Sunday, November 15, 2015

Review: The HIIT Advantage: High-Intensity Workouts for Women by Irene Lewis-McCormick

Synopsis: Achieve maximal results in minimal time! The HIIT Advantage: High-Intensity Workouts for Women is the resource for the most research-based, organized, and systematic information available on high-intensity interval training. The HIIT Advantage keys in on specific exercises, combinations, and progressions that will incinerate fat, shape and strengthen the upper and lower body, and assist with core strength for excellent posture and enhanced exercises performance—all written with a woman’s ultimate physique in mind. HIIT protocols pair quick bouts of super-high-intensity anaerobic intervals with shorter, low-effort rest intervals. The HIIT Advantage is the authoritative guide on high-intensity training. Comprehensive yet accessible, it describes how and why HIIT is one of the most effective ways to burn fat and improve performance. You’ll find step-by-step instructions, photo sequences, variations, and recommendations for 74 exercises to define muscles, reduce injury, and increase weight loss. You will learn the proper setup of a HIIT workout, the rationale, and the ratios for rest and recovery. Best of all, you’ll choose from 19 complete workouts consisting of a combination of 20-, 30-, and 45-minute sessions. Finally, you’ll receive exclusive access to the HIIT Advantage video library, including demonstrations of 24 key exercises, as well as an original 30-minute workout. If you’re serious about your workouts, get the advantage of burning more fat, shaping your physique, and improving performance. Get The HIIT Advantage and get results! (from the back of the book)

Review: This is the 4th or 5th exercise book I've read in the last few years. HIIT (or Tabata) is a new-fangled form of exercise that appeals to me - mostly because it doesn't take much time. I was hoping this would be a good starting point for learning about HIIT. Sadly, the book wasn't quite what I was hoping. Lewis-McCormick started off strong. Part I is a densely-packed section full of information about the chemical, anatomical, biological, and kinetic theory behind HIIT. It's techical, particular for your average reader i.e. someone without a science background, but it's not inaccessible. With strong arguments, lots of information, and clear prose, I found this helpful for me to understand why HIIT is so beneficial. Part II is where things began to slide. This is all the HIIT Exercises. It's arranged well, starting with Lower-Body and moving to Upper, then Core, and the book lays open nicely, so you can have it open while you do the workouts. But the exercises. It seemed she tried to stretch how many she added by making up new ones that really should just have been variations on one type. For example, there are 5 types of push-ups listed, each given it's own page and instructions. But at least 3 have no discernible difference, or the difference is so slight it doesn't warrant its own page. Instead, she should have list push-up as one, and then under it, listed instructions for variations so it was crystal clear what you could change to make the exercise different. And while the pictures are helpful, the written explanations are confusing and generic, and in paragraph form, when they should be in list format. But the most frustrating thing about the book was Part III. This is where she gives you pre-made workouts. The issue is, the explanations are awful. She seems to use "Max Intervals" and "Hard, Harder, Hardest" interchangeable, and yet, clearly states they are different. There is lots written about the ratio of times (2:1 or 3:1 etc.) but doesn't actually apply them in a clear format to the pre-made workouts.
In the end, I was hoping this would be similar to Delavier's fitness books and it wasn't. A veteran HIIT practitioner will find it too basic for their needs and a beginner will find it too confusing. Lewis-McCormick has a strong beginning and it's clear she is intelligent and passionate. But the book needs work before it's usable.

Note: I received this book as part of LibraryThing Early Review's Program, in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.

Bookmarks: 6 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 978-1-4925-0306-4
Date Finished: 11-7-2015
Pages: 183

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