Most helpful positive review
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2010
There are a lot of diet and exercise books out there, and quite a few of them are clearly written by people who haven't a clue what they are talking about. Fortunately, "Abs Revealed", by Jonathan Ross, is not one of those. On the contrary, it is an excellent book on exercise and nutrition designed to guide the reader to well-developed, and visible, abdominal musculature.
I found the parts on nutrition to be especially strong. The author lays out a plan for positive and healthful nutritional change that is at once realistic, based on science and, for most people, likely to lead to real results.
A large part of the book is devoted to exercise descriptions. This kind of thing can be a bit dry, but that is to be expected. It is really more of a reference manual for the programs that occur later in the book than something you read for the sake of interest. Nevertheless, it is instructive for the reader to work through these descriptions, both mentally and physically, to understand how each accomplishes the fitness goals described in the first part of the book.
The programming presented in the later part of the book is not ground-breaking, but it is solid and well supported by current research.
Before I proceed with a laundry list of curiosities and complaints, I want to emphasize that, with one exception, these are not at all serious flaws in the book. I list them only to encourage the author or publisher to improve the book in future editions.
First, the "spot reduction" myth is so pervasive and widely promulgated that I would like to have seen more space devoted to debunking it. Reinforcement here would help rather than hinder.
Also, the focus of the book (not surprising given the title) seems to be on the front abdominal musculature. While total core training is developed in the book, I thought the author could have made clearer the importance of training the entire core, and not just the "gut".
I don't think it was ever stated (that I noticed), but the book does appear to be geared toward the male reader. This is a bit surprising, since little, if anything, in the book would not be applicable to female readers undertaking a diet and exercise program.
My most serious complaint is that too little attention was paid to the importance of resistance training in a balanced program. Resistance components are included in all the programming provided in the book, but little attention was paid to that part of the program earlier in the book where the concepts underlying the programming were explained. (The explanations of other components of a complete program were, however, very well done.)
I also felt that too much attention was given to exercises requiring a non-standard piece of equipment called a "TRX". I do not own such a device, but it appears to be something that might be useful. However, it also appears to be something that the author is selling via the book website [...].
I was not all that impressed with the just-mentioned website, which seemed to be overly commercial and had only a little useful content.
There were a small number of typographical errors in the book. Fortunately, these were all quite obvious and it was clear how the text ought to have read.
To end on a positive note, I found the book much more readable than I had expected, and I very much enjoyed the way the author presents sometimes technical concepts in clear, easy to understand ways, making good use of metaphors and comparisons with widely understood everyday concepts.
(Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book, for review, from the publisher.)