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The Best Abdominal Exercises You've
Never Heard Of

By Nick Nilsson - Review

Review by Rahul Alvares

One thing about Nick Nilsson's books is that you know they come with a guarantee card! No matter how advanced a trainee or how much of a 'know it all' you consider yourself, I'll bet a white elephant when backing my opinion that Nick knows something more - which fortunately he is willing to share.

In the case of "The Best Ab Exercises," it is not only a lot more, it is downright shocking. Till about a month ago, Nick had been very quiet for a while; I received no mails from him from over two months and I deduced from this lack of correspondence that he had altogether disappeared from the face of the earth. Then suddenly one day I get a mail from him and he say's 'I've got an ab book done, I'd like to know what you think.'

If you've read Nick's first book "The Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of" then you've probably realized that Nick holds some expertise in ab training. "The Best Exercises" hold some fantastic ab exercises, and I sort of expected his new ab book to be pretty good.

The book is not good. It's fantastic! There are fifty five exercises in there [editors note: the latest update brings this to 77 exercises] (for the upper abs, the intercostals and obliques, the lower abs and exercises that work everything at once!) and each and every one of them is brand new. As a matter of fact, I'll bet that white elephant again that you haven't ever found a single one of them elsewhere. You know why? Because they've been created completely new. They've been made from scratch.

Most of the exercises are contorted poses and I've been wondering where the inspiration or the ideas for the structure of the exercises came from. I've come up with two hypotheses.

I believe Nick might have spent those quiet months locked away in a torture chamber. His crime was definitely hideous for he was tortured by his captors; I have visions of lavish quantities of sulphuric acid being poured onto his bare chest and abdomen while his arms and legs were tied in odd positions and at very peculiar angles to his body.

As he twisted and writhed in pain he might have learnt new methods for contracting and stressing the abdominal area. He escaped a little over a month ago and, after suffering sleepless nights and nightmares bolting upright in the middle of the night clutching his abdomen while cold beads of sweat rolled down his forehead, he decided to compile this book to get the incubus out of his system. Plausible?

My second guess is that Nick is just plain crazy. He spends his entire life in the gym in an 'Einstein like daze' three fingers cupping his chin while the index finger taps his cheek slowly as he wonders 'What new whacko piece of freaky movement can I create that I will call an exercise?

Yes, the exercises are definitely freaky. In fact Nick himself warns the reader at the beginning that people might laugh at the trainee when he/she tries out these new exercises. Nick is definitely right on this one. I guarantee you people will be cracking up and clutching their sides as you go through the Best Abs routines. Talk about giving your buddies an ab workout as well!

"The Best Ab Exercises" includes video demonstrations for twenty four exercises [editors note: now 37] . I was laughing watching some of them. When you see Nick perform a 'Wall Walker Sissy Squat' or a 'Swiss Ball Rollup' you just wanna say 'Hell Nick just stop with the crazy poses!'

But the Ab exercises are only funny to look at. They are cruel when executed. I tried a few of my exercises and felt pain in muscles I never knew I had! 'Deadly' and 'lethal' are the words that best describe the ab exercises. "The Best Ab Exercises" is a name too tame for this book. I'd have titled it "The Ab Revolution."

What I also like about Nick's book is that it is very practical. You can tell he's worked on each on every exercise because he's included notes on common errors, tips and tricks, and photographs of himself performing the exercises in addition to detailed descriptions for every one of them.

Almost every one of the exercises includes a few variations considering individual needs and equipments constraints. Add the variations to the exercises and the total number of exercises in this book doubles!

The book includes about ten sample routines (Waist minimizer, core strength workouts, no equipment workouts, six-pack workouts, ab definition workouts, explosive core strength workouts, combat sports workouts, lower ab workouts, swissball workouts and serratus builders) which are also very good.

Drawbacks...some of the exercises require positioning of cables in the gym at odd angles; take for example the Nilsson crunches and the See-Saw crunches. Both these exercises require one cable pulled from the down end of a cross over machine and the other from the top end on the opposite side of the same machine. Positioning of the cables so that they provide optimum tension and free movement might be a little tricky.

Hell, in my gym the pin holder of the machine slides to the outside of the plates even if I try a simple cross over while working my chest. I bet that's two exercises I won't manage to perform in my gym!

My gym ain't got a Swiss ball either. So there go another couple of exercises involving the Swiss ball straight out the window.

But really I'm just complaining. These are really the drawbacks of my gym not the ab book!

"The Best Ab Exercises" meanwhile goes into my collection of classics. It is definitely a collector's item. It is an absolute "must have".

Click here to learn more about "The Best Abdominal Exercises You've Never Heard Of"



Rating Scale Very poor/avoidable
  O.K. read
  Excellent /must have



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