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I recommend the Core Performance training program, their books and their website for enhancing your health as well as athletic performance. Here's my experience with the book and their web site:
"Core Performance Essentials" is about building an exercise foundation for the average person/weekend athlete to improve health and well being.
"Core Performance" is for the competitive athlete that wants to undertake a comprehensive, rigorous training program to improve performance
The Core Performance web site contains all of the above training programs and more, allowing you to cycle though different training programs over time. While I was initially put off at the annual price of $80 per year. I signed up after completing "Core Performance Essentials" and consider it to be a good investment.
I am a 51 year old male with merely average, not outstanding athletic abilities. I've done basic jogging/aerobic exercise for 30 years every other day. I don't engage in any competitive sports at present. I exercise to maintain overall health, vitality and weight.
I followed the "Core Performance Essentials" book for nine months, slowly cycling through the levels of workout in this book. I then progressed to an online membership at coreperformance.com, where I have been through two cycles of one of the many online workout programs, called "Live Better, Live Longer". I am on a rational, time sensitive plan of 3 sessions a week, for 45 to 60 minutes a session.
I feel much better on this program. I have better overall body strength. This program particularly emphasizes the stabilization and strength of your major joints - shoulders, hips and knees, and I can tell it. I also simply enjoy the workout sessions better than extended sessions of aerobics and conventional resistance training alone. In general, each session is a blend of basic floor/stabilization exercises, circuit resistance training, aerobic work and stretching designed to improve overall physical fitness.
As I read Core Performance Essentials, I found that I agreed with the central premises of Mark Verstegen and his staff. Aerobic exercise alone, and for extended exercise periods greater than 30 minutes, provides limited benefits for most individuals and athletes (unless you are a competitive runner). Extended, conventional weight training is also of limited benefit in terms of improving overall health and athletic performance.
Verstegen and staff, having trained and rehabilitated many collegiate and professional athletes for years, also found that conventional aerobics and weight training did little to protect athletes from injury. As such, the Core Performance exercise philosophy encompasses a range of exercises design to prevent injury and strengthen your major joints, back and muscles, as well as improve athletic performance.
The vast majority of us are terrible at setting up and going through training cycles with health and performance goals in mind. We all know that we are supposed to change routines every few weeks, but very few of us do. Change and variation is built into all cycles of Core Performance exercise - in the books and on the web site. My web site generated workouts change a little bit every session, which I like.
Also of note on their web site, is the fact that all of the exercise routines are demonstrated in short video clips from different angles. I go to the site about once a month to review my routines and brush up on proper form. While it would be great to have a personal trainer help on form, this is a good alternative.
Lastly, the nutrition section is sound. Its not a radical departure from current thought in nutrition, but it does give the reader a focused, practical view on how to plan your meals and snacks in regards to athletic performance and weight control.
If I wasn't doing this program, I think I would still incorporate the framework of the Core Performance system in some way. Perhaps combining Pilates, Yoga or similar floor/movement exercises with a focused, short aerobics program, for example.
If you are looking for an extended program or path to improve your overall health or to athletic performance, I recommend starting with one of the "Core Performance" books and trying out the exercises for 8 to 10 weeks. If you still like it, consider building and progressing your routines with a subscription to their web site.