Jorge Cruise has built a successful career around weight loss through books, appearances and his website. His personal experience struggling with weight as a young child and adult have won him over an audience that can relate. With this kit the New York Times Best selling author guarantees users will lose up to 6" in less than 4 weeks. I think it's more important to focus on the increased muscle strength and tone your body will have rather than the number of inches lost and that's how I went into this review.
This 8 Minutes in the Morning to a Flat Belly Kit includes an instructional CD (not DVD) of a 33 minute personal coaching session with Jorge and 26 daily workout cards made of very thick cardstock. The purpose of this kit is to help busy people lose two pounds a week by getting their muscles to burn fat 24/7.
The CD Breakdown:
* Get Ready to Start
* How to Lose 6" in 4 Weeks
* Kit Overview
* Your New Life
* Your Challenge
Jorge explains the focus of this kit is using exercises to build muscle, not increasing your cardio like most weight loss programs. Cardio is good for your heart but it's not effective for weight loss but still he recommends some form of cardio activity three times a week for 20-30 minutes to strengthen your heart muscle. The exercises restore metabolism by building muscles that will burn more calories than fat. Jorge swears the biggest cause of muscle loss is fad diets.
As for eating, Jorge only touches on this. He wants participants to eat to make muscle, avoiding calorie counting, eat every three hours (breakfast, lunch, supper, two snacks and an evening treat), use the Cruise down plate (visual image of protein, carbs, veggies on your plate) and stop eating three hours before bed. The biggest asset here is the flat belly planner (you make copies for each day of the week) to organize and log success by tracking food, water and exercise.
He touches a bit on emotional eating and again touts his website for 24/7 support and meal plans but I couldn't find anything other than ads to buy meals, books and vitamins. The CD closes with an inspirational talk about enjoying your life.
The specialized fold out cards are a multi level "strength training plan". Each card contains four one minute moves which you repeat once giving you an 8 minute workout. There is a card for every day of the week with a weekend card covering both Saturday and Sunday.
There are three levels of intensity to choose from. Level 1 is for the beginner and requires no equipment other than a chair, table, wall and the kit box. Jorge recommends everyone start at level one. If you haven't had any physical activity, I totally agree. Level 1 is by no means for wimps but it is doable. After 8 minutes you can definitely tell you've worked your muscles. Level 2 is more challenging; again, with only a chair and wall as your required equipment. In Level 3 the exercises are advanced using a fitness ball and medicine ball. The three levels are colour coded in pink, yellow, and blue for easy searching.
If you follow the recommended cards you only actually work the belly 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday). Tuesday is for the upper body and Thursday is for the lower body. On Sunday Jorge recommends a body cleanse using a Psyllium shake. The card and CD recommend you visit his website for further details on the shake but all I found was a link to buy the powdered product. The natural Psyllium husk can be found in a bulk food store if you need more fiber in your diet.
The cards also contain a Power Thought and Visualization. Jorge Thoughts provide useful suggestions for improving your health and mental wealth. Some of the visualizations are corny, i.e. visualizing a first date with someone after you've reached your goal and their response to your body. The first week of visualizations center around how others see you, looking better to get a response from others and feeling better because of their response. Sometimes there are hints on emotional eating and success stories about people who have used Jorge's plan.
Does it work? Yes, but like any routine meant to put you in shape it is a life long plan of action, not a miracle cure. This kit is easy to understand and the exercises are doable. Obese people can do these exercises (week one and two anyway) but might have to slightly modify the moves due to surrounding flesh and extra weight. I found it helpful to have a small minute timer to do the one minute exercises as there are no repetitions to keep track of. I felt reasonably energized after only 8 minutes. It actually works out to ten if you include the warm up and cool down stretches.
Even if you didn't follow his dietary suggestions these exercises will be of benefit. If only 8 minutes a day can improve your life it's worth trying and we all can spare 8 minutes for some activity. Reviewed by M. E. Wood.