Body for Life Book Review
I want to start doing the occasional review and I only felt it fitting to start with what I think is the one of the best books on fitness out there, Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength by Bill Phillips.
I had my first exposure to weight training about 5 years ago. Granted it only lasted for 4 months but in that first 4 months I learned a lot. The reason was I had a personal trainer who was a competitive bodybuilder. Her name was Jen Gutierrez and she was an amazing trainer. Here is a link to a picture of her. I had belonged to a gym off and on since I was 16 but spent most of my time putzing around on the cardio machines. The few times I lifted weights, I’d sit in a hip adduction machine and put the pin in for 10lbs then quit after 12 reps. One day feeling bad about myself I saw a picture of Jen in the paper and thought it looked like she knew a thing or two about lifting weights! I had never been so sore in in my life as I was those first few weeks that I worked out under Jen’s guidance. And I never knew I had hamstring muscles. I learned a lot from her and I’m thankful for the strong foundation. Unfortunately, I lost my little part-time job teaching acting and had to quit working out with Jen. Old habits die hard and it wasn’t long before I was putzing around on the cardio machines again.
A few years later my friend told me she was doing a Body for Life challenge. Curious as to what it was all about I go out and bought the book myself, Body for Life by Bill Phillips. I read it cover to cover that first day and all the I learned years ago from Jen comes flooding back. I decide to try to complete a challenge. I failed. I tried again. I fail. I tried again. I failed. It wasn’t the book. Body for Life is GREAT. It was me. I wasn’t willing to make the commitment to change. Then as I’ve mentioned before I slipped into a deep depression and was stuck in the muddy swamp of my mind for almost 8 months. But when I finally decided to climb out I returned to the Body for Life principles. The same one’s I learned from Jen years before.
Although now I don’t follow a strictly Body for Life program I will always use the foundational principles for well…life. The beauty of Body for Life is in it’s simplicity. He takes principles that professional bodybuilders and athletes use and creates a simple and very effective program. It’s 12 week long and has you working out 6 days a week. Three days of strength training and three days of HIIT cardio. I’m not sure if Bill Phillips came up with the term HIIT cardio. There are a lot of other programs that use high intesity interval training because HIIT cardio is a great way to help shed fat. All the exercises are basic and easy to perform. There are pictures with explanations. The weight workouts take about an hour or less and the cardio 20 minutes. The eating plan is basic as well but very effective. He has you eating 6 small meals a day with one free day a week. On your free day you can eat whatever you want. All your other 36 meals are to consist of a palm sized protein and a palm sized complex carb. You’re supposed to add veggies to at least two of your meals. If I have a problem with the book it’s I don’t think there is enough emphasis on the benefits of veggies or the quality of the food you eat. I like high quality veggies to be the foundation of my meals. Other than that detail I think it is a WONDERFUL place to start. The book Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength has changed many many people’s lives for the better because it works. And of course the book has lots of America’s favorite, Before and After photos for proof and inspiration!
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