What is the Old School New Body, F4X Training System by Steve and Becky Holman? In short, this is a downloadable fitness program targeting the “middle age” crowd who are trying to get back into shape.
That is the simple answer.
Old School New Body (or, OSNB) is actually a system that relies on the use of resistance and weight training to help more mature bodies release growth hormone that encourages lean muscle building and more efficient fat burning. The program is attractive for many people since the workouts are designed to take no more than 90 minutes per week, which breaks down to three 30-minute sessions per week.
If this got your attention, you’re not alone. Everyone is busy these days, and so the idea of being able to get back in shape in 90 minutes per week sounds good. Don’t let the “old school” exercises which include squats, incline presses or flat-bench presses or pushups, bent-over rows and upright rows (to name a few) fool you. The intensity at which you complete these exercises is what will be your key to success. You’ll be doing repetitions to a “failure” point – a point where you need to stop. Generally speaking, you’ll be exercising “hard and fast.”
Naturally, a 90 minutes per week workout method is not all that the F4X (Focus For Exercise) system teaches. Obviously adjusting our diets is something that has to be incorporated as well. The general guidelines that the Holman’s recommend are fairly simple to understand. As is the case whenever we are faced with the necessity to change our dietary habits, there’s a bit of a learning curve.
Dietary Guidelines for the Program: The authors recommend 6 meals per day, with each meal containing about 25 grams of protein. This would look a lot like 3 ounces of lean turkey or chicken breast, 8 ounces (1 cup) of cottage cheese or Greek yogurt, just over 3 ounces of ground beef or lean flank steak, 4 hard-boiled eggs, a cup of lentils (cooked), for just a few examples.
Carbs should be sourced primarily from fresh vegetables. Of course, you already knew all this, so as I said, the guidelines for diet are pretty straight forward. The authors don’t condemn the use of alcohol; however, they do explain how drinking alcohol will affect your efforts to burn fat. If you can go without the booze for the most part, you’ll be better off.
Program Phases: Old School New Body is broken down into 3 phases, F4X LEAN, F4X SHAPE, and F4X BUILD. Here’s a brief rundown of each phase.
F4X LEAN: You’ll complete the exercise routines 3 times per week for about 30 minutes per session, combined with dietary changes. It should be noted that a number of people stay in this “phase” indefinitely – it’s the primary phase for the weight loss, and where you’ll be starting to gain muscle tone and strength. This is most likely to be the most attractive and popular aspect of the program for most people.
F4X SHAPE: In this phase you won’t be doing things much differently. However, you’ll be working out longer and with a bit more equipment. The focus in this phase is more about sculpting muscles and getting leaner. In theory, by the time you reach this phase, you are already burning fat more efficiently, because you have been building muscle – a key component for burning fat.
F4X BUILD: At this point, you will know whether or not you really want to go further and develop more of a “body builder” physique. If you find that you’re interested in this, you’ll be ready to invest in more equipment, or a real gym membership since you’ll be targeting different muscle groups throughout the week. In other words, you’ll need a lot more time than 30 minutes, 3 times per week.
Again, this is a personal decision, and you’ll know how you feel as you go through Old School New Body. Do keep in mind that Steve Homan was the editor of Iron Man magazine for years, so it’s only natural that he would include body building in the program.
Many people find it easier to have a gym or fitness center where they can go in order to do these exercises; however, it’s also extremely easy to arrange your own home in order to save the money on such memberships. You will need some weights (dumbbells), which are not expensive.
Now, if I were to summarize what I like best about Old School New Body, I’d have to say it’s the “short and sweet” of it. Let’s just get in there, work up a sweat and get these workouts done, and get back to life. I also like the fact that these aren’t hurting my knees and back (certainly something many people do need to consider as we age).
If I were to summarize what I feel is missing, it’s that there are no videos. I guess I’ve gotten used to seeing programs where I’m led through the motions. It’s not a deal breaker, since as I write this review of Old School New Body it’s only about $20. But still…
Some people say there aren’t enough nutritional guidelines included in the program, and that may be so for them. But that is not something that deters me, because I’ve gone through enough programs to know how to adjust my diet. Eat less refined carbs and more veggies. Eat lean protein. Eat healthy fats. Cut out the excess sugar.
That about wraps it up. If you have $20 that you’re willing to invest in a nicely packaged system to help you lose fat and gain strength for the long haul, in my opinion you really can’t go wrong.