2 out of 4 stars
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Lance McCullough is a world champion bench press weight lifter. He is certified as a personal trainer and has completed over 100,000 training sessions with customers. Lance has always developed training regimens for himself through his bench-pressing career, but in his book 30 Minute Body, he explains the secrets of the training regimens he develops for his customers. The regimens are highly centered around weight training, but Lance boasts that they can be completed by anyone, regardless of age or fitness level.
I first picked up 30 Minute Body while I was on vacation with my family. We were planning a road trip, and I just knew that we would be eating almost every meal at a restaurant. Predicting the need for an intervention, I saw 30 Minute Body and thought I had hit the jackpot! Lance’s explanations are super easy to understand, and he has a way of writing that really conveys his personality along with the information. He has many interesting stories to tell about his customers – all of them, of course, success stories.
However, the more I read, the more doubtful I became. When I was in college I wanted to take advantage of the school’s gym, but they didn’t have personal trainers or anything to help newbies who didn’t even know how to work some of the machines. So, I did a lot of research on my own. I watched videos, read scientific articles on the pros and cons of different exercises, and studied the balance of diet and exercise and how calories and metabolism work. I’m in no way an expert on fitness, but I found some of Lance’s statements alarming. First of all, none of the numbers in his book were cited, so I couldn’t look them up to see if they were true or not. Secondly, he stated that cardio burns both muscle and fat while lowering your metabolism. Livestrong.com, a reputable fitness website, actually states: “All forms of cardio, such as walking or running, immediately boost your metabolism…Aerobic exercise can boost your metabolism for hours or even days after each session.” The only time cardio burns muscle instead of fat is if the athlete is following a calorie-deficient diet.
I can understand Lance’s take on cardio. After all, for most of his life he’s focused on putting on as much muscle as possible, and any risk of losing that muscle is a risk he’s not willing to take. However, for the average gym-goer looking to lose a few pounds, cardio is definitely the best way to go. Not only is it the fastest way to burn calories, it can improve heart health and exercises such as jogging or stair climbing use muscles all over the body. I can’t believe that a professional trainer would blatantly ignore the benefits of cardio in order to push muscle training.
Despite how much I disagreed with Lance’s stance on exercise, I did try his program for two weeks. I had only minimal changes in my body measurements (nothing over 0.5 inches) and my 1 pound of weight loss could simply be attributed to cooking my own meals instead of eating out over vacation. Due to a few formatting issues in the book, such as Secret #36 not having any writing after it, and how much I disagreed with the advice Lance gave, I can only give this book 2 out of 4 stars. However, I think it would be a good, short read for anyone who is interested in weight lifting specifically, rather than overall fitness. Lance talks about his professional career and how to safely lift weights quite a lot, so it would be helpful to that specific target audience.
30 Minute Body
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