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139 of 161 people found the following review helpful
Common Sense Book for People New to Fitness
on December 22, 2010
I am a huge Tony Horton fan, and have completed one round of P90X, so I jumped at the chance to get this book. I absolutely admire Tony's enthusiasm for life and ability to motivate people in improving their fitness and eating habits.
For the $14 or so you pay, the book is substantial and well illustrated. Much of its content was copied from his blog. After reading, I found the book to be decent, but lacked any new or breathtaking material I could work with. Overall, I felt this book is great for most people in need of motivation and basics, but not good for die hards who have completed P90X.
Here are my two major beefs:
1. The book includes approximately 80 pages (of its total 284) of strictly photos of him doing various exercise moves, a la Men's Health Magazine. In an interview Tony did a while back, he joked about how difficult it is to replicate those little diagrams of the exercises you see in fitness magazines, thus the reason following exercise DVD's such as P90X is so great. So, if working out to a DVD is superior to looking at tiny photos, (which I agree with) than why develop this book with so many little photos?! You simply can't see the correct form very well, and it's uninspiring. What are readers going to do, carry the book into the gym with them? In a way, this book actually conflicts with P90X by deviating from it and rarely even refrences P90X. Tony, you have sold over 3 million copies of these dvd workouts, so why make an exercise book that rarely refrences P90X?
2. The book targets every possible deomgraphic- young, old, male, female, etc to the point that it is boring. It lacks the insight and depth you would get from a more serious approach to fitness. In my opinion, most people who gravitate toward Tony are drawn to the great challenges he presents in P90X. I would agrue that most people who support Tony are extremely ambitious, driven people. (Otherwise, how could they actually complete the grueling P90X schedule?) So while there is certainly a place in society for a one size fits all fitness book, I feel that coming from Tony, it should have had more serious, heavy material. For example, I don't need an entire page and table to determine my resting heart rate. (I've know that since 6th grade phys ed class.) I had hoped that this book would include more motivation, anecdotes from Tony's fascinating past, etc.
Bottom line, if you are new to fitness, this is a great read. However, if you completed P90X and know the difference between a complex carb and a simple one, than this book will be something you will skim quickly so that you can resume working out.