Book Review: Fitness Confidential by Vinnie Tortorich and Dean Lorey

Let’s get this out of the way right from the start. I am a big fan of Vinnie Tortorich. It’s hard to believe, though, that a man that has had such an impact on my life I had never heard of 6 months ago (or Anna Vocino for that matter). As some background, I had been struggling with my weight, as usual, and had actually started to gain again during my triathlon season in 2012 through the off season. My triathlon coach assigned Jennifer and me a few podcasts to start listening to. One of these was the Angriest Trainer by Vinnie Tortorich.
Angriest Trainer?  Great. He’s going to be one of these trainers like Jillian Michaels who screams at you for being lazy and not giving 100%. Just what I need in my life. But I trust KC so I downloaded them from iTunes and set it up in my car to listen to a few of them. I was hooked immediately.
The best thing was that he qualifies the “Angriest Trainer” moniker by his opening line …
“Why am I Angry? Because your good intentions have been stolen and and I’m here to help you get them back!”
Outstanding. He’s mad at the industry for misdirecting those of us actually trying to fix ourselves.
You now have my attention.
Since they have been talking about the book for awhile I was waiting for it with great anticipation. Along with that, though, comes the potential, much like “Batman and Robin”, that it will not live up to the hype. This was not the case.
The book reads much like Vinnie sounds on the podcast. Because I have been listening for so long, Vinnie feels like a friend of mine, and the writing style (with the help of Dean Lorey, an television writer for shows such as “Arrested Development” and the upcoming “The Crazies”) comes across like you are having a conversation with him in person. It feels like a collection of stories, which I am sure how it was worked through between them, i.e. Vinnie spinning the tales and Dean capturing them. Because I am a fan, and an avid follower of his NSNG recommendations, many of these viewpoints I have heard about through the podcast. What I had not heard were the personal stories, the insights into how Vinnie grew up, his fight with cancer, the outstanding race report that is at the end of the book (for the Furnace Creek 508 Endurance Race). I grew up Catholic, with an abusive step-father, and had a bout with cancer myself, so reading about these things and how he overcame them (with a GREAT shout out to the great Jack LaLanne) provided great material and, in a way, showed me that these things can be overcome.
While I am not a great fan of the “Hollywood” scene, because I guess I didn’t need the book to let me know that they are all full of shit, it was still interesting to read about the actress having to lose weight for a sitcom (he doesn’t mention names either, which is great, but I think I know the actress to which he was referring to … ). It was a great way to start the book, and in true Vinnie style, has him admitting to failure in this case. Not because this actress didn’t lose the weight (she did) but because he didn’t help her in the long run by showing ehr the correct way to do it. Vinnie come across real. He states his beliefs and methods in a no BS manner that will resonate with many people. Yes, there are those out there that will not like his language, or his ideas (because they’ve been brain washed too long to stop thinking in this way). I wish I had this insight before joining numerous gyms (outstanding insight included about the working of the sales pitch in these places). He also goes at my favorite pet peeve, as readers of this blog know well, Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers, explaining that these companies are not in the health or diet business, but in the food service business. As he states “if the program worked, they’d be out of business”. He also directs his attention in detail about the so-called trainers that are over running the industry. I have had my issue with a particular one in the past, and he could have been reading my mind when he used an example that mirrors this coach.
Simple statements and simple truths that needs to be heard.
Stop buying pre-packaged, processed crap they try to call food!!
Cut out the sugar in your diet. All of it.
I highly recommend this book. You can read my review on Amazon HERE for the Kindle edition. You can find his podcast through iTunes or directly from the website (www.vinnietortorich.com).
As Vinnie says, “Cut the Crap” … go get a copy. It could honestly change your life.

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