Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mike Geary's "The Truth About Six Pack Abs" ...

is my latest e-book purchase, and it's a good one.

I should explain that, appearances to the contrary, I'm really not all that easily impressed by all the bazillions of fitness e-books on the market and consider very few of them worth shelling out actual money for when there's so much free information available online. To pique my interest an ebook author needs to give away enough information on his website to convince me (1) that he actually knows something, and (2) that what he knows will be useful to me and, hopefully, to my clients as well.

That's exactly what Mike Geary does. Free of charge, he will send you a 66 page (!) e-book filled with nutrition and exercise tips for people interested in fat loss. (If anyone wants a copy, let me know and I will e-mail it to you. This is okay to do per the author, so no worries about copyright violation.) After I got my copy I looked it over and was very impressed. It was all about the variable-intensity training, total body workouts, multi-joint exercises, resistance training instead of cardio as the primary exercise mode, non-traditional set and rep schemes ... all the stuff that works, in other words. And the diet advice was sensible: real food, no processed garbage, healthy fats, and no pressure to take supplements. That last aspect is key for me.

But what really sold me was Geary's apparent concern for healthy joint function and creating a body that actually performs well, as opposed to one that simply looks good in a swimsuit. Like Geary, I really believe that exercises that work the muscles in isolation are not only minimally effective for fat loss, but actually unhealthy in the long run because they force the body to work in an unnatural way and can even promote muscle imbalances. They have their place in a rehab setting, but for general fitness they're almost never a good choice.

Oh, and I don't think the made-up word "bodypart" appears even once in the 66 pages. "Bodypart" workouts turn me off almost as much as supplement-pushing.

So, anyway, the 66-page freebie convinced me that Geary knows something worth paying $39.95 for ... so I did. "The Truth About Six Pack Abs" is 140 pages long and filled with great information about core function and core training. The exercises are explained in detail, and routines for all fitness levels are provided. It's the information on core training that makes this book a standout; the total-body exercise programs that are meant to be performed in conjunction with the twice-weekly core workouts look fine but not that different from all the other good fat loss programs that are out there.

The exercise that Geary suggests as sort of a benchmark for determining where you should start with the program is the hanging leg raise. In Geary's world, the hanging leg raise involves curling the pelvis up and bringing the legs up to touch the bar from which you're suspended. If you can do 5, you start at level 5 (of 8). If you can't, but you're not new to training, you start at level 3. If you're an absolute beginner you start at level 1. I was surprised and pleased to discover that I'm already ready for level 5, so that's what I will be doing later today as an add-on to my "Filthy Fifty" squat workout.

Will update later once I've done same, if I live.