LL Cool J (James Todd Smith) co-wrote this book with authors Dave Honig and Jeff O’Connell to share the secrets of his physical transformation and inspire readers to enjoy working out. He includes examples of standard free-weight lifts, plyometrics, “fighters’” moves, calisthenics and endurance training, and describes four levels of fitness: bronze, silver, gold and platinum.
Author: James Todd Smith, Dave Honig and Jeff O’Connell; Pub. Date: December 2006; Publisher: St. Martin's Press; Format: Hardcover, 256pp; Estimated price: $11.18; ISBN-13: 9781594866081/ISBN: 1594866082; also available in paperback format
ACE Expert Review
In LL Cool J’s Platinum Workout, the rapper/actor and his personal trainer, Dave Honig, offer a progressive, science-based exercise program that lasts 23 weeks and features a combination of traditional resistance and cardiovascular training and plyometrics, fighters’ moves and calisthenics. The four-level program—bronze, silver, gold and platinum, plus a diamond program designed specifically for women—delivers something for everyone, even an absolute beginner. In fact, the bronze program begins with a workout-free week that focuses on “getting your nutritional house in order” by cleaning the junk out the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets. According to the authors, a week of solid nutrition is essential to starting this program properly fueled for the workouts. LL Cool J takes the refreshing approach of stating that changing one’s life is “not about sets and reps; I’m taking about enlightenment; I’m talking about a paradigm shift.”
What we liked:
- LL Cool J does a good job of bringing in experts for “Rap Sessions” on topics that are out the realm of expertise of him and his trainer.
- A registered dietitian offers recipes and nutrition advice.
- University researchers are questioned—in layman’s terms—about America’s obesity epidemic, the use of performance-enhancers, and the value of progressively overloading the body as the program moves into the later phases.
What we didn’t like:
- Readers should be warned that some of the techniques presented in the latter stages of the program may be too advanced for someone only in his or her 20th week of exercising, and the book lacks sufficient guidance for those who may not be quite ready to progress at the book’s pace.
- The reader is left with little direction at the end of the 23 weeks. Instead, the book ends with platitudes like “blaze your own trail” and “live large,” as well as (hopefully tongue-in-cheek) tips on using cologne and fashion to take advantage of your new body. Plus, it might take more than 23 weeks to achieve the “LL body” that the authors promise.
October 9, 2009
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