1. I’m here today with Rusty Moore, author of the Visual Impact For Women program. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me, Rusty. For those of our readers who don’t yet know you, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got to be a fitness author.
Answer: Well John, I guess I went the Justin Beiber route. Which may sound funny coming from a fitness guy in his 40′s. What I have in common with the pop star is that we both simply did something we loved and people responded. Justin Beiber became known through Youtube, as did Andy Sandberg of Saturday Night Live. They didn’t have a agent. People simply saw their stuff online, liked it, and they became celebrities in their field.
What I did was create a blog, 100% focused on the lean “Hollywood Look”. I outlined the approach I used to go from a big muscular guy, to the slim “GQ” look. At that time, I had been training for 20 years…and those final 7 were devoted to getting slim and defined, without increasing muscle mass. My inspiration was Brad Pitt from Fight Club.
Within a couple of years my blog became one of the most popular fitness blogs on the internet. I was getting crazy amounts of traffic (into the millions), tons of comments, and most important…people were getting incredible results following the advice on my site.
People were actually asking me to write books! I compiled the best information and created my first major ebook in 2010. I called it Visual Impact Muscle Building. It has taken off beyond my wildest expectations. Guys love this course and it really feels great to hear the success stories.
2. What made you create the Visual Impact For Women program?
Answer: To be honest, my plan was to write my women’s course as soon as I finished with my men’s course. You see…more than 1/2 of the readers of my blog are women. I was a little worn out after releasing my course for men, so I took a break.
I spent a decent portion of last summer traveling and went on a massive West Coast road trip. Drove down HWY 1 and HWY 101 along the California Coast. This was exactly the break I needed. I came back inspired to create the best Women’s Course of its kind.
I had to create Visual Impact for Women, because I kept hearing from women that they didn’t lift weights because of fear of getting bulky. I had a major solution for this and was compelled to share it. I can teach women to use weights in a way that actually reduces size in a body part while firming up that body part.
3. Can you give me an example of a wrong piece of fitness advice that women get from magazines and gym trainers?
Anwer: Training to failure. When you take a set to failure, you create the conditions for growth in a muscle regardless of the rep-range. If you want bigger muscles, this can be a good thing. If you want to increase muscle tone it isn’t a great idea.
…so 5 reps to failure will create muscle growth as will 15 reps to failure. Women are led to believe that high reps tone and low reps build muscle. It isn’t so much the rep range as it is how close to failure the muscle is pushed. This has been proven in a recent scientific study.
Another negative of training to failure is that it can eventually break the muscle down so badly that it weakens the muscle.
4. What are the special fitness challenges that women face today?
Answer: The tough thing for women is being in great shape while still looking feminine. I train women to actually improve muscle strength and aerobic capacity while slimming down. The traditional workout advice women get leads to larger, pumped up weaker muscles.
5. Let’s talk about Visual Impact For Women and the workouts you recommend. You claim that women should not train with high reps. Why is that?
Answer: “Lifting High-Reps for muscle tone” is quite possibly the worst piece of advice. High-Reps are more likely to create a “pump” in the muscle. Creating the “pump” in a muscle is a great way to create large Vascular (veiny) muscles. This is why body builders train for the pump.
Most women don’t want large muscles with bulging veins…so probably best to stay away from high rep training. It gets even worse if they train to failure with high reps.
6. You recommend a lot of cardio in your program. Isn’t cardio supposed to be a waste of time? Aren’t there better ways to burn fat?
Answer: The trend now is to have women do resistance training circuit routines or body weight circuit routines, but there are a few problems and limitations to this as a fat loss solution.
1) These non-stops circuits can create a pump (as discussed in my previous point).
2) Cardio, when done on machines, can be adjusted to the exact level of intensity needed to hit a particular goal. Some days that might be to boost HGH levels with intervals, some days it might be to increase VO2 max, other days it might at a lower intensity for pure fat loss.
3) Cardio is the only variable that can be increased when a woman is at a fat loss “sticking point” and every other training variable is maxed out. She can only reduce the calories so low before she is starving. She can only do so many weight training workouts, before she breaks down her body. She can only do so many circuits before she is over trained. But…she can always ad in more low level cardio if needed.
4) Cardio can be done in a way to create perfectly toned legs and butt…eliminating the need for direct resistance training to the legs.
5) Cardio can be setup in a strategic way to first release fat from the fat cells, then burned with a lower intensity level.
6) Cardio can be used to systematically drop as much body fat as a woman desires. With various circuit training routines both men and women first lose weight, but then that weight loss stalls. Adding more circuit training results in over-training…so they are stuck with more body fat than they desire.
7. What kind of woman should use Visual Impact For Women and what kind of woman shouldn’t?
Answer: Women who want to look slim and feminine along the lines of a Victoria’s Secret Model will do very well to get this course. If they would rather get more ripped like Xena Warrior Princess, this is NOT the course for them!
8. I’ve read that the elliptical machine is not an effective cardio machine. You claim that it can be useful. In what way?
Answer: The elliptical machine is awesome and let me tell you why. It is the perfect low level cardio to use after doing intense intervals. The way I recommend to use cardio is to do 10-15 minutes of intense intervals on a tougher machine, like a stepmill or treadmill. This intense effort is great for releasing free fatty acids from the fat cells…but too high of an intensity isn’t great for using this fat for fuel.
Low intensity cardio is ideal for using fat for fuel, once those free fatty acids are accessible and released into the bloodstream. The elliptical is perfect for this task. The great thing is that it is also a comfortable piece of equipment, so a woman can easily hop on for 15-20 minutes after her intense intervals.
So in the right hands, the elliptical is a great fat burning tool!
9. Can you share some tips for women who want to tone their legs and thighs without making them bulkier?
Answer: Again…they should avoid the pump. I actually believe that strategic cardio creates the nicest looking legs and butt. If they want to ensure that their legs stay slim, they can stick mainly to the treadmill and elliptical. If they want to work the butt a little harder, they can use the stepmill. If they want to add a little muscle they can use the exercise bike.
If they do want to use resistance training, they simply need to avoid approaching failure. They can use squats to target the quads or something like step ups or dead lifts to target the legs and glutes a little more. They are less likely to get the pump if they use lower reps short of failure compared to higher reps.
10. What are some exercises that women shouldn’t do if they want to look feminine?
They should avoid any type of shrugging movement. Those build up the traps which gives a manly appearance. They probably won’t need much direct lower body lifts if they are doing cardio properly.
11. What is the #1 diet tip that women should follow?
Answer: Focus on creating a weekly calorie deficit NOT a daily calorie deficit. This way she can fully enjoy the holidays, social events, parties, etc. If she goes out on Saturday and has a great dinner followed by quite a few drinks, she can make up for it by having a few lower calorie days earlier in the week.
She also won’t need to worry about her metabolism slowing down on those low calorie days. I discuss this in quite a bit of detail in the course. The funny thing is that this method of eating is actually MORE effective than maintaining a calorie deficit each and every day.
12. How can a woman who feels that she’s added too much muscle work to create a more feminine physique?
Answer: I do have a whole chapter about “losing muscle on purpose”. Here is the short version:
Use marathon cardio with a slight calorie deficit. So jogging at a medium pace on a treadmill, but in a fasted state. I did this to lose 20 pounds of muscle from my lower body about 10 years ago. My legs were huge from doing squats to failure and a lot of resistance training for my lower body. I was sick of not being able to buy nice dress pants.
The key to making marathon cardio work is to ensure that calories are avoided both before and after the session. You also have to do it for 45 minutes minimum. This type of training sucks…but this won’t have to be done forever. Typically 4-6 months will produce great results.
Once the muscles have reduced in size, then she can use my brief strategic cardio outlined in the course…which is WAY more enjoyable.
13. Final question: I know that you spent a lot of time working on Visual Impact For Women. Now that it’s all done, how do you feel about the final product?
Answer: To be honest…it is the only Women’s fitness product which tackles the concern of “getting too bulky” from resistance training. It is funny, because I am shocked that this has never adequately been addressed. It is probably the #1 concern of women when it comes to training.
Thanks for the interview Rusty. I wish you the best of luck with the course. If you want to see what Rusty Moore’s course is all about, go here: Rusty Moore’s Visual Impact For Women
I think this course covers every aspect of getting fit while staying slim and feminine. Since that was the goal, I am extremely pleased with how the final product turned out!