Hip-Hop Fitness
Get fit or die tryin’
“Formula 50” by 50 Cent

Forget getting rich. Rapper 50 Cent — who became a household name in 2003 with the album “Get Rich or Die Tryin’ ” — is now interested in helping you get fit. The hip-hop star known as much for his abs as his rhymes has released a new book, sharing workout tips and advice for getting ripped. “Formula 50: A 6-Week Workout and Nutrition Plan That Will Transform Your Life” details workouts and nutrition tips modeled on 50’s own regimen. It promises that body fat will decrease by 10 percent, energy will increase by 20 percent and strength endurance will improve by 20 percent — a total gain of 50 percent, according to 50. (It isn’t clear how these factors are measured, but the numbers do make for a nice title.) While the formula appears to be more marketing than science, the book does offer advice based on input from health and fitness professionals. The exercises combine weight training and cardio, and the program includes a meal plan, tips for pre- and post-workout nutrition and recovery, and a hefty dose of motivation: If 50 could survive nine bullets in a shooting that occurred in 2000, a few crunches probably won’t do you in.

Brain Injury
How one man rebuilt his mind
“The Day My Brain Exploded,” by Ashok Rajamani

Ashok Rajamani was 25 years old when his brain “exploded.” The result of a rare congenital birth defect that had lain in wait for more than two decades, a tangle of veins and arteries ruptured at a most inopportune of moments: while having sex, and on the day of his brother’s wedding. “A bad day, to put it mildly,” writes Rajamani in “The Day My Brain Exploded.” With a self-deprecating tone that vacillates between humor and anger, Rajamani details the cerebral hemorrhage and the damage it caused. The book jumps back and forth in time, from the “brain explosion” that left him epileptic and partially blind, to his childhood growing up as a first-generation Indian American in suburban Illinois, and to his post-college years working in New York. Rajamani describes what it is like to relearn the most basic of skills — how to walk, to eat, to speak — as an adult. “True, what I went through was terrible and, true, I wasn’t always patient with those around me,” he writes. “But I realize now, looking back, I am one of the luckiest people alive, and in telling my story I am hoping to give a voice to others who were not so fortunate.”

Rapper 50 Cent offers fitness tips via “Formula 50: A 6-Week Workout and Nutrition Plan That Will Transform Your Life.” (Penguin/Penguin)

Maggie Fazeli Fard