Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
on 28 February 2013
As someone who has been tatt (tired all the time) for decades, just reading this book made me feel tired. (In the end I turned out to have both thyroid and adrenal problems but had to go outside the system for proper diagnosis and treatment, while NHS tests were still showing "normal"!) It felt like this book was demanding you do far too much and yet there didn't seem to be much science-based advice.
These two subsequent (and totally science-based books) are more practical, I believe:
- Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights?: Fitness Myths, Training Truths, and Other Surprising Discoveries from the Science of Exercise by Alex Hutchinson - more for athletes than couch potatoes
- The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can: Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer by Gretchen Reynolds - here are just a few of the sometimes surprising tidbits:
Exercise (at least moderate exercise) does not rev up your metabolism - you do NOT burn more calories afterwards. Exercise by itself is pretty useless for weight loss but apparently essential for weight maintenance and, on a diet, helpful for weight loss. One group put on a lousy, fattening diet did not gain weight - but only if they exercised first thing in the morning, before eating anything at all. In a 13-year study, the women who diligently did moderate exercise almost every day (brisk walking, swimming, biking or dance classes) for an hour or so gained hardly any weight at all over that time (but this isn't easy to keep up). All of one group who lost over 20 pounds regained weight but those who stuck with an exercise programme for the entire year regained barely half as much. Exercise (cardio or weights, provided there is also HIT) may be the single most important determinant of how long (and well) you live, trumping even smoking and obesity. As a strength-training alternative, yoga and pilates are mildly good for muscular remodeling. The squat is the most potent exercise of all, encapsulating everything you could wish for from strength training as a whole. Just fold your arms across your chest, bend your knees, and lower your trunk until your thighs are about parallel with the floor. Do that 25 times. You don't need to do anything else (and probably won't be able to anyway). Add a weighted barbell once the body-weight squats grow easy. It's simple, allows for progression, builds power and you can do it anywhere!