Review: Cardio Core 4×4 by Jay Cardiello

jay cardielloSo the cover got my attention for obvious reasons. Nice abs, Jay Cardiello. Nice abs, indeed. But then the title caught my eye, too. A 20-minute no-gym workout that will transform your body? Get huge results in just a little bit of time a day? Well, that sounds good, but nothing particularly new, ya know? But once I started flipping through Cardio Core 4×4, I was pleasantly surprised. This book is a very well thought-out and complete plan to get you from not-so-fit to functionally fit.

Based on the principles of 3D core training, the gist of Jay’s Cardio Core 4×4 workout and program is that you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment or a lot of space to get fit. You just need some targeted moves that burn calories, build strength and work the heck of your core—all at the same time. And that’s exactly what the book delivers. One 20-minute workout has you standing while you do kicks, twists and walk-outs. The other has you mostly on all fours, either in plank position or in table-top doing windshield wipers and side planks. Then there’s a Cardio Core workout that pretty much has you hold a plank or side plank the whole time. On paper, the moves don’t look that hard, but believe me, they’re a challenge.

While the workouts are effective and I do like them, it’s the rest of the book that I really dig. Written from Jay’s perspective, you get a lot of his back story, including how hard and long he had to work to get to where he is today professionally. Little interesting tips and factoids of his are sprinkled throughout the book (who knew that you can put honey on a scrape or bug bite as it naturally helps fend off infection?), too, which really help to bulk up the interesting factor of the book. Jay also strongly touches on the spiritual, emotional and nutritional sides of getting results—in fact, this is all addressed before you even get to the workouts. Seeing that I’m a firm believer in the fact that you have to get your thinking in positive working order before you can get your body in shape, I loved that. He’s big on goal setting, finding your true motivators and having the right environment and diet to get you there. The advice is solid. Like his abs.

While I feel like this book is targeted more to the dudes (he is the celeb trainer of 50 Cent after all), it’s a great read for the ladies as well. And I guarantee that whether you’re a seasoned exerciser or a newbie, you’ll learn some new core-a-rific moves and some fun facts. Definitely worth a read. And a workout!

How much core training do you do? Do you combine core training in with your usual workouts (like Jay does in Cardio Core 4×4) or is it totally separate ab work? Would love to know! —Jenn


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