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ProBodX: Proper Body Exercise    by Marv Marinovich & Edythe Heus order for
by Marv Marinovich
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2005 (2003)
Hardcover, Softcover

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This fitness book combines Barry Sears' 'Zone diet' with new training technology for increased physical performance. ProBodX stands for 'Proper Body Exercise'. The authors tell us that their program offers innovative conditioning exercises that consider the neuromuscular connection as a whole. The workout requires equipment - gymnastic balls, slant boards, disks, and hand weights, also often used by physiotherapists in rehabilitation.

The first part of the book introduces the four main elements to the ProBodX program - Instability (exercising on a surface that keeps you off balance), Multiple Planes (for greater range of motion), Reversing (switching directions to tap energy), and Resistance (what matters here is how, not how much, weight is used). In the exercises, these four elements are steadily progressed to increase the overall challenge. Different muscle groups are introduced (more than the usual ones covered in exercise books), with an explanation of how they benefit from the training program. As well as a history of ProBodX development and a rationale for its value, there's a detailed comparison with other training programs.

Part 2 introduces required (as above) and optional (jump rope and Concept II Rower) equipment, and explains how to get the best out of the program. Six principles are explained, for effective exercise, and a summary chart shows ProBodX at a glance (Easy, Basic and Basic+ levels). Exercises are explained clearly, with black and white photos showing changes in position - and these are unusual exercises that I've not seen in other fitness books. Also in this section are 'Advancing ProBodx' techniques, to be done (after the Basics are mastered) with a partner at the same fitness level. After this come exercises for sport-specific skills, as well as techniques to build endurance.

Part 3 covers 'Proper Body Eating' with a list of good foods (the authors recommend clearing your cupboards of everything else), eating guidelines and appetizing recipes, such as Veggie Cheese Omelet & Fruit for breakfast, Spinach Salad with Shrimp, Peach Nut Muffins & Sorbet for lunch or Salmon with Dill Sauce, Lentils, Chard & Fruit for dinner. Though the required equipment may be a hurdle for some, ProBodX offers an intriguing fitness program that looks like it should be very beneficial to those able to follow it properly.

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