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5-Factor Fitness Hardcover – December 29, 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Actors Halle Berry and Benjamin Bratt, pro basketball player Rick Fox and rapper Eve all work out 25 minutes a day, five days a week. They eat five meals a day, and each meal takes five minutes to prepare. And they look like a million bucks. Although this sounds too good to be true, Pasternak, who trains the above-mentioned stars and others, insists it isn’t. This easy-to-follow lifestyle guide explains Pasternak’s program. Intensity and variety are the keystones of the exercise portion, which simply requires dumbbells and a bench (the plan does include a suspiciously scant five minutes of cardiovascular activity, which readers can complete by power walking or jogging outside, or using a cardio machine at home or at the gym). The diet portion of the plan seems sensible enough; Pasternak urges readers to eat foods that include low-fat, quality protein; moderate carbs; fiber and healthy fat; and to drink sugar-free beverages (he allows one day a week to be a "cheat day"). "Real results" sidebars profile non-famous people who’ve benefited from Pasternak’s approach, including a 74-year-old professor, a 45-year-old film producer and a 37-year-old real estate agent. Backed up with scientific research and including recipes, this book is a refreshingly simple addition to the current diet and health offerings.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

One of the most sought after trainers among celebrities, Harley Pasternak holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology and Nutritional Sciences from the University of Toronto and an Honors degree in Kinesiology from University of Western Ontario. He is also certified by The American College of Sports Medicine and The Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology. His clients include Halle Berry, Benjamin Bratt, Orlando Bloom, Eve, Val Kilmer, Jim Caviezel, Rick Fox, Robert Downey, Jr., Stephen Dorff and Eliza Dushku.

Pasternak is a popular speaker who advises a number of professional organizations, including the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA), the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology, the Canadian Health and Food Association and the Canadian Academy of Sports Medicine. He has recently completed exercise and nutrition research for the Canadian Department of National Defense. He has consulted with several large companies in the U.S., including SlimFast, Nutros, Gold's Gym USA, Icarian, New York Sports Clubs, Isatori Labs Proctor & Gamble and Precor.

His work is frequently published in academic and lay journals and he contributed to the top-selling book, ABSolution: The Practical Solution for Building Your Best Abs. In his capacity as a trainer, Pasternak has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Access Hollywood, E! and in People, Glamour, InStyle, Us Weekly, InTouch, Men's Health, Jane, New York Post, among other publications.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (December 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399152296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399152290
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #706,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Actually I give it four-and-a-half stars. My wife and I read this book this Fall in our lengthy quest to find the best book for us (click on "see all my reviews" for the other books we've reviewed). First, a word about us: we are in our late 40s and looking for a fitness program we can stick with for a long period of time, not some "quick fix" that we rapidly tire of and forget a couple months after Christmas. I'm about 15 pounds heavier than I'd like to be ... she just gave me a scowl ... OK, 20 pounds heavier than I'd like to be. Her weight is fine but her job leaves her exhausted. We have always worked out to some extent but it can be a real grind as the years pile up. My comments below will be based on our needs. Your needs may of course be entirely different.

5-Factor Fitness is almost, but not quite, our favorite book so far. Pasternak has done a good job of defining a realistic and concise fitness and diet regimen. It has a good number of positives to recommend it, and few of the negatives we found in other books. It's a thin 182 pages, including the index. We like that. Most sections have actual usable content. Some of the other books are needlessly fluffed up to the point you are bored out of your gourd by the time the last page is mercifully reached. BFL for Women comes to mind.

Pasternak's exercise routine is short, just 25 or 30 minutes a day, and in our opinion the exercise routine he defines is very sound. It's based on free-weights and a weight bench. It can be done at the gym or at home with a relatively modest investment (this is a big plus to us). No gimmicks, no fads, no colorful bouncy or stretchy thingies, no thousand dollar pec-decks, etc. Just 5 minutes cardio, 10 minutes strength training, 5 minutes core, and 5 more minutes of cardio.
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Format: Hardcover
I have long been a 5-er. In my early 20's as a weightlifter, I would eat 5 smaller meals a day, and spent half the time in the gym than the gym rats did, and it worked wonders. So when I saw Harley Pasternak's book, 5-Factor Fitness, I knew he had put together a helpful book, and not just another piece of firewood for the health, weight loss and fitness industry.

In 5-Factor Fitness encourages you to work out less and eat more. Yes, you heard me correctly. Work out less and eat more. Eating 5 meals a day raises you metabolism and provides a steady stream of vital nutrients, including protein, that help you body maximize a tone, fit, physique. And working out less? Well, most people who are gym rats over train. It is a myth that you need to live in the gym. "Overtraining" is very common and can tax your body. The rest in between training, and proper nutrition, are actually just as important in keeping your body rested, healthy, fit and running the way you want it to.

From Harley Pasternak's website:

"5-FACTOR FITNESS is based on the simple premise that less is more, especially when it comes to exercise and planning meals. There is no magic, no hidden secret. Instead, this plan taps solid scientific research as well as the author's vast experience as a personal trainer and as a consultant to military organizations on two continents. With a master's degree in exercise physiology and nutritional science as well as an honors degree in kinesiology, Pasternak is an expert on how the body works. Here he pulls together his best advice for training and fueling it efficiently.

5-FACTOR FITNESS calls for five workouts per week and each workout lasting just 25 minutes.
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Format: Hardcover
The exercise portion of this book is very well done. Simple, well explained and easy to adjust to your fitness level.

The food portion, not so great. The recipes mostly contain high sodium foods (canned tomatoes, preserved meats), so if you have chronic high blood pressure (like I do), you will need to figure this part out on your own.

Overall, I think this is a great program.

ADD: After six weeks on this program I lost 6lbs of the 12lbs of fat I want to lose. For me, this has worked as promised in the book. Good Luck!
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Format: Hardcover
As an ex-dancer, ex-anorexic, and a student of nutrition, I have done everything and known everything. While living on 1,000 calories a day and working out for 2 hours every day- I thought this plan would make me gain weight.....boy, was I wrong! I could write a novel on how much I love this plan- but I'll spare you. Overall, I am converted for life to this wonderful plan- you can sustain it forever, actually eat, it doesnt provoke those pesky "eating disorder" obsessions or habits, and I get a cheat day to eat my beloved ice cream!

I've done this plan for a month now- and already the muscle tone in my arms, shoulders, and stomach speaks wonders. I actually LOVED being soar, because I knew this plan was working. Best of all, it keeps challening my body- so I continue to be soar in new ways. I can't wait to give this another month to see where my results take me- and I love reading other people's success and progress with this plan. Please feel free to contact me at va_monroe@yahoo.com. Thanks!
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