Review: Old School New Body

by John Balik, Publisher Iron Man Magazine

I get a sense of pride when someone from our bodybuilding world takes proper weight training to the masses. I emphasize proper because so many “trainers,” if you will, make the mistake of overworking neophytes to the point of no return—as in no return on their effort followed by no return to the gym.

Iron Man editor in chief Steve Holman and his wife Becky have done it right. With the help of motivation master John Rowley, they’ve reworked and updated Hollywood trainer Vince Gironda’s density training principles to create their F4X System. Iron Man readers will be familiar with Steve’s moderate-weight 4X method, and in Old School, New Body, he and Becky have applied it to excellent programs primarily geared to the over-35 set looking for health, some muscle and the amazing anti-aging benefits of resistance training.

They have three levels: Lean, Shape and Build. The Lean program is a basic four-exercise protocol that’s excellent for beginners—and it can be used by anyone three days a week to reap the tremendous benefits of weight training. Many will want to stick with this core four or a variation of them for life, depending on goals. Now, with only four exercises, Lean is definitely not a hardcore bodybuilding routine, but it’s designed to increase growth hormone, melt bodyfat and build just enough new muscle for a healthy quality of life. And the workouts take less than 30 minutes in a gym or at home with dumbbells.

The Shape program is also three days a week, but it’s somewhat more extensive, with more exercises, so each session takes about 45 minutes. Don’t let the title fool you. This is basic bodybuilding for men and women, and as with the Lean program it uses the F4X twist on every exercise—no heavy joint-bashing poundages necessary.

The Build program is Steve’s full-range Positions of Flexion protocol applied to every muscle—with 4X. It’s very similar to the more advanced workout that Steve, in his early 50s, uses now. This chapter also includes ways to up the intensity of F4X, such as with rest/pause, the plus-one method and Tri-X, a multi-tempo sequence for superior fiber activation.

Old School, New Body also contains their diets and a list of alternate meals, fat-loss and nutrition tips, Becky’s transformation story and sections on key supplements, alcohol (not so bad after all), the truth about etching abs, testosterone boosting and more. Plus, you get bonus e-books featuring items the Holmans have collected over the years on anti-aging, better sex, muscle building, fat burning and health and happiness. All are treasure troves of information, as is the main e-book.

Granted, Old School, New Body is aimed more at those in the general public who need weight training—but in my opinion, that’s everyone. I highly recommend it.

To order or for more information, visit http://www.OldSchoolNewBody.com. (You will see the article “5 Steps to Looking 10 Years Younger.”)

RESULTS: “I have to give your F4X Shape program a big nod! I started it at the beginning of August 2012; 7 months later, I’ve lost 18.2 pounds. This is amazing for me! Like most 50+ year-old females (I’m almost 52) I have been battling the slow weight gain, even though I feel like I eat fairly healthy and have always exercised. It’s your weights program that has done it! While I really don’t enjoy going to the gym and lifting weights, the program doesn’t take long (30 to 45 minutes, 3 times/week), and I see and feel the progress.Thank you for putting it out there. This is what I’ve been looking for.” —Catherine C., via Internet

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      Yes, please share to whomever you want. Thank you.

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  30. Tony James July 5, 2013 at 5:07 am #

    I noticed in your advertisement for this program, that you have Becky’s pictures up and it says under the pics that progress she made, was due to the program. However, the pics you have posted of her, are the exact ones that you used for your XtremeLean program you were selling years ago.

    • Steve Holman July 5, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

      Yes, Tony. Those are the results when she made in her mid-40s using 3-days a week program similar to the Shape program in Old School New Body. We hadn’t developed F4X yet, so she was doing warmup sets followed by 2 hard sets per exercise. F4X is a better adaptation of that form of “standard” training, especially for older folks. She now uses F4X two to three days a week and looks fantastic.

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        I was just wondering, because I was interested in the program. But I saw those pics and made me wonder if I would essentially just be purchasing the same program again.

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  58. Steve Holman August 28, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    It’s a blog about our e-book, Old School New Body, reviewed there by John Balik, the publisher of Iron Man magazine.

  59. Steve Holman August 28, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

    Takes practice. Steve has been editor in chief of Iron Man magazine for over 25 years, and Becky has been a nutrition/lifestyle contributor to that same publication for about 10 years. Keep writing; stay motivated.

  60. TOM February 12, 2014 at 2:22 am #

    I have a question. I am on LTD I lost my left hip in mid 2009 to a staph infection–I have no abductor muscles and continuous mild to mid pain–currently on pain medication.
    I do aqua therapy (zumba) and laps twice weekly… this is prenominal as it is low to NO impact on my left leg. I am working a third day or swimming in for continued therapy.. I am looking for something else to push me towards becoming fit again. Before all of this happened and I almost lost my leg I was pretty active…..Looking for something that I can do to push the limits of my exercise tsolating the left hip which is EXTREMELY LIMITED IN EXECUTION…
    Thanks for any advice…..

    • Steve Holman February 21, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

      The Old School New Body program might be what you’re after. It is low impact with moderate poundages–nothing heavy.
      You control the intensity/effort–in other words, it’s customizable to your individual situation/abilities.
      The 4-exercise LEAN program would be ideal to work into your week with your other workout activities.

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