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***Bob Greene's Total Body Makeover

An Accelerated Program of Exercise and Nutrition for Maximum Results in Minimum Time

by Bob Greene

Reviewed January 10, 2005.
Simon & Schuster, New York, 2004.  262 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (MCN 613.7 GRE).

Over the years, I’ve reviewed a few different exercise books.  Pain Free and Pain Free for Women did convince me that I should get moving, but the program they suggested took a large amount of time, and didn’t really seem to affect my headaches.  Next I tried Slow Burn, and though that book only asked for a good chunk of time once a week, the workout it suggested wiped me out.  And after my Mom's heart attack, I found myself wondering whether only focusing on strength training could really do any good if I want to avoid heart disease.

The one workout that I did with any consistency was 8 Minutes in the Morning.  As you can tell, my biggest gripe with exercise is how much time it takes.  8 minutes in the morning isn’t too bad.  The only problem with this program was that I couldn’t see any results.  I still get out of breath quickly when we climb a hill to a castle, and I still find myself slowly but surely gaining weight.

So when Bob Greene’s new book came in, I thought I’d take it home and look it over.  The program he presents is a 12-week “boot camp” program to get some results in a minimal amount of time.  His plan includes 6 times a week aerobic exercise, 6 times a week “functional exercises” of stretches and crunches, and 3 times a week strength-training exercises.  The drawback?  This program takes a good amount of time, and more time the more fit you become.

I don’t need to lose a whole lot of weight, though I wouldn’t at all mind losing some, so I’m not fully committed to the program.  What I do like about the program is that it has a good variety of exercises that should lead to a much better level of fitness.

I’m not fully committed to the program, so I doubt that I will carry it out for 12 weeks.  However, reading the book has motivated me to step up my exercise level.  I figure that even if I do these exercises a little less often than what is recommended, they can have some benefit.  I’ve had 40 years to be lazy.  Maybe if I start exercising now, I won’t have to try to exercise to undo damage when I’m 60.

If you’re looking to lose a good amount of weight, I think that this program would provide a healthy way to approach that goal.  He doesn’t present a diet, only five principles for healthy eating.  He also explains several of the most popular diet plans out there, so the reader can decide which one is best for you, if you feel a diet is needed.  Even if you’re not looking to lose a lot of weight, but want to become more fit, this program is a good way to start off toward that goal.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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