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Book Review: 10-Minutes to Granite Abs

If you're like me, you're sick and tired of all those infomercials on how to get a great midsection in two minutes a day with a contraption that looks like part of a kid's swing set. Serious bodybuilders know that it takes more than a few partial-range crunches to get etched abs, especially since IRONMAN started analyzing and explaining true abdominal function.

It was only a matter of time before IRONMAN got just as sick and tired of all the ab-training B.S. as the rest of us. 10 Minutes to Granite Abs is the bodybuilding-training authorities' answer to a rock-hard midsection, no gimmicks or infomercial contraptions necessary.

While the title 10 Minutes to Granite Abs may hint of late-night informercial madness, don't dismiss it without a serious look. It's the best ab-training information in print. From the very first section, Abdominal Analysis, you realize that scientific bodybuilding is the driving force.

Analyzing the function of the abdominals is imperative so that you understand exactly what's happening with each movement you perform–from the torso-curl function to the hip-curl function. For example, while standard crunches allow you to perform the torso-curl function, they don't allow for full range of motion. You miss perhaps the most important part of the rectus abdominis' movement, which occurs when the lower back arches.

Standard crunches are not included in any of the programs in the book because of this limitation. You get five efficient ab-carving routines based on full range of motion as well as all of the abs' specific functions. Each program consists of two exercises and takes less than 10 minutes to perform. Once you read this book, you'll understand why two movements is all it takes to accomplish a full-abdominal assault that produces spectacular results in minimal time.

If you've been reading IRONMAN for the past year, you know that the Ab Bench and its full range of motion is getting lots of press. This book isn't an ode to the Ab Bench, however. In fact, only one of the five routines uses the Ab Bench as part of its regimen. The other four explain and incorporate unique exercises that give you almost the same spectacular ab-etching effects, such as cable crunches with lower-back support.

Once you have these five full-range exercises in your repertoire, you can add any of the five specific hip-curl-function movements to complete the equation. It's amazing how two exercises can do so much with only a few sets.

On a personal note, I put these principles to the test and got some of the best results I've ever achieved. Although I performed only two exercises for two sets each, twice a week, my entire midsection took on a more complete appearance. Even my obliques came in striated and rock-hard–and I did no side bends or any other specific oblique exercises. These routines really do hit the entire midsection with an efficiency that no other workout can duplicate in such a short period of time.

Of course, there's more to getting great abs than exercise. You also have to eat right, and this book doesn't try to hide that fact. It presents a meal-by-meal Granite Abs Balanced Diet that's a high-protein fat melter. I used a similar high-protein diet to prepare for a recent contest, and I can attest to the fact that this is the way to go for muscle definition. The fat disappears, the protein preserves muscle tissue, and your abs come into razor-sharp focus. The diet is laid out so you can follow it as is or adjust it to your own calorie requirements.

The routines are also adjustable. You get start and finish photos of all the exercises, complete step-by-step instructions on how to perform them, plus specifics on how to create your own perfect ab routines if you want to experiment.

Every bodybuilder should read this book. It lays out abdominal training like no other I've ever seen–with easy-to-understand facts and instructions and photos that make correct performance simple.

Even if you've been hooked by one of those ab infomercials, check out 10 minutes to Granite Abs. It's the truth about ab training without the gimmicks–and it has the power to give you results that will make you anxious to shed your shirt at every opportunity.

Pros: The best ab-training information in print, complete with excellent photos.

Cons: The ab burn you get from these routines will make you dread midsection training somewhat–but at least it's all over in a 10-minute flash.

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