Book Review: Crunch Time by Michelle Bridges

Amelia Phillips

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Are you looking for the next book to help you shed a few (or maybe a lot) of weight? Well I’ve found it!  Australian Trainer for The Biggest Loser, Michelle Bridges has just published her first book, Crunch Time. You thought Gillian was inspiring, wait until to experience ‘ the Michelle factor…

What’s it about?

Crunch time is about how one can lose weight fast and keep it off. It heavily emphasises the psychology behind weight loss whilst arming the reader with a plethora of weight loss tools, exercises and recipes. It is broken down into three main sections;

Get real

o  No more excuses
o  What you resist persists
o  Breaking old habits
o  You gotta have a plan, man!

Get moving

o  Body basics
o  Calories in, calories out
o  Debunking the myths
o  Enough talk, action!
o  Exercises that work
o  Workout program

Get cooking

o  Nutrition
o  Your kitchen makeover
o  A sample eating plan
o  Recipes
o  Eating out
o  Staying on track

The first section, get real, is where this book really steps into a new league. Get real explores the psychology of keeping weight off. Michelle explains “Taking weight off is a science, but keeping it off is a psychology.” She delves into topics such as excuses, what is holding you back, breaking old habits and planning for your future.  What brings this section to life is her stories from The Biggest Loser and the many psychological breakthroughs that occurred in the house. She then layers in questionnaires and tasks for the reader to help them understand their own psychological patterns. If reading this doesn’t shed some light on your thinking patterns then nothing will!

The second section, get moving is a pictorial register of all the best weight loss exercises.  But in true Michelle style there are extras such as De bunking the myths which many of us ashamedly believe! For example “Myth: Low intensity exercise burns more fat than high intensity exercise.” Rather than just bombarding you with exercises, Michelle heads this chapter up with even more mind shifting material.  Read two pages and I guarantee you will be itching in your seat to get up and move!

Okay, you’re passionately committed to becoming a leaner, fitter you…Now you are going to exercise. That’s right. You will be an exerciser forever. Not just until you fit into that dress…or until you look great so you can dump your boyfriend while looking hot. No. You are an exerciser. Period.”

The final section, Get cooking not only arms the reader with some delicious recipes but it also shows you how to give your kitchen a complete makeover. Michelle says“Your kitchen is ground control in the war against weight loss!”

There are two pages which outline exactly what should be in your fridge, pantry and freezer (It’s a great litmus test to compare with yours). There’s your shopping list done.  She even goes into detail about the utensils you use (non stick saves you using oil/butter). The sample meal plans give the reader a clear idea of exactly how much their daily intake looks like, and guess what, you might go hungry at first, but before long, your body will be thanking you by shedding that dangerous excess weight.

Who should read it?

Anyone wanting to lose weight, whether it be for the first time or attempt number 101. It is suitable for both men, women and teenagers. Fitness trainers would enjoy this book too due to it’s in depth look at the psychology behind weight loss.

Author’s writing style:

Michelle literally jumps out of the page into your head. It’s as though she is standing there with you speaking these words out loud. Her conversational writing style is straight to the point. No messing around, but there is an abundance of compassion and encouragement which makes you feel like she is on your side rather than a Nazi lecturing you.

What sets it apart from others?

Get Real: Definitely the first section Get Real is nothing like I have read before. It will resonate with anyone trying to lose weight.

Weight Loss should be fast: Her angle that weight loss should be fast bucks the general trend of steady weight loss. “Show me someone who put the weight back on because they lost it too quickly and I’ll show you five people who put the weight back on because they lost it too slowly.

Michelle being Michelle: Let’s face it, this woman is a freak! She has had so much success with contestants on The Biggest Loser along with a life devoted to spreading her message, who wouldn’t want some of Michelle’s zest for life to rub off on them.

Crunch Time is a must for any person trying to lose weight or any trainer trying to understand the psychology behind weight loss. You won’t find another book as motivating, straight to the point yet resourceful as Michelle’s masterpiece. I give it 10/10!

Click here to order Crunch Time

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12 responses to “Book Review: Crunch Time by Michelle Bridges”

  1. […] Book Review: Crunch Time by Michelle Bridges (Australian Trainer on The Biggest Loser) […]

  2. Natalie says:

    And how many Biggest Loser contestants have kept the weight off for good? Not many. Sooner or later they turn up in ads for Jenny Craig (hello Fiona Falkiner and “Big” Wal), or another diet programme (yes, you Chris), or complaining on A Current Affair about how incredibly unrealistic the show is.

    Running is good for weight loss? Not if you’ve got bad joints, and if you’re seriously overweight that’s probably a given. It was that point alone that made me put this book back on the shelves as I thumbed through it the other day. Besides, I’d rather keep my breasts where they are, or thereabouts. I see those girls on TBL and am completely horrified by their total lack of supportive undergarments.

  3. Hi Natalie,
    I’ve got to disagree with you on may levels. Firstly why do people get bad joints? Often because they are overweight. Whats the best exercise for weight loss? Running!

    Yes I agree that seriously overweight people should be cross training (bike Xtrainer, treadmill, bodyweight exercises) but don’t use the excuse, ‘I need to lose weight before I run.” I say ‘Honey you need to run to lose weight!’ I suggest to my beginner runners, run on the treadmill for 2 mins, walk for 3. Over time you run for 3, walk for 2, then eventually run for 4min, walk for 1min.

    If you click on Carmen’s story in my ask me section http://www.ameliaphillips.com.au/health-and-fitness-advice, she is living proof that running works, even if you are overweight.

    Getting back to Michelle’s book, She has a plethora of exercises that do not involve running, so don’t let that put you off.
    Of course TBL is unrealistic, it’s TV, but if people did even half of what the contestants did, they would get incredible results. It shows how far we can really take ourselves physically.

    I challenge your comment that most of the contestants have put the weight back on, read this article which states otherwise http://www.buddytv.com/articles/the-biggest-loser/the-biggest-loser-did-they-kee-10363.aspx Interestingly lots of them quit their jobs and became trainers or motivational speakers, and you’re telling me this stuff doesn’t work! It has certainly changed these contestants lives.
    Natalie, I suggest you stop making excuses (There are some great sports bras out there – it’s just that contestants didn’t wear them!) and get on that treadmill today, 30sec -2mins jog at 8.5km/h, then 3mins at 6.0 and keep doing that for 20mins. In a few months time, you’ll be ready for the city to surf!!!
    Amelia

  4. kyley Story says:

    want to buy the book crunch time but cant get through on internet to do it??????

  5. Hi Kyley,

    Click on the “Crunch time” Link on the right hand side of my website or simply click on this link. http://www.fishpond.com.au/product_info.php?ref=936&products_id=13450387&affiliate_banner_id=1 I just tested it all the way through to ‘checkout’ and it worked. let me know if you still have trouble,
    Amelia

  6. im reading this farely late after the comments above were made, but seriously Natalie… running works! whether you like it or not. i used to dispise it and i probably would not have just lost over 25kilos as quick as i did and continue to loose more if i hadnt introduced running. yes it can be a bit of a b!tch to start with and especially if your mind is so against it, but go with it… or start out walkin if youre not doing anything at all… cause while people arent doing anything to help themselves, even the basics to start out, then they have no one to blame (no book, no personal trainer etc) except for themselves.
    as for Michelle’s book. if you dont want to pay the money for something you might read and get hit with reality and learn things that will actually help live a longer, happier, healthier life, then dont.
    but if you want to read it, even just out of curiosity to see if your point is correct or not, im happy to buy a copy and send it to you.
    ive read it, done pretty much every exercise in there and running is actually not a key one till late in the programme. (so dont be scared off by running) running isnt for everyone but if you want to change and youre serious about a change you might want to give the book a read.
    its got some amazing tips in it, and also its not just about the exercise, its about what you put in your mouth.
    i can assure you that, in the get real section of the book, if youre ready for it, and you want change, you will change!
    i would highly recommend this book and books alike.
    michelle is honest, knows her stuff and can truly help get results.
    also michelle is not responsible for what people do once off the show, so to use the excuse of not getting the book due to others results, well id think again…. people are their own responsibility and like amelia has said, the opposite is actually proven.
    check some of them out on their facebooks etc and you will see more success stories rather than negative.
    anyway my offer stands about the book, if youre happy to give it a read out of any level of curiosity, im happy to buy and send a copy.
    peace

  7. kerri wilson says:

    Hi Amelia,
    I am new to your web site (and loving it) and are trying to get fit and lose the weight I put on with my last pregnacy…My baby is now 2!
    I have a few questions to your responce to Natalie (April 12th), where you told her about a jog / walk work out.
    This morning I tried the 2 minute jog at 8.5, then 3 min at 6.0 for 20minutes with a 10min warm up and cool down at 5.5.
    My questions are…
    How many days a week should I do this workout?
    Are the warm up and cool down I did ok?
    What else should I do to help my fitness / weight loss?
    And Is it ok, that once I finished I felt like I was going to vomit?
    I really enjoyed this workout..and this is coming from someone who said they hated running..
    Cheers

  8. Hi Kerri,
    Congratulations!!! You’re crossing to the bright side – running that is! I really want to commend you for having a go, the hardest part is getting started.
    You are well and truly on the right track with your treadmill workout. Here are a few tweaks you might like:
    1) if you have access, warm up for ten minutes on a Xtrainer and cool down for ten minutes on a stationary bike.
    2) If no access to those machines, then what you are doing is fine. I’d suggest ramping up the incline to 5-10% in those WU and CDs.

    To answer your questions.
    1) I would do this four days per week. Ideally you’d do two treadmill and two outdoors, using the same timing principle.
    2)WU and CD are a bit long, 5 mins each is fine. However I don’t want you to shorten your total time so that’s why I suggested walking up a steep hill instead.
    3) A Pump class once per week and an indoor cycle class (spin or RPM) once per week. We haven’t even talked about diet but obviously you need to significantly reduce what you are eating, even with more exercise. Attack it from both ends.
    4)LOL haha yes it’s fine to feel like you are going to vomit. Many people actually do in the beginning! It’s a good sign and it will go away very quickly.

    If you need any more guidance you might want to consider doing some online training with me, click this link to find out more. I’m like Michelle, only blond! http://www.ameliaphillips.com.au/online-fitness-training

  9. Pooja says:

    I really need to lose weight, starting to feel my confidence level go down as well now!! What book would you suggest? Losing the last 5 kilos or Crunch Time! Thank you so much for your help!
    Pooja

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