My Book and Video Reviews
Below you'll find reviews of the books and videos I've purchased that deal with proper ab diet and exercise.
The Truth About Six Pack Abs
This is the only book you'll ever need if you want to get a six pack. I love how author Mike Geary is very realistic about what it takes to tone your middle, and he offers very specific exercise tips and techniques.
The color pictures make it very easy to see how to perform the exercises and there is a meal chart that provides various food suggestions.
If you're serious about toning your middle and developing a six pack, you need advice from a licensed professional like author, Mike Geary. I guarantee, he won't let you down.
The Abs Diet
I learned more from this resource than anything I've ever purchased regarding ab diet and exercise.
Not only does the author, David Zinczenko, squash many of the myths about losing stomach fat, he also provides over 700 "ab friendly" foods that you can eat when you're "on the go".
You know what's really great about this book? It's all the food possibilities it contains. I think a lot of people struggle with running out of ideas for healthy foods to eat and start get bored. David provides tons of different snack and meal ideas that are healthy for you and will promote a flat stomach.
My favorite part of the book is the "Lesser of Two Evils" section where he teaches you how to make healthier choices when it comes to your meals.
For example, did you know it's better to eat a bean burrito (370 calories, 10 grams of fat) instead of a Taco Salad (500 calories and 27 grams of fat)? Most people would probably choose the salad because it sounds healthier. But in reality the bean burrito has less fat and you get the protein and fiber from the beans - two things your abs love.
Another plus for The Abs Diet is that the book is small so you can carry it with you anywhere. Come to think of it, you might want to carry with you because David even tells you what kinds of foods to order when you go out to eat at specific restaurants such as Boston Market, Olive Garden and more.
I can't really think of anything negative about this book. It's very thorough and enlightening. You can still eat delicious foods, ignore the calorie count and slim your tummy at the same time.
8 Minutes In The Morning to a Flat Belly
The author, Jorge Cruise, takes a slightly different approach to ab training. He developed what he calls "Cruise Moves" and suggests you perform these certain moves for 8 minutes every morning.
The book is divided into three different levels of exercises and Jorge recommends you gradually work your way up to each level.
To perform the exercises in this book, you'll need a chair, exercise mat and a fitness ball.
I like the fact that the exercises are only performed 8 minutes each day. I've found that in the past I get burned out on the longer exercise programs and I eventually quit.
This book is very easy to follow and contains good information about ab exercise and diet. The one downside is that you have to keep referring to the book while you're trying to learn the moves.
Despite the fact he provides pictures, it would be easier to follow if this was on video. But once you get the moves down, you won't need to refer to the book as much.
I also wish he spent more time stressing the importance of cardiovascular training. Most of his moves are for firming and toning your abs. You have to remove layers of fat before you can begin to look toned, and aerobic exercise is the best way to do that.
There are tons of people that have found success with "Cruise Moves" so I'd definitely recommend giving this one a try.
8 Minute Abs Workout
This was the very first ab video I ever bought. I loved it because it only takes 8 minutes of my time in the morning and the moves were pretty easy to follow.
The video covers basic crunches, side crunches (for the love handles), leg lifts and more.
One caution though: When you first start out you may notice your neck getting tired. This is because your abs are not strong so you end up using your neck more than you should when you raise up.
But after a couple of weeks your abs will get stronger and you'll be able to control the movements with your middle instead of your neck.
Unfortunately this video is only out on VHS (circa 1995). It's a pain to rewind every time but I'd say that's a small drawback. (Yeah, I know...when's the last time you bought a VHS tape. ;)
Pilates Abs Workout
If you're new to Pilates, you'll find some of the moves a little awkward at first. But what I liked about this particular video is that it didn't seem to have as many of the "difficult" moves as some of the regular Pilates videos.
Don't get me wrong. The exercises are definitely challenging, I just found them easier to perform than other videos I've tried.
As the title suggest, this is Pilates for your abs. The video is about 25 minutes long but it seems to go quickly. You do a series of about 12-15 different moves that focuses on strengthening your back, balance and firming your "powerhouse" - which is their term for your middle section.
There are two girls performing the exercises. If you're more advanced, you can follow Ana but if you're just starting out you can follow Tara.
The first thing I noticed is that my flexibility increased tremendously by doing these workouts. Then after about a month or so I started noticing my middle section getting firmer and stronger.
If you're going to do Pilates, I would definitely recommend getting this video because it's a great one for beginners and intermediates.
Cardio Sport by Michael Carson
I found this video on the Exercise TV channel of my cable's OnDemand service.
It's a short, 22 minute video by Michael Carson that burns fat through cardio and flattens the stomach through toning.
It's a lot of fun because you get to do sport-like moves and Michael's exercises are pretty easy to follow so even if you're a beginner you'll be able to keep up.
The only thing you need is a small, light weight ball or a 2 pound hand weight (and possibly a mat).
To learn more about this video and how to obtain it, read my article "My Favorite Flat Stomach Ab Workout".