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Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights?: Fitness Myths, Training Truths, and Other Surprising Discoveries from the Science of Exercise [Paperback]

Alex Hutchinson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.84
Price: 8.78 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights?: Fitness Myths, Training Truths, and Other Surprising Discoveries from the Science of Exercise + The First 20 Minutes: The Surprising Science of How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter and Live Longer
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Product details

  • Paperback: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; 1 edition (1 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006200753X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062007537
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 14.1 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars more for athletes than couch potatoes 22 Sep 2012
I just want to learn about the proven best ways to get and keep basic fitness (whatever that means) with minimum effort and maximum pleasure; this book wasn't enough (but it never claimed to be).

Even though it is an excellent compilation of the results of hundreds of studies, for my purposes this book was less useful than say "The First 20 Minutes"("New Rules of Lifting for Life" can be helpful too). Apart from a good chapter on weight management (did you know that fat people who are physically fit are half as likely to die as thin ones who don't exercise? that weight loss does indeed slow your metabolism? and that exercise slows down your cellular aging process?) and another good one on nutrition and hydration (such as no difference in physiology or results between vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets, antioxidants like vits C&E may block some of the health effects of exercise, and probiotics can ward off respiratory infections and digestive problems), only about a third of the book was helpful to someone like me.

The helpful basic bits include information on HIT (interval/varied intensity training), exercise shoes, evidence that fatigue is regulated by subconscious processes in the brain, the conventional wisdom that maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age is WRONG (better is 208 minus 0.7 times your age but even that is a rough average and wrong for a third of us).

With a personal trainer you can improve strength by 16 per cent versus just 10 per cent for light supervision. No matter how many weights you use or how many reps you do the most important factor in building muscles is reaching muscle failure by the final repetition. Yoga is at least as good as mild exercise for strength and flexibility but insufficient as an aerobic workout.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Whether you're new to the world of health and fitness or a veteran, you know how hard it is to sort the true, workable principles from the junk and "broscience" ("Bro, doing dumbbell presses on the exercise ball builds an awesome chest!").

Popular workout magazines are FULL of false, misleading advice, and their primary mission is to SELL PRODUCTS for the supplement companies that own them (yup)--not teach you sound, scientific principles of getting bigger, leaner, and stronger. The Internet forums are even worse, and very often, trainers don't have a clue what they're doing or talking about.

With so much confusion abound, what are you to do?

There's where books like Cardio or Weights come in. The author was a competitive athlete with a PhD in physics, and he uses logical, fact-based reasoning to address many common questions and issues that athletes face. Things such as...

How effective is High Intensity Interval Training, really? Is the hype justified?

Can exercise increase risk of a heart attack?

How much is "enough" exercise?

How long does it take before I'll start seeing results from weight lifting?

What times are the day are best for training?

And more...

Mr. Hutchinson calls in the wisdom of many recognized, accredited experts in training, medicine, and physiology, and shares a wealth of scientific studies to help shed light on the various issues addressed in the book. In some cases, the findings are absolutely clear. In others, however, scientists aren't sure exactly why certain phenomena occur, and the author doesn't try to pretend he knows all the answers.

This is a quick read and all the information is presented in a very accessible way for us laymen.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exelent 24 Sep 2011
By las
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been constantly reading books about exercise since I'm a PT.
This book is simply one of the best. If you work in the fitness industry or
interested in anything about exercise or nutrition, you'll be amazed how
they built a lot of things you learnt on theories that had never been proven
in the first place. I actually enjoy reading this book - I'm only half way through
yet - because I thought I was getting to know something about the subject, but
I still felt intimidated by other Personal Trainers,their confidence and the way they act just like they know everything and beyond.
About half they teach you is either never been proven or just proved to be wrong.
If you are a trainer please read this book before start working with your next client.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read 28 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This item arrived in great condition with a prompt delivery. The book was given to my partner as a Christmas gift and he is so happy with it. The book is really interesting and a good value for money.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cardio or Weights 31 Jan 2013
By Bill
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are serious about your training and are relying on gossip and magazines for your reference material, then you need to read this. Although it may not always be sport specific to your training goals, there is enough in there to tick most boxes and could be a reference book to most serious endurance athletes. In these days of Dr Karl and Sweatscience etc its nice to see material that is based upon peer reviewed data and not the pages of a broad sheet.

I have recommended it to most of my training pals that have an interest in improving their knowledge and therefore the quality of their training.

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