"Diamond Cut Abs" (Book Review)
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I have several books and DVDs that are written by or feature the Kavadlo brothers, Danny and Al. You may be more familiar with Al, but if you’ve seen Al’s work, you know Danny, too. The brothers are calisthenics masters who promote a healthy, natural lifestyle that includes a lot of exercise.
Al has noted in some of his material that he’s never had the same set of abs as Danny. I’m guessing that’s what prompted Danny to write the recently released book Diamond Cut Abs.
"Whenever I need motivation to exercise, even if I’m not working on abs, this book does the trick."
Most of us have some kind of fascination with abs. Much like grip strength, abs seem to be a deeply entrenched cultural aspect of what it means to look strong and healthy. Danny Kavadlo has a lean six-pack complete with veins, which he built through hard work. He shares how he achieved it in his new book.
What You’ll Learn
The book begins discussing Danny’s own life-long obsession with nice abs. You get to read fun stories about Danny’s youth and learn about how he learned from the mistakes he made.
One of the best parts of the book is the nutrition section. If you want nice abs, you have to pay more attention to what you eat than how you train. Abs are made in the kitchen, as they say. The nutrition section includes sensible advice on eating and a sample three-day food log.
Danny’s nutrition advice is right up my alley. It's basic, no-nonsense, health-centric advice that many people need to hear. Danny doesn’t shy away from discussing fats or meat, and his motto is to eat healthy, natural foods in moderation.
There is also a chapter on fasting, which I am a fan of. Danny covers his concept of cleanses first, and how to ease you into the process. He describes a few different types of cleanses he likes and even provides juicing recipes. He then discusses a true fast, where nothing is consumed except water. This is something I think every athlete should try, and Danny does a great job explaining why.
"If you want nice abs, you have to pay more attention to what you eat than how you train. Abs are made in the kitchen, as they say. The nutrition section includes sensible advice on eating and a sample three-day food log."
After nutrition, Danny covers training. First come the basics of how to develop a strong core, then he discusses exercise. If you’re familiar with Danny’s work, the exercise section won’t contain much new material, but if not, it’s helpful.
Finally, Danny covers lifestyle choices and how they affect the abs. Most notably, he discusses alcohol and the types he believes are healthier and more conducive to a strong midsection.
Like all books the Kavadlo brothers have written, Diamond Cut Abs is a light-hearted read that is true to its mission. Danny's method of describing personal experiences while offering advice is inspiring, as are the many photos of Danny training. Whenever I need motivation to exercise, even if I’m not working on abs, this book does the trick.
I’m an athlete first and foremost, and I’m not interested in looking like a bodybuilder, but looking like a healthy athlete sure doesn’t hurt. You know when you read this book that Danny achieved his natural-looking physique through hard work and clean eating, and that’s it.
There aren’t many downsides to the book, but the cost is one of them. I have found the Dragon Door publications to be more reasonably priced of late, but this book isn’t as long as you'd like, considering its cover price. Much of the workout advice can be found in other books by the Kavadlo brothers, so it might be hard to justify the cost if you have their other books. The book is also available as an eBook, which is a less expensive option.
The only other issue is Danny’s aversion to supplements. He points out that whole foods are better than supplements, which is certainly accurate, but there are a few tried-and-true supplements I think are worth taking. Danny has a moderate stance on many other issues, which makes his instruction generally great, but he outright rejects supplements.
In general, I’m a fan of anything the Kavadlos put out, and this book is no exception. It’s the first solo project of Danny’s I’ve read, and I like his style. It's a little more mellow than the other projects they work on, but still includes all the fun and spirit of these calisthenics masters.
If you love calisthenics and are looking for basic, solid advice for natural athletes, Diamond Cut Abs is a great book for you.
"Diamond Cut Abs" is available for $39.95 at DragonDoor.com.