When a book has an endorsement from Parker Posey, Kelly Ripa and Demi Moore (that woman looks more fit every day year, I swear), you have to wonder what Kool-Aid they’re all drinking that makes them look so fabulous. Apparently, Physique 57 is the beverage of choice, and it goes down with highly targeted moves and a clean diet that isn’t joking around. While we sent Raquel to a Physique 57 class a few month ago and we reviewed the Physique 57 DVDs back in 2009, we decided it was high-time we review the popular workout’s book: The Physique 57 Solution: The Groundbreaking 2-Week Plan for a Lean, Beautiful Body.
Let me first say that Physique 57 creators Tanya Becker and Jennifer Maanavi wrote a darn good book. So often fitness books seem repetitive or simply state the obvious over and over in slightly different ways. But this book? Well, it does have many of the basics, but it goes much further into the science than you usually get in a book. And it does it in an easy-to-understand way. No easy feat. The two explain how they developed the Physique 57 moves and workouts, and go into a good amount of detail as to how and why it affects the body. (People, there are words like actin and myosin—and all kinds of muscle-building knowledge!) If you’re not into that stuff like I am, you can easily skip past those sections of the book, but I think it’s worthy of your eyeballs—even if they slightly gloss over when they start talking about Physique’s 57′s Interval Overload.
After giving you the whys and hows of the Physique 57 way of working out, they dive right into the moves. Needing just your bodyweight, a chair and some light weights (they think up to 8-pound dumbbells are “heavy,” but I beg to differ—hehe), they have photos, good descriptions, modifications and tips on how to do everything from push-ups to tricep pressbacks to thigh dancing with a ball (it is as awesome as it sounds). The moves are then put together for two 57-minute Physique 57 workouts. Because the weights are lighter, know that the rep count is higher than usual weight lifting. Numbers in the 20s and 30s aren’t uncommon.
The book wraps up with eating guidelines, snack and meal ideas/plans, recipes and a kick-ass index. (I think every book should have an index, for the record. They’re underrated!) Now, the two-week diet plan—with combined with the workout plans promises to deliver up to a 10-inch weight-loss—is intense and restrictive. No dairy, no wheat, no soy, no corn, no added sugar, no alcohol—no processed foods. Yes, it’s how we should eat, but it requires a lot of planning, cooking and vegetable eating. (And this is coming from the girl who’s obsessed with kale.) So just know what you’re getting into before expecting big results.
Overall though, this is a solid read. I think the workouts are well laid out, I love the science side of it, and it’s well written. I wish the diet had a bit more wiggle room and detailed healthy eating guidelines that were more inclusive of a permanent lifestyle change (because I need wine in my long-term healthy life plan), but besides that, it’s like getting the Physique 57 treatment in book form. Which is pretty cool. Whether it’ll make you look like Demi remains to be seen…
Have you read The Physique 57 Solution Book? Done a Physique 57 workout? Tell us about it! —Jenn