Some of you may have already purchased Mike Geary’s outstanding book, The Truth About Six Pack Abs.  Others of you might be on the fence.  A few of you sent personal messages asking me for an “unbiased” review of his book.  I think that’s a great idea, and I’ll occasionally offer reviews here of products, even those I don’t recommend.  [If you have products you’d like to see me review, fill out a request at http://leanlifters.com/contact/ .]

I’ve recently reread it, and while I do have a few small negatives (see below), I can say without hesitation that it is worth every penny.  Read below for highlights and an objective critique.

This is so much more than an “abs book”. In fact, an argument could be made that I should NOT recommend you buy this book, because honestly, once you buy it, you may not have much need for visiting WorldFitnessNetwork much!  He really does such an outstanding job covering everything you need to know that could serve as the only advice you need.

Overview Of The Truth About 6-Pack Abs

General Comments

I hate to start with a negative, but there’s one glaring thing – the book doesn’t look good.  We all judge books by the cover, and honestly the cover is cheesey.  And the inside is bland.  It’s just not formatted like a high-end professional book.  But let’s get past that…

Geary’s writing style is very easy to understand.  Whether you are new or expert level, you’ll read this easily and understand it all.  I read the whole thing (140+ pages!) in under 2 hours, but much of it was review for me.  I suggest you read it in 30 minute blocks though so you retain more.  And you’ll still be done in less than a week.

You also should know that he’s not hyping some kind of fad nor is he selling some piece of miracle equipment.  This is all science and experience-based stuff that stands the test of time.

He includes 5 or 6 other free e-books as part of his package, and they are all decent.  But I’m not reviewing them here.

Cat out of the bag: I’m going to give you the “secret” in advance, for what Geary says about getting nice abs.  Simply, it’s not about ab exercises and it’s not about running marathons. It’s about diet and overall metabolism (which you can improve through weight training).   He’s right of course, but we’ve been told for so many years by “experts” that you have to do 30 minutes of ab crunches and run 5 miles a day to get nice abs.  Baloney!  He tells you the truth here (hence the title “The Truth About Six Pack Abs“).

Comments on the Diet Portion

There are a few parts to the diet section that might be confusing, because he introduces acronyms before defining them.  It’s a bit annoying to have to wait 3 or 4 pages to learn what an abbreviation stands for, so I would ding him on his editing job.  For example, he uses “RMR” and “thermic” before he actually defines them for you.  But his diet section, in terms of content, is right on.

He explains what healthy fats are and what kind of balance you need of proteins and carbs.  But he’s quick to point out that no diet is one-size-fits-all.  He also rails (continuously) on the processed food industry and how evil it is (yes, he even uses that term!).  It might get redundant to those of you who already have good eating habits.  But the sad fact is, many people have no clue how bad most packaged food is for you.

He extols the virtues of organics and “grass fed beef”, which is all well and good if you can get it near you and at a good price, but you can still learn a lot of great eating habits without spending a fortune at the store.

He’s got SO MANY great meal plans in here too – something like 70 of them.  And they are right on.  He even goes into some of the pros and cons of preparation issues (like why some oils are fine for cooking while others are not).  And on page 28 of The Truth About 6-Pack Abs he lays out the nutrition value for many common foods to help educate you on what each food is comprised of (proteins vs. carbs. vs fats vs. fiber).

Each of his pieces of advice might seem small, but taken together they add up to an overhaul of your eating habits and take you far down the path of getting lean.  (And as he says, you could have the most developed abs in the world but if you aren’t lean you’ll never see your abs anyway.)

Comments on the Exercise Portion

Geary briefly talks about the anatomy of abs and their purpose (which is essentially to stabilize, and so many of his routines talk about core strength and stability).  He correctly points out that when you do exercise your abs, you want to do them AFTER you’ve done your weight training so that your abs are not fatigued for your lifting.

He kind of poo-poos the idea of carb-training, so I’ve got some disagreement with him there.  But he’s not over-the-top-all-cardio-is-bad like some fitness bloggers are.

He’s got some great ab exercises, with pictures, and makes it a point to really highlight how to do them without injuring your back.  I’ve even modified my routine based on my reread of this book.  However, I wish he did a better job ranking them for newbies (weak abs) compared to experts (strong abs).  Maybe I’ll do that in a future post…  He does tier them a little later in the book, when he talks about overall routines, but I worry that you would get discouraged at the midpoint in the book if you tried to do all the exercises – because you probably couldn’t do the first couple he mentions!  You have to build up capability over time and he has them a little out of sequence compared to what I’d recommend.

After he introduces ab-focused exercises, he launches into a great summary of basic weight training exercises – deadlifts, squats, presses, etc.  All the stuff that regular readers of LeanLifters should be familiar with by now.  And this is what makes this book so great – it’s a whole fitness plan, not just about diet and ab exercises.  He is flawless in his description of the right weight training exercises to do and how to do them.  And here’s the key point:  building muscle mass will increase your resting metabolic rate and thus you will burn more calories for far longer after weight training than after “cardio”.  He explains why.  And of course, that will help trim that tummy!

And lastly he puts it all together into a multi-week training plan.  He gives many variations so you can find the series that works best for you.

His routines are just as good for women as for men, so don’t worry about differences there.  Includes many routines you can do at home, if you don’t go to a gym initially.

Summary

If you follow The Truth About Six Pack Abs, you really will be all set and won’t need another book/blog/trainer for quite some time.  I mean it when I say this:  you need to own this book.

Now, Mike offers a money-back guarantee (and even offers a low-priced trial too).  But I am so confident that you will agree with my review above that I will give you a refund even if he doesn’t.  All you’ll need to do is email me at support {at symbol} leanlifters.com and I’ll write you a check if you don’t get your money back from him.  So go get this book with my assurance that you won’t be disappointed.

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