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Core Performance: The Revolutionary Workout Program to Transform Your Body and Your Life Paperback – April 14, 2005

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Editorial Reviews


“This program has transformed me from a skinny college baseball player with little power into one of the best-conditioned players in Major League Baseball.” ―Nomar Garciaparra, shortstop, Chicago Cubs

“This is the best decision I have ever made with regard to improving and educating myself as an athlete. I just wish I had made it sooner.” ―Mia Hamm, Olympic and world-champion soccer player

About the Author

Mark Verstegen is recognized as one of the world's most innovative human performance experts. As the founder and president of Athletes' Performance, he directs teams of specialists to train U.S. Special Operations Forces personnel and some of the biggest names in sports. Verstegen serves as director of performance for the NFL Players Association and is an advisor to numerous leading performance-oriented companies. His latest book, Every Day is Game Day, will be released in January 2014. He lives in Arizona.
Pete Williams is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Mark Verstegen's five book Core Performance franchise and Every Day is Game Day. An avid endurance athlete, he's the author of Obstacle Fit and coauthor of Paddle Fit and lives in Central Florida.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; Reprint edition (May 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594861684
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594861680
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

139 of 141 people found the following review helpful By David McCune VINE VOICE on August 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As background, I'm a late thirties guy who has generally been active in fitness and recreational sports, but I've been out of competitive athletics since college. As such, I started with a good-but-not-great level of fitness.

My reasons for starting included boredom with my routine of weightlifting and kickboxing on alternate days, as well as some reading about the merits of core conditioning as a training approach. I enjoyed this program from the beginning. I could detect improvements in flexibility and abdominal strength within a few workouts. Also, the variety was intellectually stimulating. I used the program for about 9 weeks, took a break from it, and returned. Now I am not quite as strict in sticking to the schedules lined out in the book, but rather work them in with other workouts as time and interest allow.

1) The workouts are rigorous and concise. They seldom exceed 45 minutes if you stick to the rules about the amount of rest between sets, but you feel like you have had a good workout.
2) The program works. It helped with overall fitness and sport-specific fitness in soccer and karate. I literally have felt better and fitter than I have in years.
3) The complaint about the science of the book is being answered as research catches up with this training approach. Dynamic stretching, "core" exercises and interval training are showing up in research studies and in professional training rooms. I don't think a reader needs to feel that this is an "out there" approach to fitness.

1) The typos should be embarrassing. Most of the time you can figure out what the author meant, but the website is full of people writing in and asking for clarification.
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182 of 192 people found the following review helpful By Simon Pearce on June 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read other reviews and having followed the 12 week program for 9 weeks so far (and counting), I can make the following comments:
The positives...
1. The program itself is very effective - it really works the whole body and not just the "obvious" muscles favored by traditional strength training. There are some great exercises in here. If you are serious about conditioning your body, buy this book - no question
2. Some people will not be able to follow the entire program, but I do believe that, even if you don't have the time or willpower to work out six days a week, the routines can still be useful to you in a three or four day a week version.
3. OK, it does take time to work it all out...this is not a simple program and not for a novice to working out. If you are novice, this book will freak you out and probably doom you to failure. Newbies should start with something more simple, if you successfully follow a simpler program for 6-12 months, come back to this book at that time. For the more experienced among you: take the time to work out what the program demands of you, you will be rewarded for your efforts!!
So, having endorsed the overall effectiveness of the book, here's where I think Mark could improve before releasing another book.
1. The science is a little flimsy: Other reviewers have raised legitimate concerns...people like me who are prepared to spend 6 days a week working out want to understand the theory behind it all a bit better. I really hoped for a better understanding of how these exercises impact my musculo-skeletal system. Mark should co-write another version (or another book) with an experienced Chiropractor in order to solve that part of it.
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71 of 73 people found the following review helpful By David M on December 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
The only reason I didnt give the book 5 stars is that the CD is much more effective. If you are already sold on core training and looking for a comprehensive exercise plan, just buy the CD. The extra money the CD costs will save you many hours trying to understand. Getting all the exercises right from a few photos is difficult. And the CD has pdf files for the exercise logs, just print and your exercise logs are ready. A big time saver because there are about 50 exercises in each phase of 3 phases. Buying the CD will save you time and ensure more effective exercising.

The CD videos give you a clear visualization of the movements and the timing needed to perform correctly. They are short clips, with both front and side views. From using the book some two months I was confident that I was close to doing most things right. I wasn't. Even my trainer guessed wrong on the one exercise I asked him about. It was a pylometric exercise, and figuring pylos out from a few photos is not going to happen - unless you are a Michelangelo of physical training. Even the exercises that were similar to what my trainer had shown me were not completely like my assumptions. For example, exercises that I assumed were isometric, were not. Many of the exercises were more powerful and graceful than I had imagined.

The plan depends on 7 different kinds of exercise. They are:

1. Movement Prep 2. Prehab 3. Phsyioball 4. Elasticity 5. Strength 6. Energy Systems Development, and 7. Regeneration.

One reviewer complained about the nomenclature of the exercises. The renaming was necessary so that the objective of the exercises is clear. For example, "movement Prep" is stretching, but it is stretching with the purpose of developing the flexibility to move.
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