The Slimnastics Workout is an exercise guide that packs a wealth of instruction, motivation, and coaching into a mere 128 pages. Author Nicole Glor is a yoga teacher, fitness boot-camp instructor, and former cheerleader. She is also an online columnist. All these skills together have allowed her to design a powerful program that is clearly and succinctly explained.
Slimnastics combines stretching and strength-building moves from yoga with balance and agility routines from gymnastics, and adds an intense cardio workout in the form of plyometric exercises such as jumping jacks and mountain climbers. Glor recognizes that this is elite-level training, and she presents it in stages that help the novice build strength and endurance. Best of all, she offers intelligent and heartfelt motivation drawn from her work with military families. “Work out because you can!” is Glor’s personal fitness mantra, a reminder that exercise should be a celebration of a person’s capabilities.
This book is terrific—slim and compact, with no self-help fluff and no diet plan. The focus is on the workout. For the athletic reader, there may be a few times when assuming a yoga posture feels a bit like playing Twister, but the photos are clear and instructive. There are additional materials available online, including seven workout DVDs, but the quantity of information in the book itself is impressive, and more than enough to get started. There is also a “down and dirty” routine that works all of the major muscle groups in very little time and is ideal to use while traveling.
Readers who are new to fitness may take comfort in Glor’s story of returning to exercise after being sidelined for three months by medical issues. For the first time in her life, simply running on a treadmill felt awful. Glor developed sympathy for people who stop after two weeks of workouts, but she knows from experience that sticking with an exercise program pays lifelong dividends.
The Slimnastics Workout is artfully designed. The typeface is easy to read, and tear-out sheets for motivation to exercise at work or home pack information and encouragement into minimal space. Glor, photographed doing handstands, split jumps, and sneakers-on “sun salutations,” is good advertising for her own product. Anyone looking to shake up a stale workout routine will most likely leave that plateau in the dust after tackling slimnastics, and fitness newbies will benefit from this spot-on guide.