6521d07cb9d567a786f1c98fc5913ed4Reviewed by Jen Kulman

The subtitle of this book is “Get Michelle Obama Arms in 21 Days.” Author Rylan Duggan is a personal trainer who developed this special program after realizing that arm issues was a common complaint among his clients. When he realized the frenzy surrounding the First Lady’s arms, he seized his opportunity. Whether you are republican or democrat, a Barack supporter or detractor, you have to admit that this lady has great arms! They are quite toned and shapely without appearing too masculine.

Put simply, there are three steps to follow: 1) Burn the fat, 2) Sculpt the muscle and 3) Boost the metabolism. Sounds easy, right? Even better is that the strength training program takes less than 15 minutes each day. It’s sounding a little too good to be true, but that’s only until you start the program and your arms start burning.

Here’s the deal: cardiovascular training (walking, rowing, skipping, running, etc.) is combined with a variety of strength training exercises as detailed in the book. You warm up for two minutes to get your heart rate up, perform a high intensity cardiovascular exercise of your choice for a couple minutes, followed by the same exercise at a much lower intensity. You then perform the specified strength training exercises as laid out for each phase. The workout program is comprised of four segments – seven days of Quick Start Phase, seven days of Level 1 Phase, seven days of Level 2 Phase and then the Maintenance Plan for all days following. The only difference between the phases is a decrease in the number of minutes allotted for each step and an increase in the level of intensity.

I really appreciate that this program calls for basic (and cheap) exercise equipment. The required tools are dumbbells, an exercise ball and resistance bands, which can be easily purchased at any mass-market retailer. The strength training exercises are clearly explained step-by-step, with photos displayed on each page that really help demonstrate the movement. I like that the steps are clearly defined. Start with Day 1 on page 134 and work your way right through the book, while gaining muscle and toning your arms.

When you first pick up Totally Toned Arms, the information seems a tiny bit overwhelming. Even though the program is short in duration, there still seems like a fair amount to absorb. I think the author is just trying to be as thorough as possible so that the readers can attain the best results. My advice is to skip to page 130 first and read the actual program and then backtrack to read all the rest. This is a nicely laid out program that seems relatively easy to follow. My arms may not be Michelle Obama quality, but I know there will be a great improvement!

Jen lives in Michigan with her husband and five year old son. She writes reviews of children’s book on her blog, FIRR-Kids. She enjoys trying new recipes and using her baking as an excuse to add more cookbooks to her collection.  

Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Hachette Book Group. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.