5 to 6 times a day, 3 main meals with smaller snacks such as fat free yogurt and nuts or a protein shake in between. Using the suggestions in the guide such as lowering my carb intake and upping my protein has helped. With regard to the supplements, I’m taking a multi-vitmain, Phosphatidylserine (please see review below) and a protein shake. The course does recommend other supplements, but I’m on a bit of a budget and these 3 are plenty as far as I’m concerned.
For those interested:
The multivitamin I’m taking is: Centrum Performance
The Phosphatidylserine is: Solgar 200mg
and the Protein Powder is: Whey Protein isolate by Now Foods
As far as the workouts are going, I’m still enjoying them and have upped my weights 2 – 3 times on most lifts and as well as physical changes I’m also finding I’m getting fitter as well. I do sometimes substitute some of the exercises for example replacing standing calf raise with seated calf raise or machine rows with bent over barbell rows just to keep it fresh. Also I find doing the abs supper slow on both lifting and lowering and really squeezing at the top for a few seconds makes it a lot more demanding.
Well that’s my update for my Old School New Body Review, I may put out another post in the future if I have time. If in the meantime you have any questions, please feel free to use my Contact Page.