fitness

The Dumbbell Workout Handbook: Weight Loss


Author: Michael Volkmar
Publisher: Hatherleigh Press
Genre: Fitness
ISBN: 978-1-57826-754-5
Pages: 144
Price: $15.00

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A customized dumbbell workout is a great way to gain muscle and lose fat. In The Dumbbell Workout Handbook, Michael Volkmar provides several different workouts in varying levels of difficulty that are designed for weight loss.

The opening pages provide information about dumbbells and how they are effective in strength training. Mobility warm-ups are shown as essential to be performed before any of the fat burning workouts. Then all of the exercises in these workouts are listed.

While I’m not a workout guru, I expected to see photos or diagrams of the various exercises in this book. Instead, the reader receives just a list of the names of the workouts, with no explanations or pictures. If he’s not already familiar with these exercise names, he would have to do the research to find out how to do them.

If you’re already a pro at strength training with dumbbells, this book will provide your own customized weight loss workout. But if you will need to look up every exercise, this is probably not the best book for you.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

fitness, health

Exercises for Perfect Posture


Authors: William Smith,‎ Keith Burns,‎ Christopher Volgraf
Publisher: Hatherleigh Press
Genre: Health & Fitness
ISBN: 978-1-57826-695-1
Pages: 144
Price: $15.00

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In our modern world with desk jobs, lounge chairs, and a minimum of physical activity, it’s easy to develop poor posture. But the right exercise can easily change this. Exercises for Perfect Posture shows us how.

Poor posture can lead to a host of problems, which are detailed in the opening sections. After doing an assessment, the reader will discover the exact types of posture issues he’s having. Exercises to combat these are provided next. Finally, an evaluation of the success of these exercises is provided, along with a place to chart progress.

The exercises can be done at home, but many require a foam roller, stability ball, or resistance band. Although I didn’t test them, they looked to be appropriate for strengthening the muscles that support a correctly aligned body. If you’re looking to improve your posture, Exercises for Perfect Posture would be a great place to start.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

fitness

Complete Physique


Author: Hollis Lance Liebman
Publisher: Hatherleigh Press
Genre: Fitness
ISBN: 978-1-57826-718-7
Pages: 192
Price: $21.95

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Hollis Lance Liebman is a professional body-builder who wants to share the secrets of his success. In Complete Physique, he lays out a 12-week program that includes workouts and a meal plan designed to transform our bodies.

First, the author explains exactly what he will cover in this program, including the mental edge and the meal plan. This is not a diet to lose weight, but instead its goal is to maximize lean muscle and minimize body fat. The exercise program is broken up into three 4-week phases, each phase building on the previous one, for a 12-week total program. These exercises rely heavily on weight equipment, and a gym membership is required. Photos and explanations are provided for each exercise.

Liebman is a qualified guide, having achieved a level of fitness most could only dream about. But he encourages the rest of us to do the very best we can, even if we never see muscular definition like his. This is a great resource for serious fitness enthusiasts.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian, fitness, health, self improvement, spirituality

Nourish

Nourish
Author: Katie Farrell
Publisher: FaithWords
Genre: Christian, Health
ISBN: 978-1-4789-7606-6
Pages: 208
Price: $20.00

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Katie Farrell knows what it’s like to struggle with weight issues. Unhealthy and destructive eating habits plagued her for years, until she discovered how to care for herself in accordance with God’s will. In Nourish, she explains how she was able to make peace with her body and learn to live a healthy lifestyle.

Farrell shares the types of foods she enjoys along with those she tries to avoid. This may not be the same eating plan the reader follows, but can easily be adapted if necessary, since she doesn’t dwell on specifics. Some healthy recipes are provided, and the author’s website has more available. Exercise is also encouraged, but again, no specific plan is promoted. Instead, she encourages the reader to discover for herself exactly how God wants her to care for her body.

God’s word can be trusted to instruct us, and Farrell provides Biblical references she has used in developing her own self-care plan. If you’re looking for a diet and exercise checklist to follow, this is not the book for you. But if you’re looking for a spiritual mentor to lead you to God’s will for your life, Farrel is a wonderful guide. I highly recommend Nourish and the Dashing Dish website.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

fitness, health

Naked in 30 Days: A One-Month Guide to Getting Your Body, Mind and Spirit in Shape

naked-in-30-days
Author: Theresa Roemer
Publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books
Genre: Fitness / Health
ISBN: 978-1-62601-253-0
Pages: 250
Price: $19.99

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Many women aren’t happy with what they see in the mirror. They may be able to hide flaws with clothes that flatter, but when those clothes come off, what’s underneath is a different story. Naked in 30 Days is a program designed to address this problem.

In this 30 day plan, author Theresa Roemer guides the reader through an intense diet and exercise program designed for maximum results. Workouts focus on upper-body, lower-body, abs, and cardio, and each workout will take at least an hour to complete. The various exercises are described in detail, but no photos are provided. A diet plan is also included, which suggests avoiding grains, alcohol, sugar, dairy products, and processed foods, and leans heavily toward a Paleo eating style. Each of the 30 days has its own chapter with the exercises listed, as well as dietary suggestions, a Naked Tip, and a Mind/Spirit Tip. Because each day is laid out individually, they can be checked off like a to-do list. A 30 day summary is included at the end of the book.

Naked in 30 Days is not for the beginner! This is a serious body-building guide, intended for someone who has been working out for a long time and wants to step it up a notch. If you’re just starting out, you will need to modify this program significantly. Although it appears to be a women’s fitness guide, this book could just as easily be used by men.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

fitness, self improvement

Level Up Your Life

Level Up Your Life
Author: Steve Kamb
Publisher: Rodale Books
Genre: Self-improvement / Fitness
ISBN: 978-1-62336-540-0
Pages: 288
Price: $19.99

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Life is meant to be an adventure, but far too many people simply sit on the sidelines and watch. But what if we could be the hero in our own story? Steve Kamb shows us how we can tackle challenges like a video game and learn to level up our own lives.

Although Kamb is the founder of Nerd Fitness, Level Up Your Life is only partially concerned with fitness. Mostly, it encourages us to step outside the box we’re living in, and be willing to try the new and exciting things we’ve only allowed ourselves to dream about. Travel, learning a new language, making a career change, and other fun and intimidating adventures are presented in a fresh way, with the focus on taking small steps until we master the challenge. In video games, we face small battles until we’re good enough to take on bigger foes, and life can be handled much the same way.

Without foes to thwart us, we quickly lose interest in video games. And without challenge in life, our day to day existence becomes humdrum. Level Up Your Life shows us how to bring back the sparkle and enthusiasm for living. I highly recommend this unique and fun self-improvement book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian, fitness

F.I.T. Faith Inspired Transformation

Faith Inspired Transformation
Author: Kim Dolan Leto
Publisher: Fedd Books
Genre: Fitness / Christian
ISBN: 978-0-9907044-0-9
Pages: 173
Price: $19.99

Author’s website
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Health and fitness can be a struggle when we don’t have the right support. But if we partner with God in our weight loss efforts, we may find we’re a lot more successful. God cares about us and our bodies, and if we ask Him for help, He will provide it.

Kim Dolan Leto suggests that we permanently lose the diet mentality. Weight loss and fitness are not something we do for a little while and then quit once we’ve reached our goals. Instead, we should focus on God’s goals for us for the rest of our lives. Studying God’s word, praying, eating the natural foods God made, finding proper perspective and living in joy, we can change our lives for the better. Weight loss will not be our only concern – but it will most likely occur when we turn our fitness and health over to God.

F.I.T. Faith Inspired Transformation doesn’t give us any specific diets or exercise programs. Instead it focuses on making small, positive changes and becoming closer to God. Small groups will find this a great book to study and share together.

Reviewer: Alice Berger