Product Description from Amazon
Cut workout time in half and get double the results!
If you’re a guy with little time to work out and pounds of fat to burn, the thought of having to spend hours in the gym lifting weights and doing cardio can be a daunting proposition. Now, Cardio Strength Training solves both problems with simple, fast, and effective workouts that incorporate challenging, muscle-building combination moves and fat-frying cardio exercises to help you kill two birds with one stone. Built on the same principles Robert Dos Remedios uses to train Division I collegiate athletes, Cardio Strength Training provides safe and innovative workouts and nutritional advice for anyone looking to drop pounds of flab and build a functionally strong physique. Every workout is no longer than 15 minutes and is built on the same training methods outlined in the highly successful book, Men’s Health Power Training.
About the Author
Robert Dos Remedios, CSCS, director of speed, strength, and conditioning at College of the Canyons in Southern California, is the recipient of the 2006 National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) collegiate strength coach of the year award. He is a contributor and advisor to Men’s Health magazine. Visit his website, http://www.coachdos.com
This is a book with the basics of high intensity conditioning work using a variety of 'non-traditional' modalities. Basically dos Remedios urges you to replace steady-state cardio sessions with something more intense. He attempts to sell you on these sorts of sessions by quoting all that high intensity interval work you've already seen, but fortunately doesn't take a stance like Mike Boyle that "steady state cardio is useless for anything", which is an assertion that has no basis in fact, and in fact, this pendulum is swinging back towards center.
This book consists of exactly what the title says. Cardio Strength Training. Complexes, circuits, density training, intervals, tabatas. Barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, bodyweight training (both calisthenics and with suspension training apparatus), medicine balls, weighted vests. There's plenty of evidence that this sort of training is valuable for fat loss and conditioning.
Dos Remedios does a good job of handling progressions for this type of training, since the intensity of this type of training often takes the uninitiated by surprise. The workouts are short and intense, and provide ample stimulus to the body's cardiovascular system and, perhaps, musculature. I wouldn't expect to get any significant size gains out of these types of program, and strength gains will also be a hit or miss thing.
Dos Remedios provides sample weekly schedules on how to fit Cardio Strength Training in with a more dedicated lifting program, but this section is really nothing more than a vague weekly template.
Mike Roussell provides a short nutrition chapter. Much of it deals with avoiding nausea while training this way.
This is a good introduction to these topics, and would be a decent addition to a novice trainer's library.
Criticisms and Comments:
Some of these will be legit criticisms. Some will be simply my own pet peeves.
First off, there are too many crappy pictures of exercises in this book. Many of the pictures are duplicated since apparently the editor felt the need to include illustrated versions of many of the complexes. I generally feel that illustrating exercises with a simple "start" and "finish" position misses most of the point. Many of these exercises require some practice and coaching to perform skillfully enough to use them for this sort of training. By no means does Dos Remedios fall into the Crossfit rut, though, and generally these movements have a sort of logic to their placement within the complex/circuit/Cardio Strength Routine. If this book wasn't so inexpensive on Amazon, I could see myself being a bit miffed at all the wasted space on pictures.
Second. There is a picture of a guy jumping rope on the cover of this book, but there is only one mention of jumping rope in the entire book. That's on page 194. In the Tabata protocol section. Dos Remedios talks a bit about how bastardized the Tabata interval has become, yet pretty much does the same thing that everyone else does, i.e. throws everything at it as appropriate for use as long as the movement is intense enough. Jim Wendler, in a paragraph in his 531 gives you more details and advice about jumping rope than this book does.
Third. There is a minimal number of complexes. If you have Istvan Javorek's book, he has a grotesque number of complexes and workouts in that book (all in tiny print). Dan John has articles on T-mag that list more barbell complexes than this book does. (here's a link to his complexes PDF: http://danjohn.net/pdfs/complex.pdf ) The treatment of kettlebells is typical of the more mainstream S&C community and doesn't fully exploit the benefits of that tool, while the current commercial push of the TRX suspension system is very apparent, especially if you go over to Dos' forum.
Fourth. Dos Remedios' version of Density Training just looks like a big circuit. Example: Pick an explosive movement, a knee or hip dominant movement, a upper body push, a upper body pull, and a core movement and run through them as fast as you can for "x" amount of time. There is a certain elegance in Charles Staley's EDT and it's narrower focus and probable greater effectiveness.
Overall, I don't have a bad impression of this book, but it's nothing that wows me over, since I've been using these sorts of methods in my own training for well over a decade now and have been extensively exposed to variants of them as intensity based systems like Crossfit have become more popular, as well as the higher intensity ideas of many kettlebell instructors. IGx'ers should be familiar with these concepts, since they've been popularized by the kettlebell community and guys like Mahler and Steve Maxwell, but dos Remedios is speaking mostly at the Men's Health sort of crowd. You will probably find something interesting and useful in here, and at $13.59, it wasn't an expensive addition to my library.