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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2010
I bought this book after reading an article about The Impact Body Plan in Men's Health magazine. Overall it is a great program but I have a few complaints. So let me start with those:

One reason I bought it, is that it promised to be a program I could do while traveling. I am on the road 100+ nights in hotels each year, I've learned hotel fitness rooms are inconsistent (to put it kindly) in the quality of equipment they have. That aspect of the program has been somewhat of a disappointment - the first week's exercises call for a squat rack and kettle dumbbells, which are a bit too big for my suitcase and never found in a hotel fitness center.

Also, to follow this program to the letter, you will need to buy quite a bit of stuff you don't have. A TRX exercise system was (and I got a great deal on this at Amazon) about $158, a fitness band was $30 and some stretch cords were $50. I still haven't gotten kettle dumbbells, the roller and the half ball and probably won't. In the first weeks of the program I have learned to substitute similar exercises using the equipment available. You can make this work without buying all the stuff he recommends but it takes some creativity.

My final warning to those thinking of buying this book: If you are like me (mid-50s but in very good shape) this program will be very, very challenging. If you are not in good shape, you will kill yourself. There is a reason why all those NFL guys benefit from this program - it is assumed you will be in very good shape when you start. If you're a reader of my book, "Getting Fit & Staying Fit In Your 40s, 50s, and Beyond," I recommend you have done my program intensively for at least a year before you tackle this program.

I think the nutrition portion is overly strict and uses a lot of unnecessary foods like Gluten-free bread. The hallmark of a good diet program is that it's not impossible to follow and this one is too difficult for me.

Those are the negatives as I see them, but there are lots of positives to this program:

If you are able to keep up with it, you WILL get into shape. I have been happy with my results.

Because of the pace, your workouts will take less time. I you are a follower of my program, you know that is one of its weak points, that it takes 5-6 hours a week. You can get through this in about 3, maybe 4 hours per week because the pace is much faster.

I like the emphasis on the core and joint strength. I think this benefits those of any age.

In looking at the other reviews, I have to take exception with the guy who said this book has nothing new. I hear that complaint once in awhile about my book as well. I have news for those people who feel there is "nothing new" in any fitness book they get: You aren't paying attention to what the book is telling you! The Impact Plan is a great example of that - this is, I think, a new and effective exercise program. There are only so many ways you can move - yes, it has all been said before in one place or another, but this is an example of a program that puts things together in a new and improved way.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2011
I just finished the 10 week IMPACT workout and there are certainly strong positives from this program. However there are several misleading drawback from the book.
The workouts are definitely top notch and difficult. Every workout is slightly different and has its own personal flair to it.
I feel better and stronger than when I did when I began 10 weeks ago. I have been doing high intensity workouts for over two years now and this is the strongest I have felt.
I feel like my body made a positive transformation and I look as good as I ever had. I even added 3-4 lbs in muscle (not anticipated). I think I look as good as ever
Bottom line....IT WORKS......which is why it gets 4 stars
Cons -
The most obvious con that has been mentioned about this book is without a doubt the amount of extra cost for equipment that is involved. The book calls for a stretch band ($30), TRX suspension trainer ($180), Bosu Ball($100), At least a pair of kettlebells ($80 for two 20lbs), resistance band/sports cord ($10), and I think that's it. So for those things you are looking at 400 buckaroos, which does not count a gym membership where you would need barbells, weight plates, pullup bars, and dumbbells of all different weight. I was able to cut some corners and make my own TRX which was rougly $25 to make and I used two resistance bands instead of the stretch band. I also did not use any kettlebells and rarely had access to a Bosu Ball. Durkin claims that most gyms will have this equipment, but my large corporate chain gym does not have any.
The workout is time consuming no matter how efficient Durkin insists it to be. The workouts will take you at least an hour with the dynamic warmup. If you do the 10-15 minute cardio at the end and use the foam roller in the beginning, you are looking at an hour twenty to an hour and a half. Also, as mentioned in a prior review, you will need to move throughout the gym at a rapid pace, so you will have to find proper occasions to use the gym or just improvise. Personally I had the time, so I didn't mind this con one bit.
The workouts are defiantly intense. This to me was a positive, but I am in my early 20's and have been an active athlete through college. I began this workout in shape and it was still difficult, difficult enough that the workout may not be for everyone.
Also the Diet is the same as most things that you can read in any Men's Health Magazine. Eat 6 meals......we get it.
I also felt Durkin comes off as arrogant (as most writers of fitness books do), but very positive and fairly good read

So the workout is awesome, but I don't see it for everyone.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2010
This 10 week workout program will challenge you no matter what shape you may be in. Very satisfied with this fitness book, an advanced workout routine was exactly what I was looking for. I gained considerable muscle and lost fat, my weight virtually stayed the same. My body became very toned and defined using Durkin's multi-dimensional methods. While completing this 10 week program my body is likely in the best shape of the last 20 years.

* Many new exercises; references for every exercise with easy to understand photo guidelines.
* A well balanced Full Body Workout consisting of warm-ups, shoulder and hip strengthening, plyometrics, strength-lower body, core and upper body with lots of variety in an easy to follow book. This book raised the bar a little higher.

* This is a gym based exercise routine period, however there is a small section geared for hotel use.
* You're going to be bouncing all over the gym at times due to circuit exercises requiring machines, benches, weights, etc. that are on opposite side of the gym.

An outstanding 10 week workout program that will deliver lifelong benefits and teach you what a quality exercise program is comprised of. Very satisfied with this book as well as what it delivers, thanks Todd!
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2010
I have been to Todd Durkin's boot camp workouts and what I really find exciting is his enthusiasm. He's always yelling inspiring things when doing his effective exercises and getting everyone fired up to start the day. It's very easy to see why so many professional athletes train with him because his attitude makes such a difference. This book shows a lot of that same enthusiasm. I originally bought it hoping it would provide an effective workout but there is so much more: Positive psychology exercises, goal setting exercise, proper diet, meditation, eliminating limiting beliefs and negative thoughts, etc.

I would not only recommend this book to anyone who wants to get in better shape but also to just improve himself in general. It's not only crammed with helpful advise but very motivating. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2010
Of the many workout books I've seen and tried over the years this one is easily one of the most well organized, easy to use workout books -- having pictures indexed to page numbers for easy reference. The explanations are overall well done, the equipment needed is explained early on and is fairly easy to find, and the nutrition/diet information is similar to much of what's out right now (high protein, less carbs, and so forth).
The motivational material while a bit simplified is overall good; the quotes throughout the book are nice, especially if you want to find ways to keep your focus.
This is a complete fitness workout guide, the material is enough for anyone to get themselves going on the 10 week program pictured inside the book. Not all the moves are for beginners, but any of them can be modified with some common sense.
Todd also lists many alternative workouts also for those with time constraints or traveling, towards the back of the book.
The main workouts, if you do all the warm ups, take about an hour if you move from exercise to exercise quickly. Most moves are easy to understand and challenging. There is little to no speed/endurance training involved, but that can be incorporated on your own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2011
I have been dealing with tendonitis for a little more than 2 years. Areas include: Shoulders, triceps, biceps, forearm, elbows, and knees. As we all know, we have gone to our Physicians to seek for a cure. Basically all they do is diagnose you with tendonitis, also known as chronic pain, send you home with a self rehab pamphlet, instruct you to perform R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compress, and elevate), and recommend over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs. Definitely helps subside the inflammation but does not get to the root of the problem. My husband heard of this book from listening to a pod cast by Sean Croxton. I purchased this book immediately, read it within 1 week and am now 7 weeks into this program. I can definitely tell you it works. I have not been able to perform any intense workout for the past 2 years and now I am able to do this program pain free. Occasionally, I experience pain in the knees but does not effect my performance. This book has definitely brought light back into my life. I am in my late 20's, to have this issue in many areas definitely impacted my life. I can enjoy what I love most, that is strength training and outdoor activities with my family. Thanks to Todd Durkin. You can follow my blog at […]
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20 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2011
I've just finished reading the IMPACT Body Plan book and starting my 4th week of this 10-week program. I've done P90X, Insanity, MMA training, I use the NASM's OPT model and coach Volleyball for many years.

IMPACT Body Plan is a great looking book; nice hardcover, glossy pages and textbook like layout. You'll get hooked immediately with Chapter 1, starting with an easy read about Todd Durkin's personal story. The next few chapters concentrate on commitment, getting your mind focused and revealing secrets to a pain-free body. You'll be totally into it!

Chapters 5 is titled `Enter the Matrix' and, believe me, you literally enter the plot of THE MATRIX! Here, after an fair attempt to explain the science and method behind the workout design, you get a nugget of wisdom with a great dynamic warm-up sequence.

So I do the fit test, read about nutrition, review the equipment required and (blah, blah, blah) all the other stuff you find in every other similar book. The nutrition section is good and current with gluten-free guidance by experts.

Now, here is why I give this book a 1-star rating:

First, this is not a cheap training program for home users. You need a fair amount of high end equipment for a home gym. Besides the obvious Bosu ball and dumbbells, you need a squat rack, barbell set, hyperextension bench, dip bar, TRX band and more.

Yes, I can almost hear all the trolls arguing that you can find substitutes. However, I disagree since the program outline already account for variations on movements, which makes it difficult to find adequate home equivalents to achieve the same results.

Now let's say that you go to your typical park district gym during rush hour. In order to make sure that you maintain your target heart rate, you will need to secure several pieces of equipment at the gym to perform the circuit training as outlined in the book and make sure that other users do not screw up your setup. Yeah, like that's ever gonna happen in a crowded gym!! Obviously, you need to have a pretty exclusive setup to make sure that you can follow this program well.

Any personal trainer or fitness enthusiast will tell you that over half the people at the gym are not performing the exercises with proper form. Typically, the general workout averages about 10 exercises. This book does a brilliant job following the fundamental kinesiology principles of periodization, progression and programming. And as you'd expect, each workout has an average of 25 different exercises. You will burn in excess of 800 calories on each session. Imagine if everyone in the gym was doing this workout; there would be total chaos and confusion. We need coaches and personal trainer "Gods" to come down from heaven and help the entire human race convert to this religion.

In Todd Durkin's world, time does not exist. In early chapters, the book establishes the importance of a time efficient workout for all the right reasons. I get that. However, if you are doing this program for the first time, the book offers no guidance on the time it takes to complete each workout. So if you need to stay on schedule or you workout early morning before going to work, forget it! There is no way to anticipate the time it takes to complete each workout. What's worse is that there is NO way that you can complete the workout in less than one hour, especially after week four in the program. 3rd week Monday workout took 1:20:00 including warmup and conditioning and I was going nonstop. If you need to catch a train by a certain time, then this workout may not be for you. If you have the discipline and commitment to get in shape, no matter what, then welcome aboard. Just beware.

In life there are 80/20 people and there are 110/0 people. Everyone knows that in order to reach 110% you need to specialize and without a doubt you encounter complexity. Before embracing this book, make sure that your personality fits the 110/0 quadrant. For each workout, you'll need to deconstruct several pages. You will not find here an way a reference grid or one pager on what you need to do just today. Even movement attributes such as "dropsets", "in the box", "u call it", and simple set/repetition sequences are not easy to consume. You'll have to spend considerable time studying today's lesson to avoid long pauses in your workout. I have several friends who have done this program and upon asking them how they follow certain sequences, each provided a different answer. I suppose this is Todd's way to personalize the book for everyone. lol

BOTTOM LINE: Is the content and fitness program itself great? After reading through the whole thing, I'm convinced that it is likely one of the best fitness programs ever created based on my programming experience. It's clearly geared towards top fitness enthusiast. It's somewhat light on cardio and core training which is a bias of so many do-it-yourself programs. So program potential notwithstanding, Todd and his crew missed a great opportunity to ensure that this book could be consumed a heck of a lot easier by the masses. Only then, he could dethrone numerous other gimmicky exercise programs and let this book shine above the rest. It's no surprise that the book is supported by a broad community and his tireless personality continues to drive the value of this great product.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2010
This book is successful at putting everything together. Todd Durkin understands the importance of having a proper mindset, maintaining adequate nutrients, making exercise and movement fun and finally the need for recovery. This book is not a one time read but rather a guide to which you can refer back to again and again.
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on November 4, 2014
I am currently in week 4 of the 10 week program so take my feedback with this in mind. I am 59 years old and in good health with a lifetime habit of exercise. I bike, run, ski, hike and have flown a hang glider for 40 years. I have learned over time that regular exercise helps keep you fit, healthy and active.

I work out on a regular basis at a college gym 4 to 5 times a week where I went to grad school. My workouts were getting stale and I wanted to add something new to get out of the rut. I notice a couple of students using the book and asked about it. They told me they followed the program and got great results so I ordered the book that day.

Here are a few of my thoughts:
My gym is equip with TRX trainers, Bosu balls, and super bands in addition to weight machines and free weights so I was able to do week 1 through 3 without buying any additional equipment. I used dumbbells in place of kettle bells initially but bought a pair a couple weeks ago. Since I work out in the AM and it is a college gym, there are usually only a few people there so I can get the workout done without a lot of pausing.
I went on the road last week and used the hotel gym. I realized I needed a suspension trainer so I got the WOSS Enterprises trainer from Amazon for less than 1/3 the price of a TRX. I have nothing against the TRX and will continue to use the one at the gym but with the book, I don't need the exercise DVD that comes with the TRX. The WOSS trainer arrived yesterday and looks well made and should work for my needs when traveling.

Time - I will take more than 45 minutes to complete the workouts, especially in weeks 3 and 4. Plan on over an hour to 1.5 hrs, 4 days a week.

Effort - This is not a casual workout. You work hard but you get results. I can already feel my fitness levels improving. Running is easier and I had my best bike times ever after starting the program. If you have not been in a gym for a while, take it easy. Start with the dynamic warmup on page 45 alone. I was surprised that I was very sore the first two weeks because most of my previous exercising was done in a plane and not dynamic. As Todd says, you find the gaps quickly which is good if you want to get to another level.

Caution - This is not a substitute for a trainer so if you have not been in a gym for a while, spend the money and get some professional help. If you have some experience with a trainer, you understand that form is important. My 6 years of Bikram Yoga definitely helped with balance and movement. The photos and descriptions are adequate to describe the moves but I think it would have been difficult to have good form without previous coaching. The last thing you want to do when trying to get in shape is to get hurt.

If you are looking to get in shape and are in reasonable health, this is a great resource.
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on August 6, 2015
This is an excellent book. The first half is basic information to center you into the program which the second half and the core of the ten week program. The last part of the book is the explanation of the exercises. The beauty of this awesome book is the variations of the exercises in each week, let alone from week to week. Bodyweight, kettlebells, free weights, trx and bands. I am on the fourth week and I really feel good after a workout. Of course I add on some exercises of how I feel for that workout, which he encourages you to do. All the variations create a good balance physically and mentally. Want to get strong, fit and have fun doing it. This is the book. He also has dvds which are also very good.
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