Can you get strong in 90 seconds?

When I received Pete Cerqua's book in the mail, I have to be honest, I snickered. I thought, 'Here is another gimmick that doesn't work.' Frankly, if you have been reading my blog, you know I'm not into the 'quick fix' mentality of health. So, the title 'The 90-Second Fitness Solution' was a bit of a turn-off.

Pete Cerqua, a NYC based Personal Trainer, attempts to get us to do the unthinkable...be fit in 90 seconds. Look, the reality is, everyone needs a gimmick to get people's attention. And the title of the book, in this case, is a bit of a gimmick. You are NOT going to be fit in 90 seconds alone. However, the principle behind the book, does revolve around a 90 second concept. This is the scoop:

  1. What 90 Seconds Really Means: In short, Pete Cerqua's The 90-Second Fitness Solution is to take strength training's conventional 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 15 repetitions of a single exercise, and convert them into a single 90 second exercise. The exercises require you to either hold a position for 90 seconds, to do one repetition in steps within 90 seconds or to do no more that three repetitions within 90 seconds. Essentially, this concept adopts the isometric approach to exercise. Isometric exercises rely on your larger muscles becoming tired, and as a result, engages other muscles to keep you in a position. Basically, you are killing a few muscles with one exercise.
  2. The Workouts: Pete Cerqua provides four different workouts. Home routines Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3, and a Gym routine. Truth be told, the efficacy of these routines is completely dependent on your current level of fitness. If you are in good shape, have been strength training and have been doing so regularly, Home Levels 1 and 2, more likely than not, are not going to challenge you. If, however, you are at a low fitness level, and find exercise to be extremely distasteful, these Levels will definitely kick your butt, and will do so in a short amount of time. Home routine Level 3 and the Gym routine, however, will most likely challenge a person who is already in good shape. This is how long each routine takes:
    • Home Routine Level 1: 3 minutes / 5 days a week / 15 weekly minutes
    • Home Routine Level 2: 9 minutes / 3 days a week / 27 weekly minutes
    • Home Routine Level 3: 10 1/2 minutes / 2 days a week / 21 weekly minutes
    • Gym Routine: 12 minutes / 2 days a week / 24 weekly minutes
  3. What Else?: Pete also provides a few other pieces of the health puzzle. He couches them in 'The Four Secrets of Success'. The secrets include nutrition advice, along with recipes to help individuals eat right. I'm a big fan of the recipe: Nicholas's Apple-Banana Shake. Additionally, he touches on nutritional supplements and stress management.
  4. Voice: Although, at times, Pete can sound a little salesy in his book, it is understandable as to why. His method is a bit unconventional; and just like I was skeptical, he knows others will be too. Throughout his book, Pete uses real life examples of people who have gone through his methods and have succeeded. Those success stories are key to making his case and can inspire those who feel frustrated from a lack of results with their current fitness routine.
  5. Who Should Buy the Book: Pete is definitely speaking to the busy individual, who doesn't enjoy exercise and wants to find a low-budget, gym-free routine that gives them some benefit. If you are really well-informed, are happy with your exercise routines and find them effective, you may not necessarily gain huge insights, but still may want the book, just to get some new perspective.

Although originally skeptical about the The 90-Second Fitness Solution, I think Pete Cerqua has provided some great basic information for the exercise leary. Further, his solution is founded in strength training, which I believe is hugely impactful to being in shape. A lot of the exercises are great strength builders and his nutrition advice is sound. I'd recommend the book highly if you are looking to workout at home, don't want to spend a lot of time or money to get in some exercise, or need a good kick in the pants to get moving. If you want to buy his book, you can do so here

Have you read the book? What were your thoughts?

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