on 28 June 2004
The previous reviewer has highlighted various faults with this book - and I don't disagree. However, I have found the book helpful.
The core of the book is a weight training regime using home or gymn equipment that promises results in 30 minutes 1x a week.
Used like this, I have had the confidence to follow the process at the gymn (despite advice from the staff to do multiple sets twice or thrice a week). My strength has increased, and it genuinely does take less than an hour to follow the procedure. In practice, I would not want to attend the gymn more frequently.
I have reservations about working out at home - I can leg press about 300Kg - an amount of weight that would need serious equipment to handle at home. For this reason, I prefer a gymn.
I have reservations about the chapter on aerobic exercise. The suggestion is that it has no benefit for the heart - something that seems difficult to accept, & may also discourage necessary healthy activity.
The title Slow Burn: Fitness Revolution is a bit of a misnomer, there is no revolutionary stuff here, in fact all the ideas in the book have been around for quite a while, and the key exercise ideas have been around for a very long time without causing anything like a revolution in the way people think of exercise.
The book can be split into two parts, the first is generally about diet and ancillary aspects to weight training such as stretching. The diet pushed is one of these high protein types which are supposedly for fat loss. Frankly the diet bit isn't that convincing, there are too many weird and wonderful diets around, and most of us just need to eat a balanced diet without overeating. The other ancillary aspects are somewhat interesting, but I have a lingering suspicion that they are really just padding to beef up the size of the book. Do you really need to know that excessive stretching in ballerinas causes their joints to become unstable? I don't. I don't stretch to that extent, and I doubt you do either.
The second part of the book, and the part that most people will really be interested in, has some really good exercise ideas presented in a way that does not appeal to as many people as it should do, and on top of that is obviously geared to getting you into the author's 'training facility' in the USA. Now, I sure don't feel the need to emigrate to do some regular exercise, and that kinda spoils things for me...
To be fair though the exercise section is split into home training and training in the type of specialised gym that one of the author's runs. The home training part is somewhat useful for people who have little or no weight training equipment at home, and would probably be enough for most people's needs. As for the specialised gym training, well that just doesn't cut the mustard.
The basis of the system is very slow repetitions, sometimes called 'Super Slow'. Very slow training has been around for a long time, but was more or less 're-discovered' by people in the 'high intensity training' camp a few years back. This type of training can be done just as easily with a bit of common sense in most gym enviroments, and even most home gym setups, and the highly specialised setup shown here is not an absolute requirement.
Frankly I would give this book a miss unless you are a total beginner to weight training or just want to train at home without investing in any equipment. It is a shame the book is below par, because slow training is a very worthwhile way to train, safe and very hard. I would recommend that you track down a copy of Ellington Darden's 'Big' for a much better treatment of super slow and slow weight training in general.