Those of us who are overweight are constantly told by well meaning doctors and others that we have to burn off more than we take in everyday. We know that! We may be overweight but we aren’t stupid. That advice is repeated here but the authors take things quite a bit further.

Dump Your Trainer

By Ashley Marriott, Certified Personal Trainer and Doctor Marc L. Paulsen

BookSurge Publishing


ISBN# 978-1-4196-8023-6

227 Pages


The book opens with an introduction that argues you don’t need a personal trainer because he or she will do nothing to improve your cardiovascular health which is the key to weight loss. All they will do besides looking good while taking your money is giving you a “one size fits all” type of exercise program that will make you hungrier than normal and not burn much of anything off. Because their programs are often built around weight training and other muscle building regimens that they can closely supervise and bill you for as opposed to running on a treadmill (as one example)  their plans may actually cause you to gain weight. They point out that celebrity trainers are meaningless for the average person because their exorbitant rates are being paid for by the big studios.

The next chapter is primarily from the perspective of Ashley Marriot and tells readers boldly, despite her professional status, not to hire a trainer. She goes into great detail about the various myths regarding personal trainers. Not only do you not need one, they aren’t worth the money, the certifications may not mean much and neither do the various titles used, etc. Because they use the same program for everyone they won’t really work with you on setting up a program that meets your needs emotionally or physically and the last thing they want you to do is to figure out you don’t need their help or program.

The next chapter is devoted to the current various fad diets pushed by celebrities. If you didn’t already know that stars do some really bizarre things, this chapter will certainly educate you as well as illustrating just how silly and potentially dangerous some of these diets are.

Self reliance is a theme throughout the book and it really takes hold in the next chapter. The chapter kicks off a sequence of chapters on how to lose weight, heart rate charts, height and weight tables for men and women, meal plan suggestions for dieting, exercises, and specific tests one can do to gauge personal fitness among other items of interest. After reading this material and performing the tests, you now know where you are and where your goals are. It is time to choose the main way you are going to develop your cardiovascular health.

This is where one gets down to work with the doctor advocating the treadmill for ease of use and proven track record in weight loss and improvements in cardiovascular health. The trainer prefers her own fitness DVD series titled “Burn ‘N Firm.” The doctor further advocates that seventy to eighty percent of your exercise time should be in the form of aerobic/cardiovascular stuff with the remaining time in strength or weight training. He also advocates a primary exercise period in the morning with a secondary shorter period in the evening. Both argue strongly for stretching and cooling down periods and suggest various activities to accomplish those objectives.

After specific exercise regimen suggestions depending on how much you are overweight as well as the usual standard caution to check with your doctor, they illustrate through small black and white pictures with limited contrast or detail the various exercises the authors suggest. Like other photographs in the book, the pictures are of the authors practicing what they preach. In this case, they depict how to use and perform such exercises as the overhead press, biceps curls, deltoid lifts, pectoral flies, etc. They also illustrate in the same way for those who don’t have access to gyms and equipment. How one can do a lot of the same work with resistance bands, stabilizing balls, as well as exercises without any equipment so that one can lose weight no matter the situation.

This is followed starting on page 106 with a section devoted to the twenty-one day program to change how you look and feel. Through diet suggestions, meal plans, and motivational tips, the authors take the readers through the twenty-one days which should create measurable results that will also be visible to yourself and others.

The next chapter which is a brief one is designed to help readers self asses the progress they have made after twenty-one days. This leads into detailed suggestions on how to keep the momentum going. These are more of a lifestyle change suggestions with various ideas on how to capitalize on the weight loss momentum in a culture driven primarily by fast food. More food and exercise solutions are offered before a brief conclusion, a list of resources and an index are provided.

At 227 pages, this book is a wealth of upbeat information aimed to get the reader up and moving on the way to better health. Despite the poor quality of many of the small black and white photographs of the authors working out, the ideas depicted are discernable. The weakness of the pictures is more than made up for by the large illustrations which are often humorous, detailed charts and figures, and a clear text that is written in everyday language and not with a load of jargon. The text is easy to understand and supportive as are the reasons to get to work. The rest is up to you.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2008

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