Below is my review of Tony Horton’s book titled “Bring It On! The Revolutionary All-Level Fitness Plan That Burns Fast, Builds Muscle, And Loses Inches.” The 304-page book shows readers how to create their own fitness and nutrition plans based on their individual lifestyle, preferences, and goals.
I am a multi-round graduate of the Tony’s Power 90 and P90X workout programs. I have nothing but praise for those shows as they were the ones responsible for helping me with my own physical transformation. Since I read the book and reviewed some of Tony’s DVD training programs, I wanted to explain what exactly is covered in the book, as well as some similarities and differences between the two.
Content of the book
The book is structured in four parts or chapters. They are the principles, the routines, the movements and the meal plan.
In the Principles chapter, Tony talks about his philosophy on exercise and its benefits. Tony discusses how to develop your own fitness strategy that you can modify over time to reach your fitness goals. To gauge what kind of fitness level you are in, Tony has included some tests for the reader to determine your quotient and fitness level. The Principles section ends with Tony explaining why most people fail and drop out of an exercise program, what to avoid doing, and tips for being successful with an exercise program.
In the Routines chapter, Tony lists three types of workout routines based on what he scored on the CF test in Section 1. There is the Beginner routine, the Striver routine, and the Warrior routine. Each of the routines contains a weekly program that includes three days of resistance training, two days of cardio, and one day of yoga. There are several examples of resistance training workouts, including how to properly warm up, stretch, and cool down. Resistance workouts are full-body circuit training style. For all three routines I would say the overall build is like a P90X hybrid, Power 90 Masters Series.
In the Movements chapter, Tony gives instructions that explain how to set up and perform all the exercises listed in the Routines chapter. The movements are divided into 5 parts; Cardio, Upper Body, Arms, Lower Body, Core, and Flexibility / Yoga. There are over 120 pages in this chapter covering about 128 movements. There’s nothing new for anyone who’s been through the P90X, but for someone who hasn’t been through one of Tony’s shows, there’s a lot here.
In the meal plan chapter, Tony discusses his approach to nutrition. He says it’s a simple, nutrition-focused, common-sense approach to improving health and losing weight. It does not subscribe to fads and emphasizes the benefits of healthy eating beyond weight control. He calls his plan a “flexitarian” approach which means eating a primarily plant-based diet that concentrates on whole foods. This gives your body all the nutritional components it needs. The meal plan includes complex carbohydrates rich in fiber; lean and healthy proteins; tons of fruits and vegetables; and healthy fats. The meal plan is divided into three parts. The first part is cleaning. In this 30-day phase you will gradually cleanse your body of all toxins. This is not a fast. It’s about bringing out the bad and teaching your body the good. The second part is Nourish. In this phase, you will find a list of highly nutritious foods. The right types of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, dairy, organically produced proteins, and healthy fats. The third part is called Supplements. In this phase, Tony talks about using supplements, only when he has his actual diet adjusted. It is not intended to replace everything in the Nourish phase.
The book ends with what Tony calls his “11 Laws of Health and Fitness” and more than 20 pages of actual recipes.
I am a huge fan of Tony and his fitness programs and as a P90X graduate I found the book to be more of an inside look at how he combines his programs and nutrition philosophy than the paint by numbers approach to his training on DVD. programs.
Overall, I think this book is a good read. Someone who is new to fitness or looking for motivation and basics can get a lot out of the book. If you’ve completed P90X, don’t expect to learn any new moves. You are most likely already at an advanced level of fitness and I don’t think you will find that this book will take you to the next level. However, what you will get from the book is a spike inside Tony’s head for a moment. If you feel like the book falls into the trap of being the next P90X, in all fairness I don’t think that’s what the book was designed for, which is why Tony has his P90X One on One and MC: 2 programs.