Guest Post: Brad Schoenfeld of “Women’s Home Workout Bible”

November 11, 2009

Giveaway Winner

And the winner of The Flat Belly Diet Cookbook is… Mimi! She of the comment:

My favorite MUFAs, by far, are NUTS! Almonds, cashews, peanuts–any nut! They are so versatile–eat ‘em raw, roasted, plain, mixed into stuff, sweet, savory…wow, drool time! They also do wonders for adding texture to food, which is an incredibly important part of the eating experience. And best of all, they make NUT BUTTER! A nut butter can save anything–burnt toast, dry noodles…the list goes on!

Nuts will inherit the earth!

Bag Lady (“I need this book. Or an intervention.”) and Maggie (“MUFAs = Maggie’s Ultimate Favorite Aliments.”) were close runner-ups 😉

Guest Appearance by Brad Schoenfeld

Hi everyone. It’s a pleasure to be a guest here at Living Healthy in the Real World and have a dialogue about my newest book, WOMEN’S HOME WORKOUT BIBLE: A BETTER BODY FOR EVERY BUDGET. I want to thank Sagan for allowing me the opportunity to interact with all of you.

One of the main themes of the book is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a terrific workout and I want to reiterate that here. In fact, for less than $100 you can purchase all the equipment you need to perform dozens upon dozens of exercises for every major muscle group. Key pieces of equipment include a set of resistance bands, a stability ball and a pair of ankle weights. That’s it! Of course, increasing your budget allows you to expand on these items and potentially derive even greater benefits. For a little more money you can buy some dumbbells, which really adds to your exercise variety. Barbells, machines and other equipment can be obtained at an additional cost. As I like to say, variety is the spice of fitness so going the extra mile can pay dividends if you have the means. That said, more equipment is a luxury, not a necessity.

Once you set up your home gym, something that all too often goes overlooked is the need to consider your goals when deciding on a routine. Realize that fitness follows the principle of specificity. Simply stated, this means that the way you train (i.e. the exact mix of exercises, sets, repetitions, training modalities, etc) will directly impact the way your body responds. One of the biggest workout mistakes I see is that people don’t adhere to this central tenet, and end up training in a manner that isn’t consistent with their objectives. In my book, I segment routines by goals — general body conditioning, body sculpting, fat loss, and core conditioning. You simply match your goal to the respective routine. Thus, if you want to tone up your best bet would be the body sculpting routine while if you want to help reduce back pain your better off with the core conditioning routine. Always keep specificity in mind when deciding on a routine.

There’s so much to discuss on the topic of home workouts. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts about the book and/or any questions you may have.

Stay Fit!

Brad Schoenfeld, CSCS


  1. […] the original post: Guest Post: Brad Schoenfeld of “Women's Home Workout Bible … Tags: and-core, best, Body Sculpting, book, general-body, goal, respective, simply-match, […]

  2. Resistance bands, stability balls, and ankles weights..I’ll keep that in mind! I’ve got the bands, but not the stability ball, which I’ve been hearing a lot of good stuff about lately. Christmas list…

    • Hi Candid RD:

      A stability ball provides lots of options for varying the training stimulus. For one, it allows you to train at an incline, which otherwise is not possible unless you have an incline bench. It’s greatest utility is in providing an unstable surface to train, which is particularly beneficial for enhancing core stability. As with all things related to exercise, the key is to understand the modality and utilize it according to your needs and abilities.

      Stay Fit!


  3. Hi Brad-
    As I get older (or as my doctor says…”more mature”!) I’m finding it harder and harder to keep the weight off but especially hard to keep my abs in check. What are the best home exercises for controlling the abs?

    • Hey Sue:

      One of the biggest myths about exercise is that you can “spot reduce” fat. It’s important to understand that you can’t spot reduce. There simply is no way to dictate what area of your body you lose fat from. This is largely dictated by genetics. So you can do abdominal crunches until the cows come home, but it won’t help to flatten your stomach. When you lose weight, fat will generally be mobilized from all areas of the body. However, genetics will be a determinant. Some people lose weight more easily in different parts of the body (women generally have a more difficult time losing fat in the lower body–which is a natural phenomenon associated with child bearing).

      Both aerobic exercise and resistance training (i.e. lifting weights) will help to reduce body fat. Interestingly, resistance training can have an even greater effect on fat loss, as it helps to preserve lean muscle while dieting and thus prevent a weight loss plateau. Certainly both aerobic and anaerobic exercise are important here and the combination of the the two produces ideal results.

      Stay Fit!


  4. Ahhh. Yes the home workout is my only option right now, especially with the cold weather coming.

    My teen daughter has then entire finished basement to herself as her room. It’s more like an apartment. I so wish this was space for my workout facility! Maybe one day. Geesh.

    • Hey Yum Yucky:

      The good news is that you need very little space for a basic home gym. The equipment I describe above can be stored in a closet and taken out as needed. And you can perform the workout in a space the size of about a walk-in closet.

      Stay Fit!


  5. Statistically, working out at home is much less effective than in a group situation or at a gym. I haven’t got the studies at my fingertips but CBC’s The Current did a very interesting show on this a few weeks ago. So perhaps for less than the cost of purchasing all of these items individually, one could obtain a membership at a small gym and kill two birds with one stone, as it were.

  6. Hey Westwood:

    I’ve not seen the broadcast you’re referring to, but statistics don’t always tell the whole story. Without question, a home gym can provide a terrific workout. The key is to have the proper program. It’s possible that home gym exercisers might be at a disadvantage in that they do not have any direction, as might be provided in a gym. Also, machines in a gym make it relatively easy to have decent form on an exercise, while exercises with body weight, bands and dumbbells require greater skill levels and knowledge of performance. Regardless, I’ve helped countless women get into shape at home, so if there is a will, then there is a way.

    You mention the cost of a small gym, but those costs are recurring–you need to purchase a membership every year. With a home gym, once you make the initial investment, it’s yours to keep forever.

    Moreover, cost is only one of the factors that makes a home gym attractive. There is also the convenience factor–saving time and the hassle of driving is a big issue with many people and it can often be the difference in getting in a workout or not. Also, there is the privacy issue. Many people are uncomfortable working out in front of others and this is not an issue with your own home gym.

    Bottom line: a gym is great if you like the environment and can afford it. But a home gym is an excellent option for many that shouldn’t be dismissed.

    Stay Fit!


    • The only fitness facility that is anywhere close to my house is just not an option for me–too expensive, the machines are all crammed way too close together, the air always seems stuffy. I’d MUCH rather work out at home to my own music, my own space, and at my own pace. Thanks for providing me with the instruction I need with your new book-I’m getting started with the stability ball and my weight set!

      • Hey Sue:

        If you put in the effort and stay consistent, I guarantee you’ll see excellent results. I look forward to hearing of your success!

        Stay Fit!


    • I do agree. I just wanted to hear it in your words :).

      Now if only motivation could be sold in canned form…

  7. Interesting post! I’m looking forward to checking out the book!

    I’m hedging my bets by having a gym membership AND building a good home “gym.” There shall be no excuses here. 🙂

    • Hey Cammy:

      You make a good point in that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. A home gym can provide a backup option when you can’t get to the gym. Love the “no excuses” comment. That’s the biggest key to success!

      Stay Fit!


  8. so true. I regret all the money Ive spent on gym memberships while Im doing P90X- literally all i am using are dumb bells and resistance bands and am getting better workouts than I ever have. I do miss the social aspect though, so I’m totally going back. Dont think Ill ever be able to workout at home full time

    • Hey Kelly:

      Glad to hear that you’re getting great workouts at home. Certainly the social angle is something that is missing at home, and if that’s important, then go for the gym membership. The home gym alternative is always something you can fall back on if you can’t get to the club on a particular day.

      Stay Fit!


  9. I love working out at home. That’s the best way for me so I can still be close to my family. My little 8 month-old girl thinks it hilarious to watch me do pushups and other stuff.

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