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perfect body plan book cover

I recently received a review copy of Perfect Body Plan, a new e-book that promises to give you that perfect body you’ve always dreamed of. It’s not specifically for cyclists, but it deals with health and fitness, so I figured it was worth a look.

(If you’re not “up with the times” so to speak, an e-book is an electronic book. Once you buy it, you can download it immediately and read it on your computer. Or, you can still print it out and read it while relaxing in your favorite recliner.)

The first thing I noticed is that their site asks:

When was the last time you looked in a full-length mirror or stripped off your clothes in front of a sexual partner in broad daylight and felt completely secure, happy and PROUD of your body?

If you can quickly and easily answer that question by either saying “all the time!” or “just the other day!” I’d like you to leave this site right now…

So I left 😉

But I did look at the book of course, and my review is below.

The Book

First of all, the book is 97 pages. That’s pretty thorough, because e-books are usually focused on a specific topic and don’t contain a lot of “fluff.”

Overall the book is well-written with proper grammar, and I only saw a few typos. It’s an enjoyable read and the “how-to” sections are understandable. (A lot of the cheaper e-books are written by people who don’t speak English fluently, so it’s nice to see that this one was written nicely.)

I should point out again that this book is targeted to the general population, not cyclists, so there’s very little mention of cycling other than the fact that it’s a good cardio exercise. However, cyclists need to be healthy and in shape, so the book still applies.

Interestingly this book is not about achieving “the” perfect body, rather “your” perfect body. That’s because it’s about getting the results you want.

The book is divided into three parts, so we might as well look at it piece-by-piece:

Part I: Knowledge Building

This is the “theory” part where you learn about why typical diets never seem to work, the muscle groups of the body, pros and cons of going to the gym, importance of warming up and cooling down, etc.

All of that actually takes 61 pages, so it’s a big part of the book! Fortunately it is all sound advice and even includes real life examples. (For example, “tried and true” diet and exercise works better than fad diets.)

Even better, the books covers the importance of motivation and delves into visualization. The mental aspect of getting fit is very important and I personally thought this was the best part of the book.

There were plenty of other self-improvement principles, too, even some stuff that gave me ideas to improve my training. Some I’ve done before and they’ve been a great help.

Then there are plenty of charts and diagrams to explain things, and I must say, the muscle diagrams are top notch! (Way better than high school science textbooks.)

This section goes further and gets into specific exercises along with cardio workout ideas. Some stuff, like the “220 minus your age” to get your maximum heart rate, is a bit too general to apply to us fit cyclists, but it will get beginners on track.

Then it’s page after page of how-to instructions for each exercise. Typical exercises like push-ups and the bench press are covered, but there are some lesser known exercises in there for good measure. Exercises are grouped by what muscles they work, and the instructions are pretty clear, but there are no pictures.

In situations such as this, you really want pictures, if not video! And if you’re a beginner, there’s no substitute for personal attention from a trained professional to make sure your posture is correct.

Remember how I said the book was understandable? It is, but sometimes it’s just too hard to capture dynamic motions in the written word! (It’s not the book’s fault; I’m just saying that’s where the DVD workout programs really shine!)

And I have to admit, reading instructions does get old, real fast.

After all the instructions, you get another chart, and it tells you where you should “feel the burn” for each exercise. Pretty nifty! In my experience, the best way to tell if you’re doing it right is by where you feel the burn (well, aside from having a personal trainer inches away keeping tabs on your every movement).

After the exercises comes a section on stretching, warming up, and cooling down. Personally I would have preferred to read this before the exercise instructions section, but that’s just my opinion.

Then we get further into heart rate guidelines, which are good enough to keep the general population in check, and a “Perceived Exertion” scale, which I personally love and prefer over heart rate (although PE is more useful after you’ve been training for years and can better gauge your body). Caloric needs and expenditures, along with metabolism, are covered here too.

Then the diet and nutrition section covers the basics of diet and nutrition. It’s basic, but I really enjoyed the nice list of what vitamins are good for what purpose (healthy skin, bones, etc.)

Perhaps they saved the best for last, because the Goal Setting section is great. The topic is so important you could read multiple books just about this topic and still have more to learn. The reading would be worthwhile, too, because goals are that powerful.

Part II: The Perfect Body Plans

Now that you have the knowledge, you can get into the training plans and be one step closer to your own “perfect body.”

There are eight plans total, featuring:

  • Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Plans for general fitness
  • Fat-loss workout plans
  • Targeted plans for specific body parts

The “Ultimate Fat-Loss” and the “Big and Ripped” workout plans look pretty cool, and the titles should be self-explanatory 🙂

And of course the plan targeted for your abs is sure to be a winner, because who doesn’t want a six pack?

For each you get a short, printer-friendly workout chart, followed by some more explanation for each exercise. Most fitness workouts were 30-45 minutes long and consisted mainly of cardio and bodyweight workouts. I could probably do the advanced plan without much trouble though. I’m sure it’s advanced for most people, but we’re cyclists, not “most people.” 😀

Part III: Putting It All Together

The last section covers how to construct your own plan. It’s fairly simple and is about adapting your training to meet your goals.

But then at the very end there is a magic trick that might just work to really improve your training! (I don’t want to reveal it, but it’s a powerful idea.)


My final verdict is…

If you’ve been into fitness for a while, you probably know most of this stuff. But if you are new to health and fitness, the book is actually a really good overview of what you need to know.

While the overall quality is nice, I’m not sure if I’d shell out $50 for it. I mean, they do mention lots of good exercises, but written descriptions only do so much. There aren’t even any explanatory photos, let alone video. You can read it and comprehend it, but it’s nice to actually see it happen.

I’m actually past even the Advanced fitness plan, and I already use programs for elite athletes, so this book is not quite right for me. The only thing that would justify the purchase, if you’re an advanced athlete, is the psychological stuff like motivation, visualization, and goal setting.

Even then, $50 is a bit steep.

So in the end, it’s a good book for beginners who really want to get fit and healthy. If you fall in that category, this book has just about everything you need to know, all in one place. It’s just lacking in photos and video.

Official website: www.PerfectBodyPlan.com

Product Review Details
Company: Perfect Body Plan
Product: Perfect Body Plan Ebook
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2007-03-14
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: Yes; paid affiliate.

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  1. is there any thing in this book that is new?

    we cyclists don’t need to display our bodies anyway.. (legs probably yes). we care about pure functionality right?

  2. Well if you don’t know anything about health and fitness, everything is probably new. It’s all relative.

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