The Old School New Body, also known as the F4X training system, is a simple and time-saving training protocol based on tried and tested, timeless techniques that stand the test of time.
The Old School New Body is an effective and time-saving training protocol based on tried and tested, timeless techniques that stand the test of time.
Old School New Body entails working out 3 times per week for 90 minutes, making it ideal for those with limited time available who still want to work out to improve their physique. Below you will find how this program works, what benefits it offers but also what its shortcomings are.
Who Is It For?
The Old School New Body, aka F4X training system, is a no-frills, simple and effective fitness program that has already helped scores of people get back into shape, lose fat, gain muscle, and look younger.
It is marketed for people over 35 and up to ripe old age, people over 60, 70, or more who are surprisingly responsive to appropriate training. However, the program is just as effective for beginners or anyone who needs a solid workout protocol that does not put too much stress on joints and tendons. You’ll see why later.
You should also check our Body Transformation Blueprint review.
Old School New Body Origins
The general workout method is loosely based on iconic bodybuilding legend Vince Gironda‘s training ideas, namely the famous 8×8 protocol for hypertrophy.
However, while Vince Gironda’s workout hinged on 8 sets of 8 repetitions, Steve and Becky Holman’s Old School New Body rely on 4 sets of 10, both methods with short rest times between sets in order to increase metabolic stress and induce hypertrophy.
They are both high volume methods, both entail limiting the number of repetitions you could get with a certain weight and not going to failure immediately on the first set.
Instead, you should rest about 30 seconds between sets and carry on until the last set which you take to failure for as many reps as you can. Repetition tempo should be 1 second for the concentric and 3 seconds for the eccentric for a total Time Under Tension of 40 seconds per set.
The difference is that in Old School New Body the high volume target is achieved by limiting your sets to 10 repetitions with a weight you could do 15 to failure, but instead of going to failure immediately on the first set, you hold back and carry on the subsequent sets with limited rest between.
This method induces high cumulative fatigue and workload, eliciting hypertrophy even though you actually reach muscle failure only on the last set.
Advantages Of The Old School New Body Method
The benefits of such an approach are 3:
High workout volume in a fraction of time – Instead of wasting your time chit-chatting in the gym while recovering between sets, you get the job done fast and then get out of the weight room to go about your daily business, particularly if you have a hectic lifestyle.
High hypertrophy stimulus – The short rests between sets are conducive to high metabolic stress. The only way your muscles can adapt to such stress is by growing bigger and stronger.
Low joints and tendons impact – This is important especially as you get older or if you are a newbie. Low repetitions with high loads take their toll in the long run. Moderate weights with short rest times between sets allow for challenging and beneficial workouts without the risk of injury or the onset of inflammation and pain.
Without a doubt this high volume, low joint stress works well for people well over 40/50/60 or more years old, but it is also beneficial for young guys with no time to waste or people with battered joints through heavy loads.
The bottom line is that while the program is marketed for people over 35 who do not want to live in a gym, it is just as effective for younger people.
As an added bonus, Old School New Body can be implemented either at a gym or even at home with basic equipment. Steve and Becky prefer the functionality and easy resistance progression that barbells and dumbbells can offer, but their routines can be done at home as well.
The F4X Training System Phases
As seen above, Old School New Body is based on the F4X system, however HOW these exercises are performed depends on the fitness level you are in or whether you want to lose fat, shape muscle, or build muscle.
The basic 4 exercises are:
- Incline presses
- Bent over rows
- Upright rows
These 3 phases are called:
This is the entry point level which, as the name implies, is designed to lose any extra fat. The author stresses that under no circumstances you should overstep into stage shape or build before you reached your targeted level of leanness or low body fat.
One step at a time is the way to go. If you are happy with the results and already have a good muscle foundation you may as well stop at this stage and just do maintenance.
This phase is meant to “shape”, aka build a little more muscle over your existing mass to give more balance and better body functionality. This is the phase that Becky stopped after having completed phase 1 Lean. She wanted to look like an athletic swimmer, not too skinny nor too muscular and she achieved just that.
What Steve and Becky are eager to stress is that you can step up into the next phase or stop and do maintenance as you wish, in other words, there is no risk for women (or men) to suddenly get too bulky or wake up the next day looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
This is an unfounded fear that most women and even some men have. It takes a good deal of time and effort to become big like a pro bodybuilder, so you can stop any time in the building process when you are happy with your size, no need to worry.
This phase is similar to the Shape Phase but with an emphasis on building solid muscle mass, like 10, 15, or more pounds. This is the phase Steve actually worked himself to, as he likes a muscular, fitness trainer look without looking like a monster professional.
He correctly points out that to become that oversized you do not just need to work out hard but also take illegal steroids and eat like there is no tomorrow. This is not what this program is designed for, as it is totally natural and suitable for men and women, older and younger.
However, predictably this phase also entails longer workouts 4 times per week, so it may not be ideal for everyone.
Old School Wisdom Of The Program
Ok, this is for the general resistance training layout, what about general guidelines? Basically, Steve sums it up in 5 general principles, debunking common myths held dear in the fitness industry. These are:
- Low-fat foods myth: you actually must eat fat as well as any other nutrients contrary to popular low-fat food diet mantras. According to the program, fats and cholesterol help regenerate hormones, in particular the all-important testosterone responsible for enhanced metabolism, fat burning, and muscle building. On the contrary, sugars should be avoided like the plague as they are very easily turned into and stored as fat, unhealthily upsetting insulin levels.
- Endless cardio myth: according to the author, treadmills, spins, running or any endurance training only exacerbate the aging process because this kind of long, sustained aerobic activity increases the production of free radicals, which in turn feed on nutrients and tissues. Instead, he recommends very short but very intense resistance training workouts.
- Being old myth: a healthy lifestyle, correct training, and nutrition are everything. There is no such thing as having a beer belly or being fat and saggy just because of chronological age. An older person training and eating properly will be biologically younger, fitter, and stronger than a young couch potato person doing nothing or worse, drinking, smoking, etc. No room for arguing here.
- Drinking plenty of water: water helps lose fat by aiding the liver and the kidney diuresis. Steve recommends at least 12 ounces per day. Too little water places stress on the liver and its ability to burn fat.
- Training less but harder. This is what the F4X program is mostly about. 4 specific exercises implemented are short sessions in the old school way. This approach is not just more effective but also time-saving, allowing for a better balance in life, more social life, and more freedom.
About Steve And Becky Holman
Steve has been editor in chief at Iron Man magazine for many years. He’s seen it all in the fitness, fat loss, and muscle building arena and, having reached a mature age (he’s over 50 now), has decided to design a program for older guys and gals that works just as well for young people and is based on good old-school techniques now largely forgotten in mainstream bodybuilding literature.
Noticing that the best looking and fittest people in gyms always seem to finish the workout first while the ones working out the longest never seem to noticeably change their bodies, he came to the conclusion that short but very hard (and time-saving) routines are way more effective than endless cardio to lose fat or marathon weight resistance to build muscle.
Steve and Becky further took inspiration and confirmation to their observations by looking up to the fitness ethics and principles of bodybuilding legend and guru Vince Gironda, a celebrity personal trainer of the old school with an impressively lean and muscular physique.
Vince routinely brought to fitness his famous customers in record times for their movie roles, making them lose fat and gain muscle with very basic yet effective routines.
Old School New Body Components
The Old School New Body comes in an easy to download PDF format manual and is instantly available. No need for deliveries. The PDF requires reading software like Adobe which you can easily download online if you do not have it yet.
The program also comes with few handy bonuses and it’s structured as follows:
- The main PDF manual with all the content described above, covering all aspects of training and nutrition.
- The QuickStart Workout Guide Free Bonus Guide is a scaled-down version of the main PDF to quickly get you started if you do not want to read the whole manual first. You can do that at a later time while starting right off the bat to get results a quickly as possible.
- Ultimate Fat Burning Secrets Free Bonus Guide, covering issues like fat burning foods and how to use heat for losing fat.
- Ultimate Muscle Building Secrets Free Bonus Guide with information on minerals, fruits, nutrients, and foods that can increase testosterone naturally and build muscle.
- Ultimate Sex And Anti Aging Secrets Free Bonus Guide on wrinkle reduction nutrients, aphrodisiac desserts, hair growing herbs, 6 keys to add a year to your life, and much more.
- Ultimate Health And Happiness Free Bonus Guide on how to release feel good hormone oxytocin, foods to relieve depression, and more.
Also included is free motivational audio made up of interviews by John Rowley to top fitness industry experts such as:
- Tom Venuto, a natural bodybuilder & author of The Body Fat Solution.
- Kristi Frank, a health and beauty guru and has appeared on every major network TV.
- Bill Phillips, author of #1 New York Times Best Seller, Body-for-LIFE.
- Jennifer Nicole Lee, super fitness model turned mega mogul.
- Shawn Phillips, veteran fitness expert, and author.
- Tom Platz, bodybuilding legend.
Old School New Body is a fitness program designed for people over 35 but it also happens to be just as effective for younger people.
It is based on old school but very effective ideas of training through very short but hard and challenging workouts structured around just 4 basic exercises.
These exercises can be then manipulated to suit your goal: lose fat, add some lean muscle, or build as much muscle as you naturally can.
Each goal is separate from the others and can be achieved in a pyramid structure, from fat loss to shaping to building mass.
Additionally, Old School New Body is safe on joints and tendons while promoting hypertrophy through high volume workouts at a fraction of regular sessions.
All in all, it is a simple yet effective and time-saving program for the older and the younger, or anyone with limited time at hand or concerned about not just muscles but also joint integrity.