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Thursday, April 4, 2013

A critique of 'Body for Life'

"Tom, what do you think of Bill Phillps' 'Body for Life' program?  I've heard some mixed things and was curious what you might think of it."  - Joe P.  Leesburg, Ga.

Well Joe, thanks for the question.

The Body for Life program, and the subsequent challenge, is one of those mixed things out there.  Some people worship it, while others despise it.  For those of you unfamiliar with the program, it's a 12-week challenge that incorporates weight lifting, cardio training, and diet with a "cheat" day thrown in as part of an overall attempt at transforming your body.

Strength is great...but so is flexibility, right?

Image from Flickr, by mikebaird
I've talked a lot about strength training with kettlebells and how they're also great for cardiovascular health.  However, at this point I find them lacking in one area of overall fitness, and that's flexibility.

This isn't a knock on kettlebells either.  In truth, few strength training programs do a good job of working on flexibility.  It's really a case of them being opposites in a lot of ways.

That's why, starting today, I'll be implementing Tai Chi as part of my overall fitness plan.

Why Tai Chi and not yoga?