BOOK REVIEW: CORE PERFORMANCE The Revolutionary Workout Program to Transform your Body and your Life

12-Week Program

Fortunately, Core Performance introduces a 12-week program that takes you through all the exercises. This is outstanding for somebody doing nothing but Core Performance since you can get through most of these exercise routines in about an hour.

But if you're already training an hour or more a day in another sport, you'll find the Core Performance advice a little too general and time consuming.

After speaking to Verstegen, he explained he takes a different approach with endurance athletes because it's very hard to find athletes with a 12-week off season. Therefore he likes to incorporate a 5-10 minute movement prep, some pillar strength training exercises and regeneration (basically low-intensity stuff like rolling on a foam roll) as cross training.

Take a triathlete, for example, who's already juggling work, relationships and family, and asking them to spend an hour a day incorporating a general program to strengthen their core is a tough sell. Even though they'll probably benefit in the long run, they're going to be hard pressed to make the time. Verstegen claims you need only incorporate the quick movement prep routines and some key exercises to benefit.

"For regeneration, I have a lot of athletes who just roll on a foam pad for 10-15 minutes while watching TV at night," explains Verstegen. "Almost anybody can fit that into their schedules."

The book does present an "at home" or "on the road" training plan with abbreviated routines for whether you have very little time, in between or full time. This is great for the general fitness enthusiast, but the endurance athlete will want to experiment with different exercises to dial in the most effective and time efficient routine.

Nutrition Advice

The book also presents outstanding nutrition advice. I've been fortunate enough to have had many of the nation's top sports nutritionists work with me on many projects over the last 17 years and I'm very impressed with how well the "Core Nutrition Plan" is described. No gimmicks, fad diets or cut-the-carbs advice here. Just good solid presentation of scientific principles.

And even though Verstegen doesn't have a professional background in nutrition, it's obvious he's being advised by some very good registered dietitians.

For those looking to build a stronger, leaner and more efficient athletic body, Core Performance will redefine the way you think of exercise. There's no question that Pilates and yoga will improve your overall well-being and muscle balance, but Core Performance presents a total workout program that incorporates not only the stretching and balance benefits of Pilates and yoga, but strength exercises and physioball routines to further improve your overall fitness and well-being.

"It's about going from self-centered to a centered self," says Verstegen. "We're progressing to the point where people are getting more concerned about how they perform and feel than how big their muscles are."


Published by Rodale Books, Core Performance retails for $29.95 and is available at major book stores or online booksellers. For more information, visit www.athletesperformance.com.

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