Simon Waterson’s Commando Workout has considerable claims to be taken seriously amongst the many titles assuring us that finely-toned abs and pectorals are within our grasp. Many books bear jacket blurbs similar to the one to be found here (“four weeks to total fitness”), but Waterson is an ex-commando who trained Pierce Brosnan, Geri Halliwell and Halle Berry (as the jacket tells us). And the evidence of those performers’ super fitness is there for us all to see. As James Bond actor Brosnan attests, Waterson’s military background makes him the perfect personal trainer, whose high degree of motivation fairly leaps off the pages here.
Waterson’s highly impressive grasp of the many ways in which we can regain our strength and fitness is matched by a considerable knowledge of nutrition and sports medicine, and the elements offered here include a solid mind preparation period that will facilitate the all-important body transformation (it’s interesting how few health and fitness books stress this crucial element in preparation); there are 30-minute work-outs, and some highly useful outdoor sessions to complement the gym periods. Waterson (who was a Naval Air Commando Squadron member for 10 years) is fully aware that a book may not be enough on its own, and counsels us that we may need an “exercise buddy” to keep us motivated. Particularly useful sections tell us how to adapt exercise to our lifestyle and a series of fat-burning, stamina-building nutrition programmes.
In the end, of course, it’s down to us whether or not we manage to dispose of our flab, but Commando Workout is certainly one of the best aids we’re likely to find in the battle. —Barry Forshaw