For decades, coaches have sent athletes eager to improve their strength and performance straight to the gym to pump some iron. According to authors Marinovich and Heus, such advice couldn't be more wrong.""America's obsession with heavy weight lifting was actually training greatness out of athletes,"" they explain in this comprehensive guide to their conditioning and Zone-based nutrition plan, ProBodX. Unlike weightlifting, which can slow down athletes by burdening them with excessive muscles, and unlike yoga, which can needlessly over-stretch ligaments, ProBodX is supposed to improve flexibility, strength, endurance and mental stamina without provoking injuries. The key, according to Marinovich and Heus, is to engage the""nervous and musculoskeletical systems as a whole rather than as separate parts."" Thus, their ProBodX exercises rely upon wobbly, free-floating equipment--such as gymnastics balls and balance disks--that force the body to use more than a few muscles at a time. Heus and Marinovich have the experience to know what they're talking about: he was once an Oakland Raiders offensive lineman and an NFL conditioning coach; she was a New York chiropractor who specialized in kinesiology. And their current roster of clients includes successful athletes like Chicago Bulls player Tyson Chandler and Olympian high-jumper Amy Acuff, both of whom appear in photographs throughout the book. Their exercises are amply illustrated with step-by-step b&w photographs. Despite the careful instructions, neophytes may still feel like they'd need a trainer to walk them through such exercises as the""Scissors,"" which involves twisting a knee to the ceiling while balancing a one's stomach on a giant gymnastics ball. But those who have the time and energy to learn a whole new way of exercising should find this volume well worth a try.
Reviewed on: 08/01/2003 Release date: 08/01/2003 Genre: Nonfiction