The Impact Body Plan by Todd Durkin, M.A., C.S.C.S.
“The Impact Body Plan” is a 10-week total body conditioning program designed by one of the world’s best and most successful fitness coaches, Todd Durkin. This is a comprehensive plan that is broken down day-by-day and week-by-week to make it easy to follow. It covers everything from mindset to nutrition and strength training. His formula is a 7-step approach to training called, “The Muscle Matrix,” and it includes the following: dynamic warm-up, joint integrity, core conditioning, strength training, plyometrics, movement training and flexibility. Each step of the matrix is discussed in full detail with pictures of each exercise and a full description on how to execute them properly. You will use several different pieces of exercise equipment including foam rollers, medicine balls, resistance bands, TRX, dumbbells, and barbells.
I personally love the fact that so many pieces of equipment are utilized because I believe this approach continuously challenges the body making training more fun and interesting. It will also reduce injuries and increase athleticism.
If you think this book is just about training or movement and how to exercise properly, you’re wrong. One of the many reasons why I appreciate this book so much is because Todd does a masterful job discussing some very important, but often neglected parts of nutrition in a short and simple way. These include, sleep, pain, nutrition, recovery, supplements, mindset, joint integrity and fascia.
Let’s take fascia, for instance. It is common knowledge in my field, but is challenging to explain to others. Todd makes it simple. “Fascia is the web-like sheath that envelops every muscle, tendon, ligament, nerve, vein and artery of the body…your strength, flexibility, and fitness performance depend on its health.” I don’t know about you, but if fascia is this important to my body, I’ll never overlook foam rolling again, the number one treatment for fascial health.
Another valuable lesson I learned was about HRD, or hip rotational deficit, which causes a lot of pain throughout the body. The hips must be mobile and flexible in all three planes of motion, sagittal, frontal and transverse, or you may be compromising them. Over-compromising leads to injury. As movement specialist Moshe Feldenkrais likes to say, “you go as your hips go.” Again, another valuable lesson on how valuing the small things leads to big results. As a coach, I am only as valuable as the results I provide.
A couple of other things that I find priceless about this book are that I got to hear from professional athletes firsthand and was made privy to some of their workouts via this book and video. It’s always been a dream of mine to coach Janes and Joes as well as Pros. And since I have no experience with the latter to date, I was thrilled to learn what these guys have to say when it comes to training. Here’s what a few of them said:
Kevin Burnett, linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, says he likes his workouts “to change constantly to avoid boredom.”
Tony Gwynn, San Diego Padres, says “if you’re not training with intensity every time, you’re not getting as much out of the workout as you can. Go hard and get after it.”
Finally, Charles Tillman of the Carolina Panthers reminds us to “push one degree harder every time.”
As for the workouts, each athlete trains with Durkin at Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego and he uses all of the exercises in this book. What am I able to glean from all of this you might ask? One, pros like to push. Two, there is no secret set of exercises for elite athletes. If squatting, deadlifting, foam rolling, etc. are good for one, their good for all.
The most impressive chapter of this book to me was chapter one. Todd tells his story in chapter 1 about his college football career, and I was deeply impacted. It connected me to him. I’ve learned that all great coaches connect well with others. As much as I appreciate your knowledge, I am one of those people who wants to know how much you care before how much you know. People come first in my world, and Todd puts people first.
I even have a story of my own, as I had the pleasure of being coached by him at the 2015 Perform Better summit in Long Beach, CA. Not only was it the best hour of training I have had this year, it was the best coaching job I have done all year. You see we were paired up with a partner and Todd emphasized that he really wanted us to “coach up” our partner. In other words: appreciate, encourage, and motivate our partner. I did as I was told, and afterwards I realized that I needed to become a better coach. Todd was able to get the most out of me in more ways than one. And this is why I personally feel like Todd Durkin is a phenomenal coach. He cares about people and fitness. In that order. Right on, Todd. (This is the main reason I joined his Mastermind Group).
“Todd’s energy and enthusiasm are infectious, and you’ll feel that as you read this book.” This is a comment from Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, and I concur. If you’re looking for more guidance in your fitness journey, go out and purchase “The Impact Body Plan.” The book is an easy and enjoyable read with enough personality to keep you from getting bored. Todd will provide scientific and experience-based information to get you in the best shape of your life physiologically, mentally, and physically in only 10 weeks.