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Review: “The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough” by Sean Foy

The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough

PastaQueen reads a book. And finishes it! And tells you about it!

I requested and received a complimentary copy of this book to review.

I don’t do as many book reviews as I’d like to because, well, they require you to read the book. I wish I left a trail of half-eaten meals in my wake instead of the trail of half-read books that’s there instead. However, I actually did read this book because I became interested in it after my trip to the Nutrilite Center for Optimal Health several weeks ago. During one of the sessions, Diane Paetz, a fitness consultant for Nutrilite, led us through a 10-minute workout from Sean Foy’s book, The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough. Diane mentioned the book during her presentation, but she didn’t beat us over the head with it, proving that the soft sell is much more effective than the hard sell. However, the thing that made me decide to request and review a copy of this book was:

The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough

The flip cards! The back of the book has four groups of cards that you can flip forward and backward to create customized workout routines. This reminded me of a beloved children’s book I used to have. It allowed you to flip three rows of cards that had animal heads, torsos, and legs printed on them to create hilarious combinations.

However, that was not the only reason I wanted to read the book. My enthusiasm for exercise has taken a nosedive ever since I got a chronic headache two years ago. And since I moved to a new apartment six months ago, I don’t have anywhere fun to run like I did when I lived near the nature trail. Running on the treadmill day after day is boooooring. So, lack of motivation and lack of opportunity have led me to be in the worst physical shape I’ve been in for awhile. I’ve also been fighting bouts of depression intermittently, so the idea of exercising for 30 minutes a day can often seem like an insurmountable task, even though I know it would have a beneficial effect on my mood.

So, the idea of a 10-minute workout was very appealing to me. It’s easy to talk myself out of running for half an hour, but I’d have to be a real slack-ass to say I can’t pull myself together for a 10-minute workout. There are more than 10 minutes of commercials in an hour long drama. Surely I can spare 10 minutes. As the books says, “What is the one thing people can do to destroy their health? The answer: Nothing.” Ten minutes beats nothing.

As with all diet/fitness/change-your-life books, it starts out by telling you how this book will change your life, including success stories from people who’ve done the plan. (Diane from Nutrilite is one of them.) Next there’s an overview of the plan which includes three levels of difficulty that you can work up through as you become more fit. The ten minutes of the workout are broken into four minutes of HEAT (High-energy aerobic training), three minutes of resistance exercise, two minutes of core strengthening exercises, and one minute of stretching and deep breathing. This is also referred to as 4321 Fitness.

There are also chapters on the science behind the 4321 strategy and recommendations for what foods to eat and why. Foy recommends the red light, yellow light, green light plan for eating, which divides foods into those three groups depending on how much caution to observe with each. Green light foods can be eaten in abundance, yellow lights should make you stop and think, and red lights should be eaten with extreme caution. Foy doesn’t believe in banning foods because that just makes them all the more appealing.

Psychological factors are also addressed. There is a chapter listing many good motivations for becoming fit. There is also a list of common excuses to avoid working out paired with a list of rebuttals to these excuses. Foy also reviews the six stages of change and the importance of things like setting goals, tracking your progress and getting support.

Overall, I really liked the attitude of the book. Foy shares many of the same health philosophies as I do, like the idea that you don’t have to be thin to be fit and that the diet mentality can sabotage even the best-laid plans. He stresses moderation over denial, and encourages people to eat real food instead of processed foods with artificial ingredients.

The workout aims to give you the most benefit in the shortest amount of time. The first four minutes take advantage of EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). It’s been proven that interspersing periods of intense exercise with moderate exercise causes your body to need oxygen at a higher rate that is did before you started, causing an “afterburn.” The strength-training and core-strengthening components add muscle tissue which burns more calories and helps your body composition.

The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough

The bulk of the book is filled with pictures and instructions for the various exercises you can mix and match to make your workout. The book is spiral bound, making it easy to set it down on a table to refer to while you exercise. And as I said before, it’s got flip cards!

The book seems to be targeted at people who are just starting out and at people like me who want to ease back into a routine. If you’re already rather fit, you might not be as interested in this plan, but you can use it by choosing to do the more difficult routines and combining several 10-minute workouts into longer routines. I also don’t expect to get extremely buff doing only ten minutes a day. However, Foy’s plan aims to make you fitter, not necessarily a bodybuilder or extremely thin.

Really, the only problem I had with this book was it’s use of “10-minute” in the title, which really should be spelled out like “ten-minute” instead. I’m not usually a member of the grammar police, but this was an issue I had to look up recently for something else, so my brain can’t let it go unnoticed. I supposed they use the number instead of the word for marketing reasons.

I’m going to start following Foy’s plan and I’ll let you know how it goes!

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Amy • January 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Yeah, I bet “10” shows up first in alphabetical searches!


Meg • January 12, 2010 at 12:16 pm

That book sounds like a great tool, I may just have to go get one ^_^

Can’t wait to hear how it works out for you!


Denise • January 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Please do keep us updated! Your review of this book really made it catch my interest. P.S. Hope you’re feeling better from the shot. I got mine in November. I have cell phone pics from the lines that you would have to see to believe! (Well maybe not but I think so lol)


Donna • January 12, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Even I could do ten (10) minutes. Could be a way to work up to more. Do let us know how it goes!


Debbi S. • January 12, 2010 at 2:33 pm

I hate exercise. I have been trying to lose weight, I have learned the whole diet and what to eat game but I do not like to exercise. I might just have to try this out. You make a good point, 10 minutes is nothing and isn’t a major commitment. Hopefully it will work! Thanks for the review.


Ardenmare • January 12, 2010 at 2:46 pm

I may just order this one…been trying to decide between re-joining the Y, the gym here at work, or just buying a used elliptical and dragging the old weight set out of my mother-in-law’s garage. Considering what they Y charges and not wanting to work out with the coworkers, the home gym is starting to look better all the time. This book may just end up as part of the routine! Thanks for the review.


kalmia • January 12, 2010 at 4:18 pm

I’ve been using this book for its diet advice and workouts for two months now, and I think it’s great. Ten minutes of exercise a day may not be much, but it’s better than zero minutes, which is what I seem to end up doing otherwise with exercise programs that demand more time or are more complicated. I can’t do low carb diets, but it turns out that I can do low glycemic diets. With this program, I eat unrefined carbs with every meal, along with healthy protein and fat and lots of fruit and veggies. It’s not a diet; it’s a healthy, common sense, easy to implement eating plan. And the same can be said for the exercises.


MaryMR • January 12, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Been awhile since I’ve had time to check-in on your blog. Sorry to hear that you’ve having such a rough time. No advice here, just friendly understanding. You are still one of my heroes no matter what–and even more so for going public with where your journey has gone. Way to go for taking on doing the Beck book. I’ve got some good help out of it too… and it was a challenge for me at times.

We all want to believe once you loose the weight, you just walk off in to the sunset and everything becomes perfect. Not true. Life is life, right?

So, sending you good vibes (yes, I’m from Calif :>) Mary


sim • January 12, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Have you ever heard of sensa? It’s supposed to be this packet or shakers filled with stuff thats supposed to suppress your appetite while making you feel full through some complicated sensory, olfactory stuff. It sounds like a gimmick to me, but I really don’t know. Holler at me about what you think (if u have the time once you feel better).


Pam • January 13, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Interesting that you should review this now. I just bought this book and it landed in my mailbox last week. Glad to know it gets your stamp of approval.


suzanne • January 13, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Sounds like a good book! I’m justing starting out at the gym and would love to get some ideas for working out.


RG • January 14, 2010 at 10:51 am

Oh, but the trick is to combine the boring of treadmill with the goal of completing books! I definitely find that a distraction helps enormously. Have you seen the person who walks all day on his treadmill while working? Slow, 2 mph or something, pace, but over 6 hours that’s still 12 miles.


Leigh Ann • January 20, 2010 at 10:54 pm

That sounds interesting. Although not thin, I was reasonably athletic for years…then a series of injuries caused me to have to rest for weeks, which turned into months, and is now a YEAR of sitting on my butt. I hate it, but can’t seem to get my act together. As someone said above, ten minutes may not be a lot, but it’s better than my big plans that ultimately amount to zero minutes. At least it’s a start.


Sean Foy • January 21, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Hi Pastaqueen! Sean Foy here author of the 10 Minute Total Body Breakthrough and I wanted to check in and see how you are doing? How goes the program? I have found over the years in the fitness and weight management world, nothing works better than having support and a coach-as you have shown with your success online! I am so impressed with what you are doing for your viewers and if I can help you in anyway implement the simple message in the 10 Minute Total Body breakthrough: Move more-Eat Real-Renew daily and Connect frequently….please don’t hesitate to let me know. Happy to be following you on Twitter and here on your blog! All the best! Sean Foy


PastaQueen • January 22, 2010 at 10:09 am

@Sean Foy – Thanks for dropping by! The book has been a great addition to my plan this year.


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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