Top critical review
Inspirational, No Nonsense Workout. Not Realistic to do in Pandemic Times & Too Expensive to Start
Reviewed in the United States on May 7, 2020
So I've let some 15-20 pounds creep up and lately I haven't been consistent with my DVD workouts. Perhaps too overwhelmed with too many choices. I was simply looking for an inspirational no nonsense workout. A workout that I could commit, that would be easy to start with and a workout program that I could grow with. After looking at the New Releases, I found this book and decided to give it a try. I'm not into social media. So I've never been on any of her sites. I don't watch reality tv shows, so having Kardashian write a forward for the book didn't entice me either. I could care less. So when I received the book in the mail, I read the book from front to back. Very inspirational. Melissa Alcantara is the real deal and I am so happy that she found a new direction in life through exercise. I wanted to feel some of that excitement too, until I realized that in order to do her program, you will either need to invest quite a bit in exercise equipment or sign up for a gym membership. With COVID-19 happening now, gyms are off limit. Buying used equipment is off limits (at least for me), and buying new equipment is too expensive. I thought her workout would be easy enough to implement with just body weight exercises and dumbbells/kettle bells.
Alcantara does have a very extensive exercise database in the back of the book that I thought was great. But that's when I realized the kind of equipment I needed to buy just to do her workout program. She has you doing her program in phases, but the types of exercises she has you do are all mixed in every week (i.e. body weight, dumbbells, and expensive gym machines). I would have at least preferred if she started off with bodyweight, and then incorporate the dumbbells etc. and then finally transitioned to an optional/advanced gym workout. Would have been more doable.
To give you an idea of some of the exercise equipment/machines you need to own or have access to here is a complete list:
Set of dumbbells
Dip Stand/Rack with band
Barbell with various plates
Hamstring curl machine
Hamstring extension machine
Lat pull-down machine
Pec Deck Machine
Quad Extension Machine
It would have been beneficial if she showed alternative exercises for the machine exercises but that wasn't provided. Now I'm sure I could have figured out some alternatives on my own because I'm not a newbie, but that would defeat the purpose of buying the book. I wanted a workout that wouldn't overwhelm me at the get go.
Perhaps if you are a celebrity with a fancy in home gym, or you have access to a community gym if you dare go to one during this pandemic, then you might be one of the lucky ones to fully take advantage of this very well thought out workout. But I'm not one of them. I have a dumbbell set, kettle bells, jump rope, bands, cords and a rebounder and bosu. I will just have to start with small steps and create my own workout that covers all the basic muscle groups along with HIT and Intermittent fasting. For now, this workout is too ambitious to start. I will be returning the book back for a refund. Hopefully this review helps and good luck. I have a few other exercise books on order. Once I find one that is flexible and doable, I will come back here to update with a recommendation.
This is one book I have on order which I hope will be the kind of flexible workout I was looking for :
"Smarter Workouts: The Science of Exercise Made Simple – By Pete McCall ". I am listing it here now, in case you want to research it, read it's reviews and purchase. After I receive it, I will update within the next few days.
Another book that I ordered to consider is "100 No-Equipment Workouts Vol. 1: Fitness Routines you can do anywhere, Any Time" by Neila Rey. There is also a volume 2 and 3 and a HIIT Volume as well from same author.
Received "Smarter Workouts". Very in-depth. Lots of doable and inexpensive exercise routines to choose from . A treasure trove of information. However can be overwhelming and apparently it's used as a textbook for certain exercise fitness certifications. Great book, but not what I was looking for. I already own a few textbook like exercise books.
As for the 100-No Equipment Workouts by Neila Ray, simply loved it. So many easy and quick workouts to choose from. You'll never get bored. Some incorporate dumbbells. Lots of Cardio / HIIT and Ab workouts to choose from. Definitely a keeper and lots of fun. What I did find out as a bonus, is that if you go to the book's website: DAREBEE DOT COM, all of her books and workouts are there to download for FREE. You can print them out like Mini poster cards if you want. There are also how to videos. So if your budget is limited, you can't get better than that. But if you can support the author's free project, you can make donations of any amount or purchase her hardcopy books through Amazon.
As for nutrition, I also started the Carnivore Code by Paul Saladino MD and The Carnivore Cookbook by Maria Emmerich (lots of pictures / well organized cookbook). Already lost 4 lbs in 3 days. About 10 years back, I tried the Paleo Diet and had lost 21 lbs in 3.5 weeks. I was very disciplined and loved it. Not sure why I slacked off and stopped. But I was at my lowest weight after just having 2 kids at 137 lbs. I am 5' 10" . When I started Carnivore Code (diet), I started at 177 lbs and now I am 173 lbs. Although I hide my weight well because of my height, at 177 lb, I started developing a little pooch and larger hips. I will keep this post updated after a month with my results. My "Happy Goal Weight" is 145-150 lbs. Although, what matters the most in gauging your progress is in how you look (recording measurements) and not the scale.