Lou Schuler

Author, Journalist, Presenter

Posted 12/26/2012

A Supercharged Manifesto

I just finished my first post-Christmas workout. I felt a little shaky going in; it’s been a while since I asked my body to process so much alcohol and refined flour. Once I got warmed up, though, I felt like my old self. (I’d much rather feel like my young self, but that’s not an option.)

My workout is derived from The New Rules of Lifting Supercharged, my new book with Alwyn Cosgrove. Of course it’s only new to you; I’ve been using the book’s workouts for much of the past year.

I typically jump around more, experimenting with new and different ways to get just a little more out of my aging, genetically mediocre body. But this was an unusual year, in that my body changed more than my program.

What happened:

About a year ago I got an assignment from Men’s Health to write a feature about the paleo diet. I decided to try the diet, starting just after New Year’s Day. It was almost an afterthought. To my surprise, I lost weight steadily for the first few months of the year. I’m pretty sure I started at 185 pounds; by late spring I was down to 175. As my body changed, the same training program produced different effects. Training for pure strength didn’t do much for me, but Alwyn’s Supercharged workouts, with their emphasis on body composition, helped me achieve the leanest physique I’ve had in probably 10 years.

Just when I was getting the hang of training with this new, streamlined body, Superstorm Sandy hit. It knocked out our power for a week, which was bad enough. But right in the middle of that clusterf**k — and I’m still not sure how it happened — I hurt my knee and came down with the worst illness in recent memory.

The illness cost me another five pounds; I’d guess that most of it was lean tissue.

Now I not only had to train around an injury that prevented me from doing anything in the squat category, I had to do it with a smaller, weaker body.

Yet again, Alwyn’s Supercharged workouts gave me the mechanism to rebuild my strength and restore some of that lean tissue. I’ve since regained the five pounds (I wish it was all muscle, but my diet wasn’t strict enough for that), and each workout I feel stronger than I did the last time.

So, to sum up, in 12 months I’ve worked with what seems like three different bodies. There was regular me, there was lean me, and there was recovering me. Each time, the Supercharged workouts gave me what I needed.

Now you get to try what’s worked so well for me. The New Rules of Lifting Supercharged should be available everywhere books are sold by the time you read this. Maybe a year from now you’ll have your own tale of personal transformation, although I sincerely hope it doesn’t include a superstorm, illness, or injury!