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Strong: Nine Workout Programs for Women to Burn Fat, Boost Metabolism, and Build Strength for Life

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A groundbreaking strength and conditioning plan for women, from the authors of The New Rules of Lifting for Women.   Forget the elliptical machine and the candy-colored Barbie weights. Female athletes are hungry for real fitness. They want to be Strong.   By now, it’s common knowledge that women can and should train the way men do. Today’s women want to be strong, with lea A groundbreaking strength and conditioning plan for women, from the authors of The New Rules of Lifting for Women.   Forget the elliptical machine and the candy-colored Barbie weights. Female athletes are hungry for real fitness. They want to be Strong.   By now, it’s common knowledge that women can and should train the way men do. Today’s women want to be strong, with lean and athletic physiques. Fitness author Lou Schuler and renowned strength coach Alwyn Cosgrove present a comprehensive strength and conditioning plan to help women burn fat and build muscle by getting them off the machines and revolutionizing how they work out. Offering direct guidance and proven tools to help readers enhance their strength and get truly fit, Strong provides: •  A three-phase training program, including nine unique total-body workouts •  More than 100 exercises, with detailed instructions and step-by-step photographs •  Simple nutrition guidelines to cut through the barrage of trendy diets in magazines •  Inspiring success stories from women who have used this training program   Schuler and Cosgrove’s The New Rules of Lifting for Women has empowered tens of thousands of women inside and outside the weight room. Filled with the latest research distilled in Lou and Alwyn’s signature direct style, Strong will help women remake their physiques and reimagine their lives.


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A groundbreaking strength and conditioning plan for women, from the authors of The New Rules of Lifting for Women.   Forget the elliptical machine and the candy-colored Barbie weights. Female athletes are hungry for real fitness. They want to be Strong.   By now, it’s common knowledge that women can and should train the way men do. Today’s women want to be strong, with lea A groundbreaking strength and conditioning plan for women, from the authors of The New Rules of Lifting for Women.   Forget the elliptical machine and the candy-colored Barbie weights. Female athletes are hungry for real fitness. They want to be Strong.   By now, it’s common knowledge that women can and should train the way men do. Today’s women want to be strong, with lean and athletic physiques. Fitness author Lou Schuler and renowned strength coach Alwyn Cosgrove present a comprehensive strength and conditioning plan to help women burn fat and build muscle by getting them off the machines and revolutionizing how they work out. Offering direct guidance and proven tools to help readers enhance their strength and get truly fit, Strong provides: •  A three-phase training program, including nine unique total-body workouts •  More than 100 exercises, with detailed instructions and step-by-step photographs •  Simple nutrition guidelines to cut through the barrage of trendy diets in magazines •  Inspiring success stories from women who have used this training program   Schuler and Cosgrove’s The New Rules of Lifting for Women has empowered tens of thousands of women inside and outside the weight room. Filled with the latest research distilled in Lou and Alwyn’s signature direct style, Strong will help women remake their physiques and reimagine their lives.

30 review for Strong: Nine Workout Programs for Women to Burn Fat, Boost Metabolism, and Build Strength for Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    Viv JM

    Good, solid information about lifting heavy for women. The exercises are well explained, with useful tips on how to adapt for different equipment etc as well as variations to make them easier or harder. I haven't given the book a rating yet, as I haven't actually done the workouts yet. Ask me again in a year :-) Update 2020: Prompted by Sev, I have now rated this book. It's a good solid program which gave me confidence in the weights room. Not sure about the diet advice because I'm more riots tha Good, solid information about lifting heavy for women. The exercises are well explained, with useful tips on how to adapt for different equipment etc as well as variations to make them easier or harder. I haven't given the book a rating yet, as I haven't actually done the workouts yet. Ask me again in a year :-) Update 2020: Prompted by Sev, I have now rated this book. It's a good solid program which gave me confidence in the weights room. Not sure about the diet advice because I'm more riots than diets :-)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Clement

    This is another strong workout program by Lou Schuler, featuring his usual sensible advice and solid programme. It isn't gimmicky and it doesn't try to impress you with any sort of special 'secrets' to getting strong and fit, rather it focuses on fairly timeless advice as in his other books, with a few tweaks here and there to incorporate updated evidence on weight lifting. The book is amazing value for money, and will provide programming for about a year if followed as written! I have been lift This is another strong workout program by Lou Schuler, featuring his usual sensible advice and solid programme. It isn't gimmicky and it doesn't try to impress you with any sort of special 'secrets' to getting strong and fit, rather it focuses on fairly timeless advice as in his other books, with a few tweaks here and there to incorporate updated evidence on weight lifting. The book is amazing value for money, and will provide programming for about a year if followed as written! I have been lifting weights for 22 years, and I still found the programme to be good, although I would say that I prefer a bit more volume. I followed the author's advice and started at the beginning, even though I am an advanced lifter, and because I was also training for half marathons, it was actually a good break (and a reminder to focus on form). I would have preferred that the authors added 2 more exercises to each workout, especially in Phases II and III - and they could have made them optional. The book can be a bit hard to navigate, just because of the way it is organised. As with other workout books, I just can't understand why they don't make better use of things like tabs, since this is not like a regular book where you are just reading front to back. Other than those two issues, I think this is a great book, and I would highly recommend it, especially for novice to intermediate lifters who just want to get fitter, without any of the nonsense advice provided by so many other programmes.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cosette

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really dislike this book. Every question you've ever had about strength training has a very specific non answer. You want to know how many grams of protein to eat daily? Well, let's follow a specific formula and then point out how improbable it will be to follow. You want to know how many calories to eat? Again, let's do some math, but then quote some studies that prove the math is inaccurate. Yay! So now you're ready for a workout? Let's give you a grid to follow with really basic instruction I really dislike this book. Every question you've ever had about strength training has a very specific non answer. You want to know how many grams of protein to eat daily? Well, let's follow a specific formula and then point out how improbable it will be to follow. You want to know how many calories to eat? Again, let's do some math, but then quote some studies that prove the math is inaccurate. Yay! So now you're ready for a workout? Let's give you a grid to follow with really basic instructions that fail to describe what it actually means and involves using equipment you won't have in your home! Win win! You're a woman, after all, and isn't it nice we gave you a taste of our manly program? And, don't forget, the way you've been doing things in the past has been all wrong - but this new program corrects all your inadequacies, because we're sincere trainers. And you're just women.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This didn't work quite as well for me as the NROL for Women. I found I really need to have all the exercises laid out for me ahead of time instead of being left to my own devices to pick, like in the last few workouts. I also found this less adaptable to working out at home. This didn't work quite as well for me as the NROL for Women. I found I really need to have all the exercises laid out for me ahead of time instead of being left to my own devices to pick, like in the last few workouts. I also found this less adaptable to working out at home.

  5. 4 out of 5

    AJ LeBlanc

    tl;dr This book isn’t for me, but it might be for someone else. This book was a recommendation from Kelly Coffey of Strong Coffey. I know her in real life and she is the real deal. Knowing that it’s going to be near impossible to book time in January with the trainers at my gym, I figured I’d give this book a try to learn about lifting. The problem isn’t with the book. I’m the type of person that needs someone to show me how to do the thing. Learning a new game? You read the directions and explain tl;dr This book isn’t for me, but it might be for someone else. This book was a recommendation from Kelly Coffey of Strong Coffey. I know her in real life and she is the real deal. Knowing that it’s going to be near impossible to book time in January with the trainers at my gym, I figured I’d give this book a try to learn about lifting. The problem isn’t with the book. I’m the type of person that needs someone to show me how to do the thing. Learning a new game? You read the directions and explain as we go. Looking at pictures of exercising and then replicating them isn’t going to work for me. I need someone there to explain how to move and where to adjust. I can’t position myself to look in the mirror to see if it matches what I think was in the book. I can totally see this book being someone else’s bible though. There is great information here and I appreciated that Schuler looks for recent studies and isn’t using the latest trends unless there’s science to back it up. It’s also super honest that you need to follow a plan in order for the plan to work. WHAT? LOGIC? Readers who complain the most that they didn’t get results are the ones who changed everything to “make it work for them.” Uhm. No. If you’re the type of person who can translate text and images into real life movement, then this book is totally for you. If you need someone to show you how to do it, skim through this at the bookstore or get it from your library like I did and then use it as inspiration to get on the waiting list for the trainer at the gym.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christine Hoppas

    Workouts seem to include a lot of calesthenics (i.e. hold for 30 seconds). I prefer lifting workout, not holding.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Camille

    I just completed this 9 month program and it was one of the most amazing things I've ever done. I learned so much along the way. Unlike most women, I have the tendency to bulk up and I am not one to diet so I did get a little noticeably bigger in places, particularly because I didn't do cardio workouts (they always feel like a waste of time). That said I am SO pleased with how I look and feel. I have been lifting sort of aimlessly for almost 20 years and I've been strong and fit but never with a I just completed this 9 month program and it was one of the most amazing things I've ever done. I learned so much along the way. Unlike most women, I have the tendency to bulk up and I am not one to diet so I did get a little noticeably bigger in places, particularly because I didn't do cardio workouts (they always feel like a waste of time). That said I am SO pleased with how I look and feel. I have been lifting sort of aimlessly for almost 20 years and I've been strong and fit but never with any clear goals. As a working mom, it was SO MOTIVATING to have this program all clearly laid out for me. All I had to do was show up and workout. No time waster wandering around the gym trying to decide what to do. When I started this routine I was at my crappy Planet Fitness which doesnt have TRX or adjustable barbells so that was one downside. But now that I am done, have joined a better gym, and am feeling totally at a loss for what to do next, I'm gonna go ahead and do this whole program all over again! (If you can recommend another program like this one that allows for 3-4 workouts a week and doesn't require too much in the way of weird specialty equipment, please lemme know!)

  8. 5 out of 5

    AshleyYvonne

    I read all the full chapters and skimmed over the actual workout phases, to go back later and check out (though I did make note of many of the exercises contained therein, so many I can't do yet because I don't have access to cables and such). It's a nice introductory book to lifting and debunking many of the misconceptions floating around about women's fitness in general (biology has a limit to how much muscle you can put on, so stop being such a goddamn floozy and LIFT). I love no-BS programs. I read all the full chapters and skimmed over the actual workout phases, to go back later and check out (though I did make note of many of the exercises contained therein, so many I can't do yet because I don't have access to cables and such). It's a nice introductory book to lifting and debunking many of the misconceptions floating around about women's fitness in general (biology has a limit to how much muscle you can put on, so stop being such a goddamn floozy and LIFT). I love no-BS programs. Lots to revisit! I can't wait to get started on phase 1. I wish there were more pages on nutrition, leucine and protein synthesis in particular. But as I said, it's introductory and a great place to start.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Koneck-Wilwerding

    Interesting read - just started the program, so we'll see how that goes. Interesting read - just started the program, so we'll see how that goes.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nathalia Rojas.

    update 3/3/2020 I’ve successfully finished stage 1 and I’m already feeling how much I’ve improved!! Probably the most notable change was that I went from 3 push ups (and the rest elevated) to 2 sets of 12 not elevated by the end!! This program has been easier to stick with compared to the YouTube and blog workouts I’ve tried in the past. I don’t feel like I have to drag myself in the gym and I feel very confident in the structure that Strong provides. I’m actually disappointed that I won’t be do update 3/3/2020 I’ve successfully finished stage 1 and I’m already feeling how much I’ve improved!! Probably the most notable change was that I went from 3 push ups (and the rest elevated) to 2 sets of 12 not elevated by the end!! This program has been easier to stick with compared to the YouTube and blog workouts I’ve tried in the past. I don’t feel like I have to drag myself in the gym and I feel very confident in the structure that Strong provides. I’m actually disappointed that I won’t be doing stage 1 workouts anymore haha I felt like every time I did a workout I learned something new about the movement or noted an improvement. But change is inevitable! Onwards to stage 2! 2/10/2020 This is the resource I’ve been looking for. I just happened to step into the workout section of the library and of the handful of books I looked at, this one had the best reviews online so I figured I’d try it out. Im currently at week 3 of the workouts. YES I’ve been doing it consistently and without injuries! I was so confident after week 2 that I got a gym membership and took a free course where they explained the machines like the TRX one which gave me the knowledge to do one of the alternative suggestive workouts in the book. I understand some reviewers talking about the organization of the book. I’ll admit it was a little confusing but believe me it’s worth being patient with it. I recommend reading it through until you get to the first workout. Then go through the exercises as you read them to understand how to do it. It wasn’t until the 3rd workout where I really understood how the exercises were meant to be done well. And yes people may judge you for bringing a book to the gym but IT’S YOUR LIFE (maybe that comment is more for me but just in case you feel embarrassed too). I also appreciated their talk about calories. I’m a smaller woman and all I see is “LOSE WEIGHT FAST” on most popular fitness resources online or magazines and yeah that’s not what I want at all. I liked how they spoke about eating more to gain more muscle and didn’t hound the idea of losing weight at all. Very refreshing.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Aurora

    Using these workout plans at my own pace

  12. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Kuchta

    No nonsense, good workouts, and good advice in the pages of this book. I am currently in the beginning stages of the program, on my way to working all the way up till the final workouts!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carla

    I think New Rules was a better fit for me. I liked the variety of exercises though

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ilyse

    great, doing it now, a little derivative of other books in the series by this point, but I appreciate the fun new exercises. I really enjoyed everything through section 6. 7-10 give me pause, because going to 10 RPE seems like a set up for injury, which would defeat the purpose of both this book and me getting back into lifting after tearing my labrum in my shoulder. I decided to stop the program after the first week of level 7, if had a training partner and didn't have a history of overuse injur great, doing it now, a little derivative of other books in the series by this point, but I appreciate the fun new exercises. I really enjoyed everything through section 6. 7-10 give me pause, because going to 10 RPE seems like a set up for injury, which would defeat the purpose of both this book and me getting back into lifting after tearing my labrum in my shoulder. I decided to stop the program after the first week of level 7, if had a training partner and didn't have a history of overuse injuries, perhaps I'd be less cautious. I also took a look at myself and the training I like to do, and the DOMS that comes with levels 7-10 can really negatively impact my quality of life. I do love Shuler and Crosgrove and coming back from an injury, I appreciate both their stories, Alwyn's especially, if they can do it, I can too :-)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    4.5 Excellently done. I'm not going to start the program now. I've only started working out again recently and I like the mix of things I'm doing now. But, I think this will be great if I think I've hit a plateau and want a plan to follow. It would be fine for a beginner or a more advanced student alike. It gets the feeling of what I want from working out, which is to be healthy and strong. 4.5 Excellently done. I'm not going to start the program now. I've only started working out again recently and I like the mix of things I'm doing now. But, I think this will be great if I think I've hit a plateau and want a plan to follow. It would be fine for a beginner or a more advanced student alike. It gets the feeling of what I want from working out, which is to be healthy and strong.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I love this book but it's probably not as great for beginners as NROL for Women is. With that said, I appreciate that this book gives the reader a little more leeway in terms of training and diet. If you're not new to eating well and more of an intermediate to advanced lifter, you'll appreciate this book. I love this book but it's probably not as great for beginners as NROL for Women is. With that said, I appreciate that this book gives the reader a little more leeway in terms of training and diet. If you're not new to eating well and more of an intermediate to advanced lifter, you'll appreciate this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jenn Moss

    A straight forward guide to strength training, with some myth-busting and information on nutrition included. The program looks solid, though I think it will be much easier to follow now that I have a gym membership than it would have been at home. The book does a decent job of showing how to perform each exercise, but I'll be looking up a few on YouTube. A straight forward guide to strength training, with some myth-busting and information on nutrition included. The program looks solid, though I think it will be much easier to follow now that I have a gym membership than it would have been at home. The book does a decent job of showing how to perform each exercise, but I'll be looking up a few on YouTube.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cate

    as with all Alwyn and Lou's books, very thorough. the programs look effective - needs a gym or a home set up with lots of equipment and room - as with all Alwyn and Lou's books, very thorough. the programs look effective - needs a gym or a home set up with lots of equipment and room -

  19. 5 out of 5

    copyeditcat

    I love Schuler, but as a New Rules fan, there wasn't much for me here. However, if he writes it, I'll read it—love his tone and outlook. I love Schuler, but as a New Rules fan, there wasn't much for me here. However, if he writes it, I'll read it—love his tone and outlook.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    The programs look easy to follow and effective - I'm excited to get started! The programs look easy to follow and effective - I'm excited to get started!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shari

    Great info. Not sure I'll ever lift heavy again. Great info. Not sure I'll ever lift heavy again.

  22. 4 out of 5

    MissBecka Gee

    Not really anything in here my trainer hadn't already told me. Might be good for people who have a basic knowledge of fitness and no guidance looking for help in progressing. Not really anything in here my trainer hadn't already told me. Might be good for people who have a basic knowledge of fitness and no guidance looking for help in progressing.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    Starting the new year right, mind, body & soul. This year I'm going to incorporate a core strengthening routine to add to my running. Starting the new year right, mind, body & soul. This year I'm going to incorporate a core strengthening routine to add to my running.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    I'm glad they have a more up-to-date follow-up to NROL for Women. I'm still in the middle of NROL Supercharged, but think I'll pick this up afterwards for a change of pace. I'm glad they have a more up-to-date follow-up to NROL for Women. I'm still in the middle of NROL Supercharged, but think I'll pick this up afterwards for a change of pace.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Beth A Reisweber

  27. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

  30. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

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