Unlike many other reviews, I’ve decided to share my personal experience with everyone through this Old School New Body review.
Hopefully you find these musings of a new (middle aged 😅) father and long time computer nerd at least somewhat helpful! 😄
The holidays haven’t been good to my waistline but OH SO TASTY! Anyway since I fell off the wagon (and burned it down behind me…) I made a new year’s resolution to build the wagon again and get back on it!
I’ve been back on my diet and using OSNB (and even the occasional beer…s). I lost 14 pounds in the first 6 weeks!
😂 OSNB is still my goto workout plan!
Ever find that time seems to go by in a blink of an eye and that jeans that used to be loose, need a belt? I was in this situation a few years ago and I while admit that it did make getting dressed in the morning faster, I don’t think anyone would rate that as one of their top time saving tips!
Table of Contents
I finally got up the nerve to weigh myself and saw that it went over 200!
So I tried a different scale…
unfortunately both scales looked to be working.
That was when I realized I needed to start looking for ways to get back to the weight I used to be and start taking my health much more seriously. After much research (it’s what I do!) both in the real world and internet, I now have an image of how I want to look right now and in the future.
More about my origin story and how this blog came about here
Not just an image either, an actual way to get both the health benefits AND the look I’m going for! So I created this site to share my findings, I hope you find it helpful!
What’s the secret?
It’s not much of a secret as I’m sure you’ve seen these steps; it’s an age old formula
- Eat Healthy
- Exercise Consistently
- Get Enough Sleep
It’s just all the different ways to do these steps that is confusing. Old School, New Body fits into the second in the list. It also edges into eating healthy but I recommend and follow something a bit different .
For sleep, I would recommend getting at least 7 ½ hours.
Most people sleep in cycles of 1 ½ hours . If your sleep is interrupted in the middle of a cycle you will actually feel even MORE tired than before you went to sleep!
What is Old School, New Body?
Old School, New Body is essentially a fitness program geared towards us, more “seasoned” adults – particularly ages 40 and above.
Steve and Becky Holman have crafted a workout program to help get people into shape safely and quickly.
Personally the safely part was far more important to me than the quickly.
But the quickly part definitely doesn’t hurt!
The core of Old School, New Body is labeled the F4X workout system.
Who are Steve and Becky Holman?
Steve Holman has been the editor in chief for Iron Man magazine for over 25 years. He has written multiple books on weight training and nutrition as well as many many articles concerning fitness and weight-loss.
He’s even interviewed physique legends like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lee Labrada.
Do a Google search for him you can see lots of photos of him all over the internet appearing much larger than on the book cover! Amazingly jacked actually, especially for his age!
I’m sure we can all agree that his physique is no joke. I am not aiming to look that big but his background does set my mind at ease.
Becky is Steve’s wife of over 28 years and is one of the radical success stories of the F4X method.
Look at her and she started in her 40s!!! She is now a regular contributor to Iron Man magazine.
if you couldn’t guess, the man and woman on the cover is Steve and Becky Holman.
What is the F4X workout?
F4X stands for Focus-4 Exercises. These would be 4 core exercises that have been identified as being the most effective.
- Incline presses
- Bent over rows
- Upright rows
The F4X training system lays out 3 different workout plans that each focuses on a particular fitness goal and all 3 include the F4 eXercises.
No matter which workout plan you choose it should take no more than 60 minutes to complete, with the minimal workout (LEAN) taking about 30 minutes.
Incidentally the LEAN workout routine is done 3 days a week, this is where the 90 minutes per week on the cover comes from (3x 30min).
What are the 3 different F4X workouts?
The 3 workouts are:
- F4X LEAN
- F4X SHAPE
- F4X BUILD
This workout is geared towards beginners or people who haven’t been hitting the gym in a while. It consists solely of the 4 most effective exercises and you can use this workout indefinitely for great results. Since it is only 4 exercises it can be done in about 30 minutes 3 times a week. When you are pressed for time or feeling lazy, this would be a great option.
I’m not ashamed to admit, I fall back on this often.
This is for when you have more time and want to up the intensity. It of course incorporates the 4 core exercises but it is when you want even faster results. The workouts are laid out to be done 3 times a week and should take less than an hour to complete, usually about 45 minutes for me.
I usually go between this and LEAN depending how I am feeling that day or if I am pressed for time.
This would be the most intense of the 3 workouts. For those people who seek to maximize their results (like a bodybuilder) and that have been working out regularly for quite a while. Workouts are still able to be completed in less than a hour but it is done 4 times a week.
Personally I don’t use these workouts regularly, I go between SHAPE and LEAN depending on my energy level.
Is it safer than other workouts?
So far I haven’t mentioned anything that would differentiate F4x from any other workout program, especially anything that would make it safer. The joint saving part of the F4X system is due to it being a modified version of Vince Gironda’s workout system.
Vince Gironda is an icon from the “golden-era” of bodybuilding, 1950s-1970s. Known as the “Iron Guru”, Vince was famous throughout Hollywood for his extraordinarily fast results. One of the first, if not THE first, “trainer of the stars”.
Vince’s system advocates workout density, where lower weights are done for more sets with minimal rest.
The lower weights along with the smaller number of exercises advocated in the F4X protocol is the key to what makes this training system easier on your joints and how you are far less likely to cause yourself injury.
How Vince Gironda enters into F4X
One of the writers, Steve Holman, was a contemporary of Vince Gironda and after Vince’s passing, the magazine Steve works for “Iron Man” was given some of Vince’s belongings.
While reading through some of Vince’s logs and writings, Steve decided to try Vince’s workout methods.
Keep in mind that medium weight, high fatigue training was against all common workout wisdom at the time. Even now it is not an extremely common workout recommendation.
Steve Holman’s distillation and experimentation with Vince Gironda’s writings became OSNB!
I found the background stories fascinating! This story among others is written about in the introduction of the book.
What is included in Old School, New Body?
- The Old School, New Body ebook (PDF)
This is the main book and core of the program. It is well laid out and I would recommend giving it a full read through before using the Quick Start guide, which is also included.
The book goes into detail on the history of how F4X was formulated as well as the core concepts on how you should do the exercises.
You will probably be unfamiliar with this style of working out, I recommend reading through the book first
They also include lots of motivational information and nutritional info. The book is a quick and easy read.
The motivational information really was motivating and the background info was fascinating as well.
The desire of the authors to help you without wanting anything else from you, really comes through in the writing.
- Quick Start Guide
This is a short 15 page guide, which lists all the exercises in LEAN, SHAPE and BUILD workouts. As I mentioned before this would be most effective if you use this AFTER reading the full ebook. Referencing the quick start guide during your workout is really where the guide shines.
- Ultimate Fat Burning Secrets Special Report
- Ultimate Health & Happiness Secrets Special Report
- Ultimate Muscle Building Secrets Special Report
- Ultimate Sex and Anti-Aging Secrets Special Report
These special reports are mostly about tips and recommendations about what foods and supplements you can take to help burn fat, increase libido, etc.
It may because I’ve been researching nutrition and fitness for so long now but I didn’t find the special reports extremely helpful.
Some of the information is fairly well known, e.g. broccoli is good for weightloss, Tongkat Ali is good for testosterone and anti-aging.
It is nice that the information is all in one place but it is not an essential part of the system. But It is free…
Audio interviews with fitness professionals:
- Tom Venuto interview
- Kristi Frank interview
- Bill Phillips interview
- Tom Platz interview
- Jennifer Nicole Lee interview
- Shawn Phillips interview
There are a few more names but I thought I’d just hit some of the more well known ones. I did not listen to the interviews so I can’t comment on how they are. They are included free so maybe one of these days I’ll go back and give them a listen.
- Exercises could be described better for clarity. More photos or links to videos.
- Interviews are rather extraneous
- Ultimate reports are nice but again doesn’t add huge value
- Supplement information is average
- The anti-aging claim is a generic result of building/toning muscle, I don’t think they should have used it as such an explicit claim but it is good marketing…
- The workout plans are top notch. Very quick and efficient ~30 minutes for LEAN ~45 minutes for SHAPE ~60 minutes for BUILD
- You can get and keep some good results using just 4 exercises, indefinitely!
- Good for the young and the not so young! Men and Women! Easy on your joints, no joint pain.
- Nutrition plan laid out in the book is solid, well laid out, and should work for everyone. Though I get better results with Dr. Groves’ Diet and Intermittent Fasting
- Interviews and Reports don’t add huge value but they are free…
- 100% money back guarantee – I doubt you’ll ever need it, but it’s nice to have
Tips from me!
- I don’t actually take any of their recommended supplements besides omega-3 fish oil and green tea. I would recommend using a different resource for supplement information and skimming their recommendations. The supplement field changes so quickly that no book can really keep up.
I would incorporate some walking before the workout to warm up. I do a brisk 5-10 minute incline walk to get the blood flowing. If you feel up to it, a 5-10 minute walk to cool down or some stretching would be an excellent way to end any workout.
Build a small home gym, even just a bench and a couple of weights to start off with will work great!
Resistance cables are a great low cost substitute and addition to weights, highly recommended. I picked up some Bodylastics ones. Will add them to my other reviews one of these days.
I’ll review anything else I personally use on this blog but if you have any questions feel free to hit me up!
I rotate between this and other workouts every 6 months or so. Some more background information as well as a few more resources.
- Do I have to be a member of a gym?
A gym membership is not necessary.
You will require some sort of resistance: barbells, dumbbells or bands.
There is an entire chapter dedicated to using dumbbells at home.
OSNB recommends Powerblocks, I prefer the IronMaster DB’s (my setup in the nav bar!) but it really just depends on your preferences, any type of resistance will work.
For those just starting out I would stick to just dumbbells or bands at home, the usual lack of a spotter will mean they are safer.
We’ve all heard the horror stories of someone getting trapped under a barbell while bench pressing!
I personally don’t have a gym membership. My setup started with just an adjustable dumbbell set and an adjustable workout bench. The gyms by me are well equipped but are so full, that there is a wait for almost everything.
Because I’m not waiting for equipment, I’ve found working out from home to take about 45 mins for my workout instead of 60 mins. Also travel time is a 30 second walk instead of a 15 minute drive.
Final thoughts and where can you buy a copy?
Through my research I become fans of Vince Gironda and Steve Reeves - pictured above. They both had the type of physique that I strive for, not excessively muscled and symmetrical.
Vince Gironda also got impressive results as a trainer and was far ahead of his time.
I believe that Steve and Becky Holman have given the modern twist to Vince Gironda’s workouts it needed, with the backing of science and research!
I would definitely recommend Old School, New Body and I personally use it regularly.