The ‘Next Level Interviews’ is a series that I’ve created to help give you the more interesting and effective health and fitness information available. I’ve sought out the definitive leaders in their field, to ask them what they are currently working on, and what they find personally interesting regarding health and wellness.
Lou Schuler is a National Magazine Award-winning journalist, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, a contributing editor to Men’s Health magazine, and the author of many popular books about fitness and nutrition, including five in the New Rules of Lifting series with co-author Alwyn Cosgrove. He recently published his first novel, Saints Alive. His most recent book, The Lean Muscle Diet, co-authored with Alan Aragon, was released in December, 2014.
He lives in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley with his wife and three children.
What is an area that you focus on in your new book that you have not previously emphasized in other books?
Lean Muscle Diet, which came out at Christmas, is my first book with Alan Aragon. It includes his entire system for quantifying and managing calories and macronutrients. I wanted to work with Alan because I really like his flexible and non-dogmatic approach. As much as research matters — and we certainly have a lot of it — it can’t answer every question for every reader. That’s why Alan likes to put some decisions in the readers’ hands, based on their personal preferences.
What is the area that you find the most exciting when you are researching and writing?
What are your top 3 key daily habits that you find most valuable to your overall health and well-being?
I have a very predictable life. I get up about the same time every day, 7 days a week. I shut off my computer about the same time every evening. I eat mostly the same things. I maintain about the same workout schedule. I don’t know if that’s more or less than 3 habits, since they’re all about the same thing. For a lot of people predictable means boring. But it works for me.
What is one area of improving body composition that you discuss in the book which you think most people under appreciate?
From what I observe, it seems that most guys approach hypertrophy training in a very random way, rather than following a program, logging workouts, and moving forward in systematically. Of course it’s self-serving for me to say that, since my books include programs that require you to keep track of sets and reps and change things up at specific points in the schedule. But I wouldn’t include the programs if I didn’t think they worked better for most beginner to intermediate-level lifters. You can’t succeed with instinctual training until you have instincts based on something other than the latest article you read.
What are the one or two things you hoped to accomplish when writing this book?
There’s really just one thing, and it’s the same thing I always hope to accomplish: help readers achieve their goals. The more they’ve struggled in the past, the more satisfaction I get from helping them succeed.
Check out more from Lou: