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Body by Science: A Research Based Program for Strength Training, Body building, and Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week Paperback – January 1, 2009

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Body by Science: A Research Based Program for Strength Training, Body building, and Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week + The Body By Science Question and Answer Book + Power of 10: The Once-A-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution (Harperresource Book)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071597174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071597173
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (240 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Doug McGuff, M.D., owns the state-of-the-art personal training facility Ultimate-Exercise. He lectures on exercise science all over the world.

John Little is a columnist for Ironman magazine and the innovator of three revolutionary training protocols, including Max Contraction Training. He and his wife, Teri, own Nautilus North Strength & Fitness Centre and have supervised more than 60,000 workouts.

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Customer Reviews

Doug McGuff, MD and John Little did a wonderful job with this book.
Joseph Anderson
The cardiovascular information is absolutely true in terms of this kind of training being better than the typical "cardio" kind of exercise.
Ok, I think the book is a great learning tool and it's something every one should read and try out.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

513 of 550 people found the following review helpful By Buba on January 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have been lifting weights for about 2 years on a multiple times per week basis. I have a home gym with both a Vectra machine and bench and free weights. I am a victim of Dr. Kenneth Cooper's aerobic revolution of the 70's and 80's, now with bad knees and bad ankles and chronic tendinitis and 2 herniated disks and spinal arthritis, which is what brought me to weight training in the first place. Over the years I have tried my own program, and I have purchased several programs from the "Guru's" and I pretty much always wound up either injured or I would make progress for a while and then it would seem I would start going backward. My most recent program was the New Rules of Lifting program which I have found to be a very good program. I've done that for a year and have made progress and remained injury free. That program is basically a two or three times per week program and I noticed that I needed the rest between sessions to keep improving. Sometimes I would go down to one session per 5 or 6 days and I found when I lifted next it was easier to make an advance. That couple extra days allowed a more complete recuperation. The exercises in the new rules program are basically the big 5 that is described in the Body by Science program, so over the course of the year I have developed good form with each exercise and a good knowledge of how my body feels during the lift and post lifting.

When I read this program it seemed to fit well with what I had been doing. I was of course skeptical of the 12 minute claim as the New Rules program is a timed set of reps across the exercises of about 45 minutes per session. In the New Rules program if you were anal about the timed aspect you would be forced into an anaerobic state of metabolism which I think is desirable in a workout.
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94 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Dennis A. Brown on December 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book several years ago and used this method for over a year with excellent results. Having come back and read the reviews of the book, I would like to clarify several misconceptions:

This Exercise program is designed for two types of people:
1. People already involved in a very active lifestyle, and
2. People who are not capable or interested in spending a large amount of time in the gym.

For people in the Group 1, the authors insist that fitness is best achieved using the S.A.I.D principle; that is, Specific Adaption to Imposed Demands. They teach that fitness for any sport is best achieved by direct participation in that sport or performing sport specific drills. Their weight program is designed to supplement the sport program and is intended to maintain or increase strength while participating in the program. One is able to focus most of their time on the sport specific training without sacrificing a lot of time in the weight room, since a minimal amount of time is actually required to maintain or increase strength. Dr. McGuff uses specific examples of his BMX training as well as examples from other sports to illustrate how the program is meant to be used to augment sports training.

Long distance runners who want or need a higher level of cardiovascular training are not discouraged to "supplement" their strength training with long distance running or sprints. In fact, it is the other way around; those people who need or desire a high level of cardiovascular fitness do not need to sacrifice a lot of training time in also developing or maintaining a significant level of strength.
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441 of 492 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Arnold on July 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
OK, this book has some things going for it that help set it apart from other exercise books out there. There are some decent footnotes and the main points all have some scientific backing behind them. It also gets bonus points for pointing out that super levels of fitness, low body fat, and big muscles do not actually equal high levels of health, longevity, and well-being. There is also truth to the author's assertion that there is a quality of life issue involved in the time spent working out when you could be doing other things.

There are a lot of other good points, too, but they are all pretty general and common sense. For example, "The Big Five" (or "Big Three") has been exercise 101 for over a century because of one simple reason: there are really only 5 natural movements that the human body can reasonably perform with weights: Overhead pressing, pulling/pushing down with the lats, pushing out from the chest, pulling into the chest, and standing up to extend the legs. It's also been long understood that the three pillars of weight training are training, diet, and rest: if you're struggling to make gains, you should look at all three instead of just training harder, which can be potentially counterproductive. Again, this should be common sense, but it must be said nonetheless.

However, for a book that's supposed to be so predicated on "science," the science that's presented is often poorly understood or perhaps even deliberately confused to support the author's own selling points and shortcomings of their training system.

Example #1: There is no scientific evidence supporting "Max Contraction," just John Little's marketing. None.
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