The books were as expected, as were the actual Heavyhands weights. I've been doing Heavyhands exercises for years, but lent my book to a friend who did not return it. That's OK, if it helps spread the word, but I did want a copy for myself. This gave me back the reference works (more about that in a minute) that I'd been missing, plus the DVD, which I had not seen. I have only one quibble with Dr. Schwartz' books, and that's his use of the notion that your target heart rate is 220 minus your age. I can't blame him; even the American Heart Association uses this rule of thumb. That may be a rule of thumb, but it's not a good one. Human heart rates vary wildly with fitness, health, and body weight. The idea that this is a good way to calculate your target heart rate has been pretty thoroughly debunked (http://www.thefactsaboutfitness.com/research/max.htm#.UVT_Ujei_Co) My other issue is another minor one, relating to the DVD. The instructor walks us through the exercises fairly well, and I've only been able to do about half an hour at a time; I'm not in bad shape for a middle-aged man in a sedentary occupation, but clearly I have a distance to go. My issue with the instructor is that she uses terms and gives instructions without really defining them well or demonstrating them. These should be done during the intro, not during the exercise program itself. Ultimately, I feel both books and DVD are valuable tools to help me on my road to fitness, and I recommend them.
- Was the product free of any manufacturer defects? Yes