Weight Loss Kit
There is a reason Richard Walters' new book, 16 Minute BodySculpting Kit, has the word "kit" in the title. Used correctly and consistently, it should provide the busy man or woman hoping to drop some weight all the guidance needed.
The central ideas of Walters' book may be new to readers who have tried casual dieting and exercise to lose weight and obtain a better-looking body. What these people—and I was one of them for a long time—usually do is to eat less and work out more. We match cutting down on snacks and reducing our portion sizes at dinner with running an extra mile or spending fifteen more minutes on the elliptical machine. When the results are minimal, or wiped out entirely after the holidays, it’s inevitable that we get discouraged.
The book's main message is simple, expressed in a proportion: 60-30-10. Your diet is the most important, accounting for sixty percent of your weight-loss results. Next is weight training, at thirty percent. Cardiovascular exercise, usually the go-to exercise option for the dieter, accounts for a measly ten percent of your results. While Walters' conclusions about diet may not be surprising—long-time dieters gradually come to accept that a five-mile run won’t undo the damage of eating six slices of pepperoni pizza—his ranking of weight training as three times more important than cardio workouts probably is.
Instead of focusing on conventional wisdom concerning fitness, Walters sticks with what has been proven to work in his more than 15 years as a personal trainer. (The book details Walters' transition from an overweight, overstressed businessman to a certified personal trainer whose own best client is still himself: check out a photo of Walters, 60, and you'll see what I mean.) Like Timothy Ferriss, author of the bestelling 4-Hour Body, Walters is concerned with the minimum effort necessary to get maximum results. That means eating a larger number of smaller meals than you're used to, in order to speed up your metabolism, and lifting weights to burn fat. Eliminating fat and building muscle, in turn, improves the body's efficiency at burning fat, making it easier to get and stay lean.
And when it comes to cardio, Walters' book echoes the findings of recent research that has indicated short bursts of intense effort may be more effective than longer-duration exercise that's less intense. Trading intensity for time is one trade that many busy people will happily make. Using the system, I never felt that I'd had an "easy" workout. Sixteen minutes of lifting the maximum amount of weight I could safely handle produces a "burn" that's as satisfying as half an hour of slower, easier reps. And sixteen minutes of running at increasingly high rates of effort left me just as winded, and my t-shirt just as sweaty, as forty minutes of slow, steady jogging. (And as a side benefit, doing cardio in concentrated bursts is a lot more engaging—even fun—than getting on the treadmill and mentally checking out for thirty minutes.)
While Diet may be the most important piece of the 16 MinuteBody Sculpting Kit puzzle, Walters spends his greatest amount of time on weight training. Presenting "beginner" and "advanced" menus, Walters offers a wide enough selection of weights exercises, targeting different areas of the body, that the reader can go through them without getting bored. The exercises are paired with helpful illustrations that show the proper form for each exercise.
The diet portion of Walters' program may pose the biggest challenge to the beginner. Going from three “normal” meals a day to six smaller meals can be daunting. Walters makes it relatively easy to make the transition, providing a system of food cards that allow you to keep track of each day's food consumption without ever counting calories. Far from a starvation diet, Walters' diet plan called for a quantity of food, including favorites like carbohydrates and (healthy) fats, that could sometimes be hard to fit in within one day. (The system became easier once I fell into a routine of packing the same foods each day as I headed off to work; still, the sheer amount of food I took with me each day was sometimes staggering.)
The last thing that should be said about Walters' book is that, while the system may be made up of different components, he keeps all of this material together and cohesive through a steady stream of motivational messages. Reading 16 Minute Body Sculpting Kit is like having Walters the personal trainer at your shoulder, spotting you as you lift weights and helping you count cards as you eat.
But the most effective motivational tool of all, of course, is beginning to see results from using Rich's system.