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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad plan; Not fantastic, either
Written in the style of "Men's Health" magazine, this book purports to give you a 12 week plan designed to improve your body. And it supposedly is written so that the beginner, advanced, or intermediate athlete will find the program right for him. The problem with it, is like many articles that appear in "Men's Health," this book is written to espouse...
Published on August 18, 2001

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98 of 105 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent entry level fitness book. But ............
I recently bought this book in hopes of supplementing it with another Mens Health book, 'The Testosterone Advantage'. First off, the book is nicely written and laid out. I agree ,though, with other reviewers who thought the book was nothing new and right from the pages of Mens Health. There are a lot of different exercises and a diet plan. The workout choices are great...
Published on December 30, 2002 by MARKUS


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98 of 105 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent entry level fitness book. But ............, December 30, 2002
By 
MARKUS (Dayton, OH USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Men's Health Hard Body Plan : The Ultimate 12-Week Program for Burning Fat and Building Muscle (Paperback)
I recently bought this book in hopes of supplementing it with another Mens Health book, 'The Testosterone Advantage'. First off, the book is nicely written and laid out. I agree ,though, with other reviewers who thought the book was nothing new and right from the pages of Mens Health. There are a lot of different exercises and a diet plan. The workout choices are great but I have yet to try the diet.
One reason I have not completely bought into the book is because many factors in this book completely contradict the previous book I have been using (The Testosterone Advantage). For instance this book advocates aerobic activity for fat loss. It also has a high carb to protein diet. The Previous book condemns aerobic work all through it and has a high protein, low carb diet. This and many other factors have left me in a world of confusion. You would think that two books endorsed by the same company with the same affiliations ( Lou Schuler) would have some sort of continuity. Wrong!!!Come on Lou, men wanting to get in shape need references they can count on.
This book will work and so will the other for the beginner or someone who is out of shape.
I have found both from personal experience and from friends that almost any diet and exercise routine will work in the early stages if they are adhered to. It is when you get past the the beginner stage that a regimine proves itself. Until Mens Health writers get on the same page, they will never truly advance past entry levels.
I have used the previous book and have lost a lot of weight. Twenty five plus pounds to date. If I had bought this book first I would say the results would have been similar. As I said almost anything will work in the early stages.
If you are a beginner buy it. Intermediate or advanced, forget it.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad plan; Not fantastic, either, August 18, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Men's Health Hard Body Plan : The Ultimate 12-Week Program for Burning Fat and Building Muscle (Paperback)
Written in the style of "Men's Health" magazine, this book purports to give you a 12 week plan designed to improve your body. And it supposedly is written so that the beginner, advanced, or intermediate athlete will find the program right for him. The problem with it, is like many articles that appear in "Men's Health," this book is written to espouse certain beliefs the authors may have about weightlifting (they tell you to eat substantially less protein, for example, than you'll read in any other program), and in general, it's not quite clear that this book really is for anyone but the beginner. If this helps someone get their butt off the couch and start lifting, fine. If you're anything but a beginner, you've probably read better articles in "Muscle and Fitness" or any other book that targets you. "Men's Health" in general doesn't seem to really take into account the needs of the non-beginner, and that's a problem in all of their books. Still, there's no "bad" information here, per se. In fact they're virtually endorsing what veteran lifters know as HIT (High Intensity Training), which is almost a shock based on the traditionally bland and unsophisticated approaches of the magazine. This sounds like I'm trashing the book, but I'm really not. If you're a 30-something who wants to get in shape, this is a good book for you. If you've been lifting for more than a year, you'll probably find a lot of this pedestrian and uninspiring.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, December 9, 2000
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Men's Health Hard Body Plan : The Ultimate 12-Week Program for Burning Fat and Building Muscle (Paperback)
What I like best is that, as in a magazine article, the author quotes various professionals, including trainers, physiologists, and dieticians. The recommendations seem based on the latest research. That's refreshing for a subject that seems to have so many myths, tricks, and old wives' tales. Example: To build muscle, you should eat a huge amount of protein, right? Not really. This book explains why.
At the same time, the book doesn't have a science fetish; it doesn't lecture or pontificate. Instead it's practical and concise. An easy read with just enough humor.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Good Book from MH, July 11, 2002
By 
"waymakerjim" (Mars Hill, NC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Men's Health Hard Body Plan : The Ultimate 12-Week Program for Burning Fat and Building Muscle (Paperback)
Men's Health regularly puts out fitnees books aimed at men and this one is no different. It's a straight, clear program that focuses on getting in shape, primarily to attract women.It has different levels of intensity for the various exercises and sections for every body part. It reviews nutrition and other aspects of fitness, with plenty of recipes and humor.
It offers a 12 week program of exercise and diet designed to get a man in shape. If you follow it, it will be in better shape than when you started. It's that simple.
On the negative side, the program focuses on looking in shape. I believe in functional fitness, defined as being able to do what is necessary in different situations. I had a friend follow this program and while he looked in shape, he couldn't run 3 miles in less than 25 mins. nor swim, nor do 15 pullups or various other tests that I devised.
This book is good if you want to be "eye candy," but if you want to be physically ready for anything, there are better books.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Effective!, March 28, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Men's Health Hard Body Plan : The Ultimate 12-Week Program for Burning Fat and Building Muscle (Paperback)
A wonderful book. I'm about 3 weeks into the plan and have lost 4 lbs, gained an appreciable amount of muscle, all while eating more than I ever have. I'm no longer religiously counting fat grams because their approach to diet is pretty damn easy to follow. I've been into bodybuilding and fitness for a long time (12 years) and I was very surprised at their dietary guidelines... nevertheless, I tried it out and it's very effective! I'm getting a lot of comments from people, including my very pleased girlfriend :-)
I disagree with a previous poster about the "all or nothing" approach being bad. Making a couple of small changes to one's lifestyle isn't going to do anything for the typical male. Men are motivated by visible results and results are gained through consistent hard work and that's what this book advocates. This might not be the typical female mindset, but this book wasn't written for women. "Men's" Health ... get it?
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good, June 19, 2004
By 
Wyote (a planet rich in iron and water) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Men's Health Hard Body Plan : The Ultimate 12-Week Program for Burning Fat and Building Muscle (Paperback)
This book essentially tells you how to work out and eat healthy. Proper technique is illustrated for a wide variety of exercises, along with simple advice about how not to injure yourself, how much weight you should lift, how often you should workout, and some recommendations about which parts of your body you should focus on (for instance if you want to be more intimidating, shoulders and chest; if you want to have better sex, thighs and abs).
The information on stretching and cardio routines is simple and straightforward.
As far as I can tell, the diet information presented here is controversial only because there are so many diet fads and supplements and so on. People make a lot of money pushing this and that, but I don't think any of them have Men's Health in their pockets. It seems reliable, and I followed it for about three weeks, and it worked quite well.
Hey, after two months I can see a difference, and I think the ladies can too. Money well spent.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good program, GREAT technique illustration, April 23, 2002
By 
Karl Miller "kemspeaks" (Phoenixville, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Men's Health Hard Body Plan : The Ultimate 12-Week Program for Burning Fat and Building Muscle (Paperback)
First of all, a word for beginners - this book, NOR any other book, is going to give you a "Hard Body" in 12 weeks. It will give you the foundation.
The Hard Body Plan comes straight from the pages of Men's Health, so if you are a subcriber/regular reader, you're not going to find a whole lot new (in terms of programs) by purchasing this book. Likewise, if you have experience in the gym (lifting for an extended period), the programs set forth in this book won't be particularly challenging (I was a little disappointed that all of the Hard Body Plan programs were 3 day/week, since I work out 4 days - I had to do some rearranging and adding in order to create a 12 week program out of this book).
Having said all that, I keep this book near the top of my weightlifting reference pile. I have found it very valuable for studying proper form and technique, and for learning some variations on lifts that I regularly perform. The written description of exercises contained in this book were very well thought out, and provide an excellent means to review proper form. And the more time I spend working out, and the more I see examples of horrible form by others in the gym, I am very glad that I have a trainer, and resources such as this book, to remind me the value of "perfect form/perfect execution" with each and every lift. That is the single most important step to significant strength and mass gain, and it is point emphasized over and over again in the "Hard Body Plan".
There is diet information in this book as well. It is a nice, though rather general introduction to proper nutrition, but shouldn't be relied on as your only source.
If you buy this book for guidance, you may find that you outgrow it rather quickly. If you buy it as a reference, you will appreciate the investment.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tons of choices!, July 19, 2001
This review is from: The Men's Health Hard Body Plan : The Ultimate 12-Week Program for Burning Fat and Building Muscle (Paperback)
I get bored with my routine often and am always looking for variety. But i never seem to be able to think of a new workout. With this guide handy i can sit down and easily see a list of workouts for each muscle group and choice of work out arena, either free weights, machines or no weights. It's a must have!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive!, May 11, 2002
This review is from: The Men's Health Hard Body Plan : The Ultimate 12-Week Program for Burning Fat and Building Muscle (Paperback)
This book changed my life. Having started as a complete novice, Iam now 4 months into the training program and have never felt or looked better. This book is complete in itself - no other reference is necessary. And this is not only about putting on bulk - it's about mental well being as well. However, let me warn other readers not to expect huge changes in 12 weeks. Body building is a long process that requires patience and tons of dedication. However, once you're into this program it's difficult to quit. It's like drug addiction!!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Complete Plan to Get the Very Best Results - I Lost more than 200 Lbs !!!, July 10, 2006
This review is from: The Men's Health Hard Body Plan : The Ultimate 12-Week Program for Burning Fat and Building Muscle (Paperback)
I love this book. It truly is a complete reference to fat lost and getting in shape in a Healthy way. It has sound theory on strength training and smart eating, and a good selection of exercises for muscle building.

I lost more than 200 lbs about six years ago, during a period of about eight months, and went from pants 44 to 32. Prior to star changing my eating and exercise habits I bought "Men's Health Hardbody Plan" which I give most of the credit for my success. Two years later I bought "The Testosterone Advantage Plan", another excellent, easy to read, comprehensive and complete reference and I found the advices in this book most useful to keep the weight off through an easy to follow eating plan, and used its advices for the gym. With both books I have been able to keep the weight off for more than six years.

This is a really good book. I love it. If it worked for me I am sure it can work for you. You just have to be constant and focus in the result you want to achieve.

Another tools you may want to consider, to complement this book and your strategies for boosting your metabolism, loosing weight, and even more important keeping that weight off are:

- A Body Fat Monitor or Scale. This will help you monitor your progress, to assure that the weight you are loosing is fat (fat lost = increased metabolism) and not muscle, water or bone mass (decreased metabolism).
- "Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss", which is another very practical, readable and insightful book, focused on how to boost your metabolism.
- "The Abs Diet: The Six-Week Plan to Flatten Your Stomach and Keep You Lean for Life".
- A Heart Rate Monitor Wrist Watch. This is an excellent tool that will help you monitor and control your Heart Rate in order to keep yourself in a burning fat state (increased metabolism).
- "The Hard Body Guide". Excellent strategies, programs and workouts, aimed to increase your muscle mass.

If you are focused only on your diet, the first three may be worth considering. If you exercise, or want to start doing it right, the last two are for you. If you do both, all the four recommended options can improve your results.
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The Men's Health Hard Body Plan : The Ultimate 12-Week Program for Burning Fat and Building Muscle
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