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92 of 96 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Good and the Bad
This book makes more sense than most. The macro-nutrients are not radically unbalanced in their meals. And the meals are one of the easiest to follow since they basically borrowed the Mediterranean diet (one of the best out there, IMO), and made some slight adjustments to it, which I think were improvements. And I think they make a strong case against the low-fat diet...
Published on March 19, 2002 by rrs343

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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book, but it does not live up to its title.
This book contains much helpful information. The thesis of the book is that men will do better at loosing weight by eating a diet higher in protein and unsaturated fats (which may raise one's testosterone level) than by eating a high carb, low-fat diet promoted by many fitness gurus. The book also asserts that men will make better progress in loosing weight through...
Published on November 26, 2002


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92 of 96 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Good and the Bad, March 19, 2002
By 
"rrs343" (Iowa Park, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This book makes more sense than most. The macro-nutrients are not radically unbalanced in their meals. And the meals are one of the easiest to follow since they basically borrowed the Mediterranean diet (one of the best out there, IMO), and made some slight adjustments to it, which I think were improvements. And I think they make a strong case against the low-fat diet. Nor are the authors taken in with all of the supplemental junk that health magazines try to push over on you. These authors are more savvy than most. And they explain and make a very good case at why weight-lifting has a much better metabolic effect than aerobics alone. Over half of the book covers its exercise program, and it is filled with hundreds of pictures, but this wasn't as much of an interest for me, but it might be for others. I found the book to have many interesting facts and case studies, many I haven't read about before. But the debate over what are the optimum protein levels is far from over. There are some respected nutritionists and scientists out there that think athletes need more protein than the USDA recommends; one the author quotes from is Professor Peter Lemon who is well respected. But there are also other well respected scientists still in the same camp that the USDA protein levels are all you need, and this includes for athletes and body-builders too. E.g., take Professor Ellington Darden. The latter used to be on the high protein bandwagon for ten years of his life until he obtained his P.H.D., and when he did one of his tests on himself, he noticed anytime he went over whatever the USDA recommended for his weight, he was urinating the excess down the toilet. But at least the amounts of protein the author is recommending isn't overly excessive.
The book was under-funded, as most health books are. Despite its title, not once was a single testosterone test done for any of the participants. They mentioned that testosterone tests are very difficult to get good readings on, and they would have had to take all the participants in as boarders to be able to do that. Nevertheless, they still make a good case of it by relying heavily on studies which showed that those who ate more fat, had more testosterone. Some of the other studies were of those taking testosterone supplements.
Not one single participant was thin to test their weight muscle gain program out on. So if you're one of these guys, you'll need to be the first guinea pig. All of the pictures I seen were of heavyweights. They started with 30 volunteers, and ended up with 16. And of that 16 remaining, I only counted 6 before and after pictures of the participants. Even when you look at the final 6 that are left that they choose to be their prime examples of what their plan could do for you; you'll notice the typical before pictures of the person just standing their looking sullen without his shirt on, and making no effort to suck in his gut. With the after pictures, they put on their happy face and half of them have their shirts on for the picture! And only one set of pictures even comes close to having the same before and after pose. Several have their arms up, and it's really amazing what sucking in your gut can do. Despite all of my criticism, you can still see a change, and I think the authors give us accurate measurements. But even when they are giving you personal statistics about the final 6 participants that are left, you'll notice the information is scant. Some left in their before and after bench press numbers; some choose to leave in their before and after chin-ups; nothing is consistent. They choose to pick what they want you to see, and disregard the rest. Now let's see ALL of the pictures and statistics from everyone including the final 10 participants!
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource for Beginner and Advanced, December 30, 2004
By 
Robert A. Drensek (Huntsville, AL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Testosterone Advantage Plan: Lose Weight, Gain Muscle, Boost Energy (Paperback)
I just finished the book. I've been working with a trainer for over a year, and have seen great changes in physique, and some weight reduction (10 lbs). Just some background for the review. I thought the book was very good but not great, and the areas of concern have to do with the some of science of their claims (they rail against small sample sizes in the studies and their cases studies are small samples). Regardless:

The book is in three sections; first the "T" plan and why it is better than other programs or fads out their for their target audience; secondly, is the sample diet plan; finally, it is the work out plan in 3 stages.

The target audience appears very similar to the Men's Health audience. The authors are explict in that they are adressing the 35 year old male who is 20-30 lbs overweight and wants to change. The goal is a blatantly male physique, akin to the cover models of Men's Health and not that of Mr. Universe.

The authors take you through a review of the current science on nutrition and exercise. You find out pretty quickly that though there is a great deal of information, there are just as many holes and unknowns in the current body of knowledge. The authors do a pretty good job of identifing what is based on sound science, what is cutting edge and not yet supported by large clinical trials, and what is supposition and educated guess work based on anecdotal evidence and experience.

Most of the most interesting stuff is based on small sample studies or interpreted data based on studies of interest but not exclusively focused on the authors topic. The bottomline to all this is the author's position that diet fads (Atkins, low-no fat, etc) and the Agriculture Departments Food Pyramid are junk. To get in decent shape and maintain it takes a different diet ("T" Plan), coupled with overall body exercise that builds muscle (aerobics doesn't).

The authors describe their ideal diet which is similar to the mediterranean diet, 1/3 fat, 1/3 protein, 1/3 carbs. This is adjusted to accomodate the different goals of specific individuals, fat loss (authors emphasize "fat loss"), body composition change (weight maintenance with fat loss), weight/muscle mass gain.

The authors give you the tools to determine the ideal daily caloric intake based on their best guess of the ideal protein intake. The focus is on determining protein needs (takes protein to build muscle) and then splitting the rest between carbs and fat. The authors go through a fairly indepth review of the right kinds of fat to eat, monounsaturated. This information is then converted to grams for you to develop a diet to fit the need.

The authors give 3 sample 1 week plans as an example and recommend that you vary it by checking the labels on foods to keep the ratio of fat, protien, and carbs in the correct proportion.

The workout plan makes sense and was in line with what my trainer put me through. The assumption is a guy who hasn't worked out in a while and the plan is based on crawl before you walk before you run progression. Stage 1 is to tone up and prepare your body for the work to come. The second stage is to build strength and keep the muscles in balance. The last stage is to build strength and muscle.

Overall, the plan appears reasonable, sustainable (you won't starve, get to eat meat, and 2000-3000 calories per day over 3 meals and 2 snacks), and safe. The authors go out of their way to make sure you do the workouts safely, why go through all this and get hurt.

They do discuss supplements, generally against, aerobics vs resistance training, pro resistance, and offer what to do after 9 weeks. I'm planning on keeping my trainers workout but adjust my diet to more along the lines of authors recommendations.

P.S. - no alcohol - they don't call is a beer gut for nothing.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the One, April 23, 2003
By 
John E. Erskine (Kenosha, WI, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Testosterone Advantage Plan: Lose Weight, Gain Muscle, Boost Energy (Paperback)
The book begins with a simple premise: "Picture two Olympic athletes. Both are extremely lean, with body fat percentages in the low single digits." One has a body like a Grecian god; the other looks like he's on the verge of death. As you might have guessed, the first one is a sprinter, the second is a marathon runner. So, who do you want to look like? If most of us answered "the first one," then why is it that our diets focus mainly on carbs and our exercise routines focus mainly on cardio? In other words, while we want to look like a classical male specimen, our diets and exercise are ensuring exactly the opposite.
This book combines fitness wisdom accumulated through the ages: stop eating white bread, it's useless (Charles Atlas) - don't skip breakfast (all your teachers the day before the test) - with an abundance of recent research on all areas of physical fitness. It also turns a lot of the conventional wisdom upside down, namely the USDA Food Pyramid and the low-fat craze. The final product is a complete diet and exercise regimen that says basically, get off the treadmill and get into the weight room, stop eating pasta and start eating meat.
Even if the authors were not able to back this idea up with research and an in-depth analysis of how our bodies respond to nutrients and exercise, doesn't this idea appeal to you on a very instinctive level? But in fact, the book provides a solid background in general nutritional and fitness knowledge, as well as broad support for the diet that they propose. It is a complete 9-week diet (including variations based on current weight and goals) and exercise program, and the information it provides will go a long way after that. The tone of the book is also very accessible - the authors make fun of the "mooks" in the gym, the ones who do all the exercises wrong, have huge pecs and tiny legs. They will convince you that you truly belong in that group of men with a physique worthy of a second glance. It's not chest-pounding macho either, just matter-of-fact: you know what you want to look like, it's also what your girlfriend/wife wants you to look like, it's also what most of the world believes is a "good body" - here's how to get it.
I am on Week 6, have already lost 15 pounds and almost 2 inches off my waist. Second row of abs has just appeared. I am lifting more weight than I ever have (which was 10 years ago in college) and for the first time in my life I am starting to look CUT. What am I eating, fruit smoothies? No. Snackwells? Forget it. But tonight I just ate a steak, and yes that's part of the plan.
Who is this book for? I think the only guys who would not benefit immensely from this book are those who are already past it physically - whatever they have been doing has paid off and they made it to where they want to be. Still, it contains a good review of the science of nutrition and some of the latest studies and findings, as well as a good review of musculature and correct exercise form. But I have to admit I was the perfect candidate for this book: no disciplined exercise routine (generally stayed out of the weight room entirely, brought a book to read while on the recumbent bike), office job, usually skip breakfast, hit the co-workers' candy dishes around 10 am. The results are simply staggering - I could be one of the "Before and After" guys they profiled in this book. It may be a major diet change for some: lots of dairy products as well as red meat, minimal fruits and vegetables, and must give up the booze. But the bottom line is, you will eat like a man, exercise like a man, and in the end you will look and feel like a man.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book, but it does not live up to its title., November 26, 2002
By A Customer
This book contains much helpful information. The thesis of the book is that men will do better at loosing weight by eating a diet higher in protein and unsaturated fats (which may raise one's testosterone level) than by eating a high carb, low-fat diet promoted by many fitness gurus. The book also asserts that men will make better progress in loosing weight through strength training than through aerobic exercise. Added muscle raises metabolism and burns more calories. Aerobic exercise is not muscle-building, but can be muscle-wasting and therefore is not ideal for the fitness goals of most men.
The information in the book does not clearly tell a man how to raise his testosterone levels (only that they may be raised through strenghth training and diet). The information is nothing new. Bodybuilders and powerlifters have believed for years that compound exercises like bench press, squats, and deadlifts build serious muscle and promote testosterone increases. They have also know that a diet higher in protein and healthy fats promotes muscle growth better than a diet based on the food pyramid. Overall this is a good book. The principles are good. The diet is not very practical for most people, but the principles of the diet can be applied to fit one's budget or tastes. The workouts are basic and helpful. This is not a book for advanced trainees, but it is a good introduction.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you are out of shape or a beginner it will work!, December 13, 2002
By 
MARKUS (Dayton, OH USA) - See all my reviews
I am 35 and 6'2" tall. I started the plan on November 1st and am now about 6 weeks into the plan. I have been away from the work out scene for many years and have a job that keeps me at a desk. Needless to say I was out of shape. I started about 35 to 40 pounds overweight. So far I have lost 20 pounds and 2 inches off my waist. My max bench press has increased by 40 pounds and I am really starting to feel like I did in my 20's.
As for the work out program, it is very straight forward and easy to follow. If you are out of shape and follow the book to the letter the first two weeks are tough. After that your body starts to adapt and you will be able to breath again. There is no ground breaking work on the workout program just the basics and they have exercises for home or at a gym. They are all proven exercises so they will work.
The diet plan borrows from several different diets to form one. The Adkins, Zone and 'The Med' respectively. Once you formulate the amount of each macronutrient you can have per day, do yourself a favor, do not follow the weekly food planner and grocery list in the book. This is only a guideline and a pricey one at that. Moreover, you should watch the grams of each macronutrient daily and make your own plan. Just try to get close to the suggested amounts.
There were a few things I did not care for. The macho get the girl [bull] Mens Health is know for for one. Also the constant slam on aerobic exercise throuhout the book. I have added treadmill and bike work to my workouts on the days I don't lift and it has helped my 'cardio' system tremendously. I have limited the activity to less than an hour per session however. If you are like me you are looking for total fitness not just weight room fitness.
Overall, it is a good book and I am glad I made the commitment to the program. I have recently ordered another book by Lou Schuller 'The Hard Body Work Out Plan'. I want to see how the two compare and take the best of both worlds to formulate a new workout after this plan is over. What I will say is if you are an intermediate or advanced athlete this book probably will not help you as I can myself outgrowing the workouts as I get into better shape and if you are an advanced athelete you probably already have a good diet plan set for youself any way. If you are out of shape or a beginner this plan can be a valuable asset if you dedicate yourself to it.
Good Health,
Markus
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great plan and great book. Beats running., July 9, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Testosterone Advantage Plan: Lose Weight, Gain Muscle, Boost Energy (Paperback)
I have found this book to be a revelation. I am 40 years old, and a heavy runner. I had been experiencing all sorts fo nagging injuries, and, after reading this book, it occurred to me that perhaps I had been eroding my muscle mass by too much running. Since then, I have cut down the running, begun lifting (with the great and clearly presented workout plan), and I have been stunned by the results. I have lost some "softness" around my middle, my muscle tone has improved considerably, I feel incredibly good, and I am eating better than I have ever have. And, yes, my "testosterone" feels great. Perhaps much of this information is not new. But I had never heard it before. The key for me is that the diet is so good. I am never hungry, as you eat five times a day, with mid-day snacks consisting of peanuts, cottage cheese, glassed of juice or chocolate milk, etc. This is no "Atkins" type of extreme. Rather, you cut out the crap, and you eat lots of protein and whole grains. It is very practical and very healthy. What is most remarkable to me is how good I feel. This program has revitalized me, and I feel better than I did when I was running 40 miles a week (now I am running about 6-10 miles a week). I feel stronger, fitter, thinner, and even mentally I feel more alert and less sluggish. This is a great book that completely delivers. And it is well written and a joy to read as well. A great book for Men's Health.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, March 25, 2006
"The Testosterone Advantage" is a well-written and informative book with a misleading title. A better title would have been "Dieting & Exercise for Men." The book has two main parts: one part is all about diet, the other about exercise (especially weight-bearing exercise).

Unlike many books, "The Testosterone Advantage" has a concrete formula for figuring out what you should eat. Depending upon your age, and goal (weight loss or muscular gain) you can use this book to determine how many calories you should consume, and in what proportions (i.e. carbs, protein, and fats).

The exercise portion of the book explains why some aerobic exercise is good, but too much actually causes the body to catabolize (break down) the very muscle that you work so hard to build (not to mention the effect that extreme aerobic exercise has on joint tissue). Instead, the authors tell us, concentrate on anaerobic exercise, which will not only create muscle, but also bone mass and better joints. Much better than the nebulous advice given by other books (for example, like "Body for Life").
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Men's Health becomes more hardcore--and it works!, April 13, 2002
By 
No, Lou Schuler did not "sell out," and no, the meat/dairy industry is not in cahoots. Visit the Men's Health fitness forum any time and there's Lou, along with the other authors of this book, examining this research more and more every day.
Going further than the mainstream approach of the magazine, this Men's Health publication takes a more hardcore look at diet, supplementation, and lifting techniques for men who want to be edgier, and achieve more, than the average guy at the gym. It takes courage for a newcomer to really believe the astonishing science--you mean fat is GOOD?--but with faith I tried it and found it successful.
The workout routines are tough. On paper they seem simple enough, but in practice they're guaranteed to press you past your mental limits. No, this isn't "Body For Life;" THIS book is for the man who's ready for the next tough step. Mike Mejia has raised the bar. Now squat the damned thing!
For us weightlifting guys who have been heralding the high-protein, high-fat, moderate-carb approach for a long time, this is THE book to give to your buddies who "just don't get it, man," and want to know why we do all this weird eating and strenuous lifting. When people remark, "How you be so lean?? You eat high fat foods!" this book will explain why it works.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Workout Plan, not just for weight loss, June 26, 2004
By A Customer
I used this plan for 9 weeks and got great results (then I got a girlfriend and no longer had time to workout, had other activities on my mind). About 1 year later, I got on the workout portion of the plan again for 13 weeks and again I got great results (stopped again when I got a girlfriend, different one; but I guess it was working because the point is to look good and feel good about yourself). I am now 27, first used the plan when 25. I was about 151 lbs and got up to 159 at then end of the first 9 weeks (I'm 5'10"). I was going for weight gain so this was exactly what I was looking for. The second time I did the plan I only added about 5 lbs to get up to 160.
Workout plan is great. I've been reading magazines and books for years, but this is the best workout plan in my mind. The book contains proper techniqe which is vital to remaining injury free. It is also phased, so you start out with a full body workout that gets you ready for more intensive stuff. I'd never specifically worked my rotator cuff before, but the book showed me how and I never got a nagging shoulder problem as I have occasionally had in the past. The book also does a good job of discussing symetry - so if you're like me and you like to bench, the book really does convince you to at least work the back a bit (which, along with the shoulder work, explains why I didn't fell pain as I have in the past). I also got much stronger at lower body exercises that I have neglected in the past.
I also added in cardio/fat burning once or twice per week. The book discourages, but I'm an endurance person and I enjoy a good sweat and wanted to work my lungs and heart as only cardio can.
I really just followed the workout plan and didn't really do much in the way of following the diet. I did try to eat immediately after the workout, but rarely snacked during the day and ate whatever I wanted. It does contain a good deal of information about diet and food content if thats what you are into.
Three things I will always take away:
1 Have a plan, write it down, follow it
2 Work the entire body, leaving some muscles out is just settin you up for injury or chronic pain
3 Mental focus - don't just go through the exercises, do them with a goal in mind
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Best Body I've Seen This Summer", February 2, 2006
By 
Jerry So.Cal. (San Pedro, CA United States) - See all my reviews
That's what one girl, a very hot girl i might add, told me the summer that i used this book. I was a fairly skinny guy, 5'9" and 140lbs. By the time i finished this book, a 9 week program, i weighed the same but lost about 10lbs fat and reaplced it with 10lbs muscle. This book is not just about exercise, but also about diet. I followed the diet program as was written, except in my last 3 weeks, i cut the recommeneded amount of carbs in half. I think that is what allowed me to get the 6-pack of abs. The only problem with the diet portion of the book is that they indicate only what a 230 pounder should eat, a 180 pounder should eat, and a 150 pounder should eat. But I weighed 140lbs, so i had to do some calculations to figure out how much i was supposed to eat. This took a long time (3 meals plus 2 snacks/day, 7 days/week) and it got annoying. Also, when i 1st tried this book and achieved the best body i've ever had, i was 28 yrs old. When i used this book last summer at age 31, it didn't work so well. Too many calories recommended and i couldn't lose that pouch. Even when i cut carbs, they recommended too much fat(this is based on my personal experience of course). Overall, this is the best book for men under 30 to get in great shape. This book focuses a lot on diet and that is equally important, if not more important, than lifting weights. I am a physical therapist and i couldn't disagree with anything written in the exercise portion of the book. Just make sure you enjoy doing deadlifts.
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The Testosterone Advantage Plan: Lose Weight, Gain Muscle, Boost Energy
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