I’m always on the lookout for fitness professionals that offer programs aligned with my philosophy: strong, simple exercises and a realistic nutrition game plan. So, when I picked up Zuzka Light’s “15 Minutes to Fit,” I glanced at the title. Would this be another extreme workout and diet gimmick? Just fifteen minutes to fit? Dream on. Fitness takes much more than fifteen measly minutes, and the students who push through my 55-minute G MOVES boot camps can back me up on that! However, after reading the first chapter, I was delighted that Zuzka’s philosophy of patience, focus, and hard work was well aligned with mine. So I continued reading.
Thankfully, Zuzka’s book doesn’t immediately dive into her intense workout techniques and routines; rather, it offers readers a gentle introduction to her personal fitness journey along with musings on motivation, fitness goal-setting, positive habits, and accountability, all without being too fluffy. She breaks down nutrition and workout components in colorful detail. I’m an eager student when it comes to nutrition advice, always looking to incorporate healthy swaps into my food-loving, chocoholic lifestyle. Zuzka did not disappoint with her detailed grocery shopping list, insights on portion sizes and useful kitchen gadgets, and diverse selection of recipes complete with mouth-watering pictures. I loved the distinction Zuzka made between meals based on veggies, protein, and healthy fats -- “free meals” -- and those based on carbohydrates with higher glycemic indices, or “workout earned meals.” I attempted a few of her recipes, making minor tweaks for ingredients I cannot eat or did not stock in my pantry. Let’s just say that the chia pudding topped with strawberries has become a post-dinner staple in the Borkar household!
Now for the good, sweaty stuff: the workouts. While I haven’t done any of Zuzka’s “ZGYM” workouts, I learned that her “short and sweat” style was similar to mine: spurts of compound body weight exercises to strengthen and condition the entire body. Plus, I loved the emphasis she placed on morning workouts, my personal favorite habit. I attempted one workout from her “HIIT with a Z twist” plan and it left me breathless. Tried-and-true exercises like mountain-climbers, jump squats, and push-ups combined with tough moves like the pistol squat side-kick and crab toe- touch. A balance between familiar and challenging. Great inspiration for my personal workouts and my G MOVES boot camps.
Zuzka summed up her book with reflections on key lifestyle components such as sleep, hydration, stretching, and meditation. Zuzka motivates the reader to achieve long-term goals of improved health and fitness in a way that is accessible and encouraging. My favorite line was her empowering declaration that her readers have “the strength and willpower” to transform themselves from the inside out “with simplicity and consistency.” I recommend this book for those open to a simple, balanced fitness and nutrition regimen. It also serves as a great source for fitness professionals like myself who want to fuel their workouts and nutrition with new energy. Well done, Zuzka.