Chances are that you have read other Old school New Body reviews out there and have stumbled across my article looking for more information. I’ve followed the program and can give you a close look at what this program has to offer before you jump on board. The question often asked by people looking into this workout series is; “can I build muscle and regain youth and vitality after 35”?
The short answer is yes. However, this is also true for most any healthy practice whether its diet and exercise or avoiding excess alcohol and smoking. Live Strong posted a great article on getting fit after 50 and how weight training plays a large role in this. The real question is how does Old School New Body’s approach to health differ? I will get into all the benefits below but let’s take a quick look at who created the program and why that’s important.
The program is the creation of Steve and Becky Holman who are both credible health and fitness authorities. Steve has been the Editor and Chief at Iron Man Magazine for more than 25 years. His wife Becky also contributes to Iron Man Magazine with articles written on nutrition topics.
Steve has also written 20 or more health and fitness books and has even interviewed with fitness legends such as Arnold Schwarzenegger.
They are both very credible sources and if you take a look at their photos you will agree that even over 50 years of age they look fantastic.
This is a full fitness and healthy lifestyle program designed to be a time saver for anyone who is looking to get in shape. The program is perfect for those of us who prefer working out at home without the need for big gym equipment. The workouts are great for the 35 plus age group but work equally well for any age for both men and women.
Like the name implies, Old School New Body’s approach to health and fitness is based on proven methods to build muscle, reduce fat and help restore vitality. This is accomplished by consistency and using a method of working out that calls for moderately heavy weights and specific timing for each repetition.
This timing for each repetition follows what Steve Holman calls the Focus Four method (F4X training system). You start with a weight that you can lift about 15 times, then perform the set of reps outlined in the workout as follows:
F4X Training System: 1 second to lift the weight up, then 3 seconds to lower the weight.
There are a few benefits you get from working out like this. Firstly, using moderate weights keeps you safe from injury. You will increase the amount you lift over time as you become stronger, but the amount will always be in a moderate range (never maximum). It will be just enough to help you build muscle overtime.
You will often see people flinging weights around with rapid one second repetitions. This will give them about 10 seconds under tension. The F4X method calls for 4 seconds per lift. This approach isn’t necessarily some fitness revelation, but it’s time-proven to give great muscle gains.
Men’s Journal sums it up as how long a muscle is under strain (tension) during a set. The practice is commonly used in bodybuilding to cause muscle breakdown for long term growth. This muscle break-down is called hypertrophy and is the catalyst to building muscle.
The third key benefit is the reduction of potentially harmful free radicals. Harvard University published an article on harm that can come from too many free radicals. While they are necessary to bodily function, they have been known to be the cause of various diseases such as cancers. Exercising at moderate intensity produces fewer radicals that can be harmful over time. Old School New Body keeps things moderate.
The 3 phases can be followed in a-number-of ways. If you want to start from the ground up, then follow in order: Lean, Shape then Build. If you are already lean and want to tone-up start with Shape. The Build phase is what you would want to follow if building muscle and strength is a top priority.
A great thing about these phases is that they can be done alone, in order or all together. Steve makes it dead simple and uncomplicated.
Look at this phase as a kick-start that can turn into a routine that can be followed forever. The Lean phase requires the least amount of time of the three. It’s a great place to start if you have little experience lifting weights. You will need roughly 30 minutes 3 days per week when following the Lean workout.
The moderate weights used here will make sure you stay safe and get into a habit of good form. If you just want to stay fit and keep fat in check, this phase may be all you need.
The Lean workout is a good place to start and requires the least amount of time investment at only 90 minutes per week. You will need to stay close to your diet though and monitor your calorie intake until you are confident you aren’t over eating if burning fat is your goal.
On the flip side you should be able to maintain good fitness levels if you keep at it.
Tip: Keep up the consistency and you will look and feel better. Use the add-on exercises from the guidebook for ache and joint pain relief.
If you want to kick-up the intensity, you will either want to start here or move into this phase after completing Lean. You still only need 3 days each week, but you will need more time. Expect these workouts to last about 40 minutes.
Something to point-out here is that if you are new and have only gone through the Lean workout once, the program will ask you to start with 2 sets as opposed to 3. This will help prime and prepare you for the next few weeks to come.
You can start here if you already have a decent fitness base and are confident you can start at a higher level. Each workout in the Shape schedule begins with squats to shock your body for growth. The workouts here can still be done with dumbbells and a bench alone. But don’t be afraid to mix it up with free-weights if you have some.
Tip: Follow Lean in the Winter to keep those Holiday meals in check. Then go through the Shape plan in the spring and summer to look tight.
This phase of the program is intended for those who want to maximize muscle growth. It differs from Lean and Shape because the workouts are longer, and you might need more than just dumbbells. If you have access to free-weights you will get a lot out of it.
The F4X protocol is still followed like the others but there is an added focus on how muscles are worked. Steve mentions that this is for advanced trainees and should be followed closely.
Tip: Be sure to follow the diet plan in the main guide and don’t be afraid to eat a bit more. You will need the calories to grow – but keep your eating clean.
If you have minimal equipment you can follow the Lean and Shape Phases but having free-weight options is always good (not necessary for these but always good). If you don’t have or want to invest in anything more than dumbbells you don’t need to. There is a also a plan that uses nothing but dumbbells.
The All Dumbbell Workout is specifically designed to be done at home with minimal space. If you want to train exclusively at home, this is a great option. The workouts are based around the Shape program but a bit more extensive.
I feel that it’s a great bridge between Shape and Build. If you don’t want to get into anything heavier you can just follow this and Lean or Shape whenever you like for a very well-rounded physique. A nice balance between leanness and muscle.
The All Dumbbell Workout follows the same F4X protocol and will have you exercising 3 times per week. You will always start with squats to shock your system and prepare yourself for the semi-full body workouts.
Tip: I like to reduce the rest time between sets in this workout. It keeps my heart rate higher for added calorie burn but enough recovery time before your next exercise. I sometimes go back-to-back with active rest. Meaning that I will squeeze in leg lifts, crunches or even burpees for 20 seconds.
The course is complete with a main guide that takes you through the process step-by-step. From starting off, to healthy eating, and what you need to do to stay in the best shape you can through life. There are 5 complimentary books that come with it.
This is the complete course that covers all of the theory and practice behind d the F4X protocol. It lays the foundation for burning fat and building muscle in great, but simple detail.
This is where you learn how to perform the exercises according to F4X and where to begin. I appreciate the easy to read and follow format. It’s a high-speed low-drag approach to healthy living.
No fitness program would be complete without a nutrition plan. Old School New Body is no exception with the Lean-Machine Diet. The program is simple and kept that way to reduce the likelihood of over splurging and cheating. The diet places emphasis on eating 5 to 6 small protein-based meals throughout the day.
The plan is based on whole foods and greatly reduces the amount of refined carbs such as pasta and breads but does not fully eliminate them. The plan also calls for basic supplements like: protein shakes, Creatine, BCAAs, Fish Oil and pre-workout drinks.
Not all of this is required if you simply eat healthy, but I would keep protein shakes in the plan. They are packed with BCCAs and Protein to help grow muscle.
The included nutrition plan is adequate, but if you want to take your fat loss goals to a high level, Eat Stop Eat (intermittent fasting) by Brad Pilon is worth a look.
This short book is golden. It provides checklists, tips and exercises for Lean, Shape and Build. You might be excited to start here, but don’t.
Read the main guide first, otherwise you won’t have the knowledge needed to perform the workouts and get the most from it. Great guide overall.
The information in this “special report” is about secrets and tricks to get leaner faster than ever. It’s 11 pages of information about food items that are beneficial to burning fat and some that you might not think of as toxic. It goes into detail about eating fats and artificial sweeteners and the negative impact they could have.
It’s a good read, but the main guidebook really accounts for this. Read it for advice, but you will get the same benefit from just following the program.
This book’s mantra is: Simple Steps to a more Energetic, Healthy and Happy Life. I like this one.
It’s short but gives some great tips on how to be happy and how it effects your well-being as well as others around you.
Some of the tips are nutritional and others are more mindful.
This report is a guide to Gaining Lean Muscle Faster Than Ever. It covers the essential nutrients needed to build and develop muscle (amino acids, proteins and vitamins). To be honest, there isn’t much here.
It’s not bad per se, it’s just that this information is also captured in the main course book. I looked at this report more as a checklist for the using right supplements thank anything else.
I always keep in mind that a huge part of success is balancing yourself on the premise of health, wealth and love. This report gives you guidance on how to remain youthful at any age through intimacy.
Some of us guys, might find the information here a bit uncomfortable, but its worth a read.
I’ve outlined a comparison of This comparison between OSNB and Body Beast is for the purpose of showing you how Old School New Body stacks-up against a higher profile Beach Body workout.
|Old School New Body||Body Beast|
|Workout Duration||30 to 60 min||35 to 65 min|
|Days per Week||3 to 4||6|
|Print / Digital PDF||Yes||No|
|Option for Gym Only?||Yes||No|
|Price||$19 (one time purchase)||$9.99/mo or $89/yr (subscription)|
Body Beast is a great value and worth a look and you won’t go wrong with either program. It really comes down to whether you want video guidance or not.
Something that comes as no surprise to me when reading through other Old School New Body reviews is the lack of information about the workouts themselves. Nutrition aside, it’s important to know what you can expect when you do the workouts.
I mentioned before that the focus is on full-body works to maximize your time in the Lean Phase, then things become more focused an individual muscle groups in Shape. I’ve been through each phase and really enjoy the build routines most. Trust me, they didn’t make me look like a hulk, but the routines do a great job on your physique thanks to the F4X Protocol.
I picked this phase as an example of how far you can take it. You can go from a lean and toned athletic physique to something a bit more powerful if you choose. The Build phase unlike the others will require some free-weights to get the best results.
At this point you will have increased the amount of weight you can lift after building a good base of strength in the first two phases. The great thing is you still follow the same guidelines for choosing the right amount of weight (follow the F4X Protocol). This takes the guesswork out of what to lift and keeps things safe.
I picked this sample since its one of the tougher ones.
Bar Bells (not required but beneficial), Dumbbells, an adjustable Bench and a Fitness watch to track calories and time.
Calories Burned: 456
Workout Duration: About 60 minutes
Days Per Week: 3 to 4
Post Workout Meal: Protein Shake (EAS)
|Dumbbell upright rows||4||10||Traps|
|Incline one-arm laterals||3||10||Shoulders|
|Close grip bench press||4||10||Chest and Triceps|
|Under-grip pulldowns||3||10||Forearms and Triceps|
|Reverse wrist curls||3||12||Inner forearms|
The Build workout requires more time and effort than workouts from the other phases. This is to be expected because you are doing a lot more reps and exercises each round. Remember the weight lifted here is higher too.
That said, after this routine, my upper body is on fire (not literally but you know what I mean). I can really feel the effect of “time under tension” F4X produces. My muscles have a good pump to them and look full. I am also taxed feeling but not so tired that I can’t go on with my day. I would say that after a cool down, I feel refreshed.
I usually have soreness a couple of days after a workout and this is no exception. You will know which muscles were worked. You will feel it. If you walked away from each session without feeling a little bit of soreness, you might be not be growing or following the instructions.
There is a lot of information published about muscle soreness and whether it’s good or bad for you. The soreness that you experience a few hours or days after a workout is called: Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS for short).
Some sources, like WebMD, cite that too much soreness can lead to long term damage, but feeling the right amount tell you that muscles are being built.
Thanks for reading through my Old School New Body Review. I know it was a long read, but I wanted to make sure you had the most information you could possibly get in front of you before making the decision to pick up the program.
Like all things fitness, the outcome is dependent on the effort and consistency you put into it. Some programs make it harder to stick with things though whether its due to the lack of time, availability of equipment, cost or motivation. Any one of these things can take a toll on fitness progress leading to frustration and disappointment.
The guidance in Old School New Body provides the motivation needed in a cost-effective, time-saving package that is easy to follow and stick with. For twenty bucks you have everything you need at your disposal to lose weight and forge the body you’ve always wanted. I really enjoy this workout and believe it’s a great addition to anyone’s fat loss toolbox and worth a try. Click here to checkout their official site and get started on your fitness journey right now. You won’t be disappointed.
Long time fitness junky with a drive to help people live a healthy happy life. David spends his spare time mountain biking and enjoying a stress free life.