Posts Tagged ‘Brad Schoenfeld’

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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

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Book Review: “Women’s Home Workout Bible” by Brad Schoenfeld

November 9, 2009

Brad Schoenfeld, CSCS, CPT, sent me this book to review. He has also offered to come and speak to us about his book and his thoughts about working out at home, so be sure to stop by for his guest post on Wednesday with your comments and queries for Brad!

This book is BIG. It has colour. It has photographs to demonstrate exercises. Each division for the exercises is colour-coded to make it easy to flip to your desired section of the book: Shoulders and Arms, Torso, Core, and Lower Body. There are exercises for each of these parts of the body to do with body weight/stability balls/resistance bands, and then also options further on in the book for using dumbbells, barbells, and other kinds of weighted equipment.

There are also different options depending on your budget. Living as a student, my budget for a home gym is limited to a couple of yoga mats, a couple sets of dumbbells, a resistance band, hula hoop, jump rope, and stability ball. But most of the time I find that I only use the yoga mats and stability ball (personal preference: I like using my own body weight). The budget part of the book discussing the best equipment to buy really didn’t apply to me at all, especially because the budgets suggested here range from $100-$2,500. I don’t expect very many of us are willing to shell out that much money for a home gym (the kind using multifunction machines and chinning bars), especially when it’s easy to get in a workout without buying anything. I am strongly supportive of the soup-cans-as-dumbbells method and doing cardio outdoors. Yoga mats are a luxury, as well; not a necessity. In a pinch, rugs or the grass work just as well.

So, while I appreciate the concept of the budget for every body, I didn’t find it to be useful for my personal workout. The exercises included in this book, however, cover a wide range. I very much liked the number of exercises included here, many of which can be done with little to no equipment. Each one is accompanied by a photograph and information regarding the muscles targeted, equipment needed, tips/variations, and a detailed description for how to perform the movement. There were actually a number of exercises I hadn’t heard of before, so it was fun to learn some new ones! I liked so many of the ideas for how to use the stability ball in core exercises.

I wasn’t particularly keen on the slightly patronizing tone of the book in the introduction. The implication that women have difficulty getting in a solid workout because they are too tired at the end of the day from transporting kids and hearing their husband grumbling for dinner made me squirm. I think it’s difficult for a male author to write a health and fitness book designed for women, however. When I reviewed Lou Schuler’s The New Rules of Lifting for Women, I felt an equal unease with the way that the author seems to view his female audience.

That being said, I was impressed with the sheer vastness of topics covered in this book. Over-exercising is touched on (bonus points! I think that this important issue doesn’t always get enough awareness), and there is also some focus on the myths of the notion of “bulking up”, as well as a few notes on the importance of varying up the workout, fueling your exercise with good nutrition, and building a solid mind-body connection. Training routines are included at the back of the book along with some extra information regarding the particular muscles being targeted.

Come back on Wednesday with your thoughts and ideas about building a nice little home workout system and about training for particular goals. Brad will be answering your questions as long as they keep coming!

By the way, the photos of the women in this book: they’re real women. They have toned muscles but they look like regular women who exercise and are in good shape; not fitness models or anything like that. Always nice to see. I’m curious: what kinds of workouts do you do? Do you like using your body weight or using equipment? Home or gym (or outdoors)? And what kind of budget do you allow yourself when it comes to getting fit?

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for The Flat Belly Diet Cookbook, and don’t forget to answer this month’s poll!