BOOK REVIEW: JC’s Total Body Transformation

Title: JC’s Total Body Transformation
Author: Juan Carlos Santana
Publisher: Human Kinetics, ISBN: 9781492563174
Details: Paperback, 272pp
RRP: AUD $49.99 OR $39.99 when you use the code HK20 to SAVE 20% at the checkout HERE.

Reviewed by Tony Boutagy, PhD, AEP, AES

In 2016, renowned strength and conditioning coach, JC Santana, published Functional Training, which outlined his approach to program design, periodisation and exercise techniques for over 130 traditional and functional movements. In this follow-up book, Santana builds upon the foundation of that information and provides the reader with, what he calls, ‘battle-tested’ workouts that anyone can put into practice immediately. And it is more than ‘just ready-to-follow programs’ (over 100 to be precise!), the book is about how Santana – after many decades of experience – views the training process.

As a veteran coach, Santana understands the importance of consistency and repetition in workouts, and cautions the reader from making the common and popular mistake of entertainment training (doing something different every day). Rather, he urges us to understand the value of repetition: tirelessly repeating the basics. This is a maxim frequently stated by all experts in strength and conditioning. For this purpose, therefore, the workouts found in the book involve relatively high volumes of basic exercises.

JC’s Total Body Transformation is divided into five parts. Part 1 covers the theory of programming for functional training. Here Santana discusses the foundations of establishing a training purpose, the programming variables and basic assessments.

Part 2 details the body transformation programs. The first chapter in this section presents programs for the legs, glutes and thighs. There are programs using only bands, only weights, body weight, functional movements and combinations of all training styles. The next chapter covers the abdominal and core programs. Again, a number of different loading methods are provided with body weight, Swiss and medicine balls, cables and machine equipment to provide the core with a variety of training stimuli. Arms are covered next, with several programs detailed for various goals (hypertrophy, strength, function, tone, sculpting etc. for both males and females). Next come chapters covering numerous programs for the shoulder, chest and back, that again include several different goal-oriented workout plans, using a variety of loading methods (free-weight, machines, home, body weight, bands and more).

Part 3 is all about programs and exercises to develop athleticism. Jumping derivatives are covered first, followed by speed training and then the development of agility.

Athletic endurance is the topic of part 4. Santana provides workouts for lower-body dominant metabolic training, including traditional weights workouts, car pushing and those performed on standard cardio gym equipment. The next two chapters outline metabolic programs for the upper body and then total body workouts.

The final section, part 5, sees input from various experts on nutrition, supplementation, lifestyle, sleep and recovery. This is an invaluable aspect of the book, as the authors make complex theory in fine-tuning body composition easy to understand.

Fittingly, Santana concludes the book with daily, weekly and monthly programming suggestions. The information in this book makes this text, like its predecessor Functional Training, a must-have for all personal trainers or those who would like ready-made, tried and tested workouts. Highly recommended.