If you had told my younger self that I’d be dedicated to going to the gym regularly well before entering my midlife, I’d have scoffed at you. And if you had told me that I’d like it, I would have thought you were crazy.
It’s funny how things turn out.
My favorite things to do is tabata/interval type exercises. My inspiration comes from Bodyfit by Amy, Girls Gone Strong, and Zuzka Light.
I saw The 4×4 Diet by Erin Oprea on the list of available books to review on Blogging For Books, and got curious. I don’t follow the fitness and nutrition of celebrities. I didn’t realize that the was the personal trainer for Carrie Underwood. Honestly, it almost put me off. But I watched a clip of Erin Oprea on youtube where she went through a sample tabata circuit, and it looked interesting to me. My workout routines need some new moves, so I went ahead a grabbed a copy of her book.
Bullet point #1 – I’m not reviewing the nutrition section of her book. At first glance, it all seems pretty standard stuff. Don’t villianize carbs, but don’t over do it either. Don’t overeat sugar and salt. Cut back on the booze. The recipes seem pretty standard too. I didn’t try any of them. (Maybe I will in the future, though.)
Bullet point #2 – I’m not really reading the stuff leading up to the tabata workout breakdowns. I go to the gym – all the equipment I need is there. I already go regularly. I’m already familiar with tabata workouts, whether tabata means four rounds of 30 seconds activity/10 seconds rest, eight rounds of 20 seconds activity/10 seconds rest, or even eight rounds of eight circuits for 20 seconds activity/10 seconds rest.
Bullet point #3 – I’m just here for the workout breakdowns.
I like the workout breakdowns themselves. Oprea does say upfront that you can mix and match as you like (which is what I did). The photos and descriptions of each movements is done well enough. I think I would have preferred a bit more explanation on a squat, only because I know from personal experience that I was doing it slightly wrong for a long time. (Recommendation – look up squats and butt winks on Girls Gone Strong’s website.)
I don’t love all of her combinations, but you can mix and match. She generally provides information if a workout is cardio, or which muscles are being worked on for a particular movement. It helps to mix and match better. Some of the exercises are things I already incorporate into my workouts (ie. squat) but a lot of it was not (ie. hammer curls).
Yesterday at the gym, I ended up modifying her Beginner Tabata #7. I did, mostly with 7.5lbs dumbbells:
round 1: hammer curls
round 2: tricep kickbacks
round 3: V-front raise
round 4: squats
I feel all that arm work today, but it’s a tired sore and not a painful sore. I’m quite pleased!
So, if you’re looking to get into tabata style workouts, Oprea’s book is a pretty decent starting place. Having said that, I still recommend Bodyfit by Amy, Girls Gone Strong, and Zuzka Light for more in depth explanations on movement. Plus, for exercising, video examples tend to be better than photographs… unless someone wants to put out a tabata flip book which could be awesome and hilarious.
Disclaimer – I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. I’m not getting paid for this post.