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Customer Review

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sceptic won over by this excellent book, 12 July 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Fit For Life: Reach Your Personal Best and Stay There (Paperback)
I approached this book with some scepticism because of the vast number of badly written self help books, diet books and fitness books on the market. I am in my early forties and (like many)prone to putting on weight, but I have used gyms, trained and been interested in fitness training for many years, having read many books on the subject. I thought this book would be the equivalent of an anectodal after-dinner speech by the great celebrity explorer, with a bit of fitness and advice thrown in for good measure. To my surprise and continuing pleasure, I could not have been more wrong.
I have never read a book on this subject which combines so much practical advice with such readability and sheer interest. Unlike one reviewer, I do find myself dipping into it - there is so much information in it I feel I come away each time with an interesting snippet or at least a refreshing slant on a familiar topic.
The style is very readable - Fiennes gives it to you straight, and cuts to the chase, with little of the woolly rubbish included in many other "lifestyle" manuals. He is especially good on motivation (I suppose to be expected from someone who had to motivate himself to some fairly hefty achievements).
The chapter on the benefits of being fit is excellent, as are the sections on general food control. This is a very realistic book...
I think the system he sets out (for both exercise and food control) is very good indeed. He acknowledges that relapses are normal, and advises that as long as you know what you are doing and do it whenever you can, your fitness level will increase accordingly. Sound advice for those prone to fits of depression at the scale of the task facing them.
I would recommend this book to just about anyone, from couch potatoes who find motivation difficult to fit athletes who want to move into ultra endurance events, from those who simply want to eat more healthily to those who want to prepare their bodies for Antarctic expeditons (Fiennes, in his fifties, is also alive to the fitness requirements of older persons). I was extremely surprised at how non-elitist and universal it is. It is also interesting and not a little inspiring to read about Fiennes' own experience, which is illustrative and informative rather than an intrusive part of this excellent book.
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