Five Factor Diet, by Harley Pasternak, has been growing in popularity – due to celebrities like Jessica Simpson and John Mayer using the plan.
What is it about, and is it a good program?
The 5 Factor Fitness plan was Harley’s original plan published in 2004. The Five Factor Diet is His follow-up.
It’s all about fives: 5 meals a day, 5 workouts a week each made up of 5 exercises… You get the picture.
The Five Criteria for Diet
At each meal:
- low-fat quality protein
- low- to moderate- glycemic index carbohydrate
- healthy fat
- sugar-free beverage
Sundays are a “cheat day” – essentially eating what you want. The book contains a few basic sample meal plans and a selection of recipes for each meal.
The Five Factor Workout
Equipment: Only Dumbbells and a bench required.
Phases (Total 25 minutes)
- Cardio Warm-up
At 65-85% of maximum heart rate – for 5 minutes.
- Strength Training
Each day has two different exercises (superset). Sets, reps and rest are altered each week. This is actually meant to total 10 minutes.
- Core Exercises
This includes various crunches and twists – with varying rep, set, and rest ranges. For 5 minutes.
The cooldown. Author Pasternak believes this will help alleviated DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). Minimum 5 minutes.
The book is interspersed with testimonials (including that of Halle Berry whom the author claims was the inspiration to write the book).
Will the Magic of 5 Work for You?
On the whole it’s a fairly concise, well-explained fitness program. Just bear in mind one thing: The celebrities have the fitness trainer (Paternak) working alongside them. That is always going to be superior to having a book on the floor next to you.
The book bears many similarities to Tom Venuto’s BFFM program. However the 5-factor has more detail in the workouts, but less science and discussion of Calories.