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With all the workout routines available today, how do you know which one is right for you? The answer to this question largely depends upon your current overall health, your ultimate fitness goals, and the amount of time and energy that you’re able to dedicate to staying in shape. You could spend hundreds of dollars, not to mention countless hours of your time, trying them all. However, that would be an ill use of both your time and your money. I’ve done just that over the years, each time with varying degrees of success. But all the while I couldn’t help thinking to myself that there has to be a smarter way to stay in shape; one that doesn’t constantly force me to choose between working out or spending more quality time with my family; one that pushes the limits of my strength and endurance without leaving me feeling exhausted and periodically injured; one that is flexible enough to leave room for future growth while also providing a bare bones version for those days when I’m pressed for time or energy.

In the sections that follow, I will outline what Old School New Body is and how it came to be, compare it to another popular workout routine on the market today, describe my experience and recommendations, and outline what I believe to be the essential facts that can help you decide whether it is the right program for you. I hope you find this review both useful and informative.

Old School New Body is the creation of Steve Holman, Editor In Chief of IRON MAN Magazine. Actually, it’s a modern adaptation of the training program used by the late Vince Gironda, famous trainer of champion bodybuilders and Hollywood stars. The Iron Guru, as Vince was known, pioneered the “ripped” or “shredded” look, achieved by applying a high density training (HDT) method known for its efficiency at building lean muscle and burning fat in a short period of time without the joint pain and chronic injuries associated with high intensity training (HIT) methods.

After conducting some further research, Steve discovered the HDT method to be based upon sound scientific principles. So he experimented with the method, filled in a few small gaps with his own extensive knowledge and experience, and modified it slightly to take into account the latest scientific evidence. The result is the Focus-4 Exercise (F4X) protocol which, in combination with a few easy-to-apply diet alterations, boasts the ability to help you look and feel younger, have fewer health issues, and actually slow down the pace of the aging process in as little as 90 minutes per week.

The secret to the F4X Training Program lies in the long forgotten method of targeting both ‘sides’ of the muscle fibres, the myofibrils and sarcoplasm. Stressing the former stimulates muscle growth while stressing the latter stimulates fat burning, the combination of which results in a fat-to-muscle effect. And, as with any workout of this nature, your metabolism remains stoked for several days afterward as your boy expends energy to repair the trauma inflicted upon the muscles, thereby burning more calories while at rest.

The F4X System targets core muscles in a particular rhythm and sequence using moderate weight and short rests between sets, resulting not only in less joint stress but also a natural increase in the production of growth hormone (GH). An increase in GH has been credited with strengthening tendons and ligaments, resulting in fewer injuries, boosting the immune system, and promoting anti-aging effects such as hair and skin rejuvenation. The pace of the routine provides the added benefit of simulating an interval cardio workout.

I chose the P90X Extreme Home Fitness program for comparison because of its sheer popularity and also because it typifies the current direction in home workout routines. P90X, which stands for Power Extreme 90, is a DVD-based workout regimen that rotates through 12 different cross-training workouts lasting about an hour each, practiced 6 days per week (plus an additional 15 minute ab routine practiced 3 times per week), over a period of 13 weeks, or roughly 90 days. The intensity and commitment required to complete the workouts does not lend itself easily to beginners. In fact, according to the program’s manual, “P90X is an extreme fitness program designed for individuals in top physical condition and health, and therefore should NOT be attempted by someone who doesn’t meet the minimum fitness requirements….There are many fitness alternatives if you have any physical or health conditions or are prone to injuries–but P90X is NOT one of them.”

The F4X Protocol, by comparison, is based upon the high density (as opposed to intensity) and leverages short, targeted workouts based upon moderate weight and short rests between sets, resulting in high muscle fatigue and low joint stress. F4X workouts last between 30-60 minutes, depending upon your current fitness level and future goals, and are practiced 3 days per week allowing for plenty of recovery time between workouts. Accommodations are made throughout for beginners (or those who have not worked out in a very long time) by way of modified exercises and sets. There is also a more advanced regimen for those who have more time and are physically ready to take their workout to the next level. Regardless of the level you choose, however, the core principles remain the same.

Like me, Kristi Frank, star of Season #1 of NBC’s ‘The Apprentice’, has found that Old School New Body fits her lifestyle as a busy parent and professional:

“I simply don’t have the time to live in the gym. I have a full life, I am a wife, mom, and a business women and I want to be my best in all those areas. For me staying fit isn’t an option, I don’t have the time not to be fit! Old School New Body is one of the tools in my fitness arsenal that allows me to get the best results in the least amount of time. It is critical for women to be fit which is why I have been helping thousands of women lose weight, gain confidence and increase their energy. Being fit isn’t an event, it is a lifestyle. Make Old School New Body part of your lifestyle and see your life change!”

Lori-Ann Preziosi proves that it’s never too late to start getting in shape, even for a beginner:

I’m originally from New York. After High School I worked in the secretarial field. I decided to move to Las Vegas and landed a job as a cocktail waitress. I have a very active, physical job. I am a mother of two children who also kept me very busy. Multitasking work and home life, I am always on the go. This lead to bad eating habits and lack of working out. I felt there was not enough time in the day, so I found myself taking short cuts. Eventually these short cuts caught up to me by weight gain, back problems and lack of energy. I decided to make a major change in my life. I started using the Old School New Body program and seen phenomenal results. I lost the belly bulge, I developed muscle definition and have a lot more energy to get through my day! Old School New Body has made great changes in my life inside and out. I feel great! Make a positive change in your life with this program. You will feel, look and be more energized!!”

Crystal West, attorney, personal trainer, fitness model, and multiple current World Record holder in wide grip pull-ups, has found the Old School New Body workout routine to be efficient at building strength without overworking her joints:

“I do two types of training to accomplish my goals. The first is sports specific training for my World Records, basically a lot of pull-ups. The second is full body training to stay strong and healthy and let’s face it to look good. I am in my late 40′s and using the Old School New Body program, I am getting phenomenal results. Not only am I becoming stronger, but I am also getting a sexier figure in the process. Additionally, because of my World Record endurance training as well as my age, I keep a close eye on how my joints are doing. I have noticed and appreciate that this method is easier on the joints than previous programs I have used involving low reps and heavy weight. I am simply achieving astounding overall health and fitness by following this method.”

And as Doug Brignole, Mr. America winner, testifies, the F4X Training program scales up to fit even the needs of a seasoned, award-winning bodybuilder:

“I was convinced that heavy weights/low reps was the best way to develop muscle mass. However, I’m over 50 now and have been disappointed with my apparent inability to build muscle compared to how well I was able to do it in my 30s. So I thought I would give this method a shot. Wow!! In just one month of using it, I’ve been amazed at my rate of growth….I am pleasantly surprised to be growing muscle again—fast! Chalk this up to teaching an old dog a new trick.”

When I was in my twenties, just after leaving the Army, I had the time and energy to spend an hour and a half in the gym, 5 or 6 days per week. But nowadays, as a full-time parent and employee, I have to grab my workouts when I can. Last Christmas, I purchased the P90X program for my teenage son. He was starting to get into fitness and I figured that it would be a good way to spend some quality time together and get back into shape myself. I had been practicing my own routine off and on over the years so I was in good enough shape to give it a go. However, I had to take a break after about 2 weeks as I was feeling worn out and housework was piling up. My son continues to follow the program religiously, and has seen some decent results, but I needed to find something that would better fit into my busy schedule. As luck would have it, after scouring the Internet for a more appropriate alternative, I chanced upon the Old School New Body routine.

What I like about the F4X protocol is its efficiency. I can get a F4X LEAN workout knocked out in under 30 minutes, 3 times per week, and know that I’ve hit all the major muscle groups but without getting overwhelmed. I know that I’m not getting cheated because I can feel the soreness in my muscles for days after the workout, yet I don’t feel exhausted. I’ve been able to maintain my routine for months now and am very pleased with the results. What’s more, I’m still left with plenty of room for future growth. While I may never have the inclination to try the advanced BUILD workout, I can see myself graduating up to the SHAPE routine someday when time permits. And as someone who has periodically injured my shoulder practicing more intense routines, I can appreciate the low joint impact.

I almost didn’t try the Old School New Body program as I was looking specifically for a fat burning workout, which I had always associated with intense cardio. I wasn’t looking to bulk up like a bodybuilder either and, having injured my shoulder a few times in the past, wanted to steer clear of anything that smacked of heavy lifting. But after reading up on the science behind the F4X protocol, I was surprised to learn how much more efficient weight training is at burning fat compared to cardio. While you may burn a couple hundred calories during cardio, your metabolism is actually stoked for days after working out with weights – even at rest – as your body works to rebuild the muscles that were just torn down. In addition, the High Density Training method employed by Old School New Body maximizes the fat burning process during your workout.

So if you are a busy parent and / or professional, are just starting out or have suffered previous injuries by overtraining, and are looking for a way to build lean muscle and lose fat efficiently and with low joint stress, at any age, I would highly recommend giving Old School New Body a try.

Click here to try Old School New Body yourself from the official website