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on January 22, 2010
I love his first book "thrive diet" and live by it daily. So due to this i bought this book as a serious endurance athlete who wishes to learn more.

Now although they can be related, being a vegan is basically about diet in my view. Exercise is another lifestyle. So although I didn't think about it when I bought the book, a "vegan based training program" doesn't really make sense. Should have been labeled something like "a training program with a vegan diet" which is more straightforward saying that they are not the same.

It might have been my fault to assume, but I was thinking/hoping that this book would be how be became a professional triathlete and how he trained the most efficiently as an endurance athlete. My fault to assume, but it's basically how to workout at home with body resistance routines. Which helps as an endurance athlete, but not the most useful to buy a book for.

If you read his first book, the first 1/3 of this book is basically a waste. It's repeating what he said in the first book about "why a plant based diet is better for performance", but in less detail due to him needing to talk about new things in the remaining pages.

Some of the info thats new is helpful. He talks about many different things when it comes to becoming in better fitness shape. The problem with the book however is that each topic is very short and he doesn't go into detail due to his need to talk about many things.

Although I love how his first book really helped me and changed the way I fuel my body, this one is really a waste. Few things are new and minimally useful, but overall none of the diet stuff is really new. All the stuff he talks about in this book is in the first book, but in less detail.

I watched interviews of him before, and every question he tried to spin it into talking about his food line "Vega". Due to this I didn't buy his first book till I asked someone and they said that his recipes, in the first book, gave every ingredient that he used and didn't just say "use Vega + fruit". In this book unfortunately many of his recipes are just vega + a banana smoothie. And whenever he had the chance he seemed to plug his food line. If I knew that this was the case I wouldn't have bought the book at all due to the fact of him trying to sell something else after I spent my money on his book.

Take my advice, buy his first book and get another book that is targeted to the sport of your choice which is more detailed than this.
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on February 6, 2010
Before I get to what Brendan Brazier's Thrive Fitness is, let me start with what it isn't. It's not a diet plan: Thrive, Brendan's first book, already went there. And while I consider Thrive to be somewhat revolutionary in its comprehensive treatment of the vegan diet for athletes, Thrive Fitness isn't going to change the way we look at training.

What Thrive Fitness is, however, is an answer to the question "How should I incorporate strength training into my current endurance program?" This is a question I've asked myself a lot, wondering at what point the risk of injury outweighs the potential for strength gains. Brendan's answer takes the form of a set of workouts, to be done at a gym or at home with minimal equipment, that can be laid on top of one's current running, cycling, or swimming schedule.

Though a few guidelines for cardio workouts are given and some special attention paid for those brand new to running, most of the focus regarding endurance and cardio workouts is on what to eat before, during and after them. About twenty "sport-specific" recipes (energy gels, energy pudding, energy bars, pre- and post-workout drinks, sports drink, etc.) are provided, including several original versions of what eventually became Brendan's commercial Vega line of products. What's more, by incorporating new superfoods, several of the recipes in Thrive Fitness are nutritional improvements over those given in Thrive.

My favorite part of Thrive Fitness, though, is what makes it unique in a sea of other fitness books---the focus on energy, sleep, stress, and non-physical benefits of exercise, such as creativity, active meditation, and the effects of endorphins. I found that reading about these added perks, rather than the standard fat-loss, muscle-gain fare of other exercise books, motivated me more than anything has in a while to hit the gym or to get out for a run.

So would I recommend Thrive Fitness? To complete exercise newbies, no. To accomplished endurance athletes who are happy with their current strength-training regimen, probably not, though useful insights could be gleaned from the aforementioned section on the non-physical benefits and the "Fuel for Fitness" chapter, including the training recipes. But to those who have run a marathon, a half, or even multiple such events, and are looking to take their fitness to the next level by adding a strength component to their training, absolutely. Thrive Fitness provides that component in a flexible manner that can serve as either a training overhaul or a simple tune-up, whichever is desired.
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on May 21, 2011
The first few chapters of this book are pretty solid--mostly a testimony of Brazier's vegan-based philosophy for performance athletes and weekend warriors. He presents a compelling argument for pursuing one's goals, eating right, and taking care of the body. There is a good discussion of how stress and lifestyle impact health, and how that in turn affects the body's performance capacity. Following these sections, he introduces a section on performance improvement. This chapter contains a solid regimen of exercises; however, the descriptions and illustrations leave much to be desired. If you are not familiar with how to do these exercises properly already, I would seek advice elsewhere for proper technique.

The section on incorporating vegan-athlete friendly foods into your diet was informative, albeit neither well-referenced nor entirely practical. It would be to both the author and the reader's benefit had the former been more specific about how he knows, for instance, that "maca helps lower cortisol levels, which will improve sleep quality." There should be a numbered citation to go along with this and other such statements, not just a list of references at the back of the book. Another flaw with this book is the fascination with exotic foods/ingredients and Vega-brand products. Although I have yet to read it, other readers suggest that "Thrive Diet," offers a better discussion of how to utilize more commonplace grocery fare for the rest of us who want to enjoy similar performance results.

What I wanted from this book was dietary advice on how to better operate a high-caloric lifestyle on vegan fuel, so to speak. This book, although somewhat informative, fell short.
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on July 20, 2009
Brendan's books are a must-read for everyone who wants to thrive versus just survive. You do not have to become a radical vegan to enjoy the nutritional guidelines in Thrive Fitness. Anyone can benefit tremendously from implementing the pre-, during, and post-workout recipes.

I am training for a triathlon, and simply cannot believe how much more quickly my body recovers from strenuous exercise now that I am following Brendan's recommendations for what to eat before I work out, while I'm doing it, and after the fact.

A bit of advice to all you animal product consumers: Even you will LOVE the sport drinks, puddings, and smoothies. Try them -- your body will thank you!
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on April 13, 2013
I waited for ages before getting this book because of the first review. I wish I hadn't. The first book is great if you want to know why plant based nutrition is good for training. The second book tells you how to incorporate it into your life. Yes he does talk about his new range of sports nutrition but he also gives you the recipes and he doesn't go on and on about. I make my own from the recipes and they are delicious and very easy to make. This is a great easy to read, step by step approach to plant based nutrition, training, recovery and how they work together. It is by far the best book I have read so far on this subject.
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on June 2, 2012
I picked this book up after reading "The China Study," which started me thinking (once again)about reducing the amount of meat I eat. I was concerned about the impact it might have on athletic performance since I do triathlons and have finished both Kona and Boston twice. I figured Brendon Brazier's books were a good place to start looking for vegan recipe ideas. His fitness program was of a little less interest to me, however.

From the nutrition standpoint, the book has changed the way my wife and I eat. Although we are not vegans or vegetarians, our meals are plant based with occaisonal animal products included, rather than the other way around. We have enjoyed his shakes,which we have numerous times throughout the week, energy bars, hemp milk, pancakes, and salads. We also like his preworkout and shake mixes. Although I have not adopted his fitness program completely, that portion of the book is very interesting and I have incorporated some of it into my workouts. His personal story of wanting to be a pro triathlete early on and then experimenting with workouts and nutrition to maximize his talents, I found to be very interesting. I like all of his books and think that this is the one to read to get advice on training programs, and his latest is better for all the recipes. Bottom line is that my wife and I have more energy, feel better, are healthier, and enjoy a wider variety foods now because of his books.
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on February 7, 2010
While the author addresses all the complaints non-vegan and vegetarians make about giving up dead animal flesh, he doesn't offer much in the way of solutions outside name-dropping his branded health supplement. This regular advertising of a packaged product goes almost directly against alot of the prescriptions for eating that he recommends... "so - should you be eating packaged food and supplements? No, unless they're his supplements." Pretty lame.
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on June 12, 2014
the original thrive book contained all the information this book discusses plus more, and with greater detail. this was basically a summary with some more recipes and some workouts you can do in a hotel room without much equipment. if you cut out all the cheesy workout pictures and recipes there is probably less than 100 pages of worthwhile material to read about. also, he discusses staying fit while traveling and suggests doing the cheesy workouts in your hotel room. i travel all the time for work and it's easy to stay fit. hotels have gyms in them for god sakes. 95% of them have dumbbells ranging from 5-50 pounds with a bench. you can workout your whole body using just dumbbells. you can get your cardio done via running, which you can do anywhere regardless of location.
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on January 5, 2011
I'm a dietitian and strongly believe in plant-based diets and that one can achieve peak physical fitness being a vegetarian or a vegan. However, if you want to understand WHY or HOW it works, this book does little to explain it, at least not in a credible way besides the fact that the author is an famous vegan ironman. The list of references is weak, consider he included an encyclopedia, referenced mostly books rather than research, and chose not to link them to where he mentioned them. On p.45 he wrote "It makes perfect sense" about his nutritional philosophy. This is how myths start; yes, it made perfect sense to ancient Greeks that gods scheduled when it rains. His dietary suggestions were fine and he should simply stick with "It works for me" instead of trying to be a scientist. He makes a living writing books and speaking on tours, he needs you to believe he knows the secrets for his career to continue. There is a list of commercial products, dietary supplements, energy bars and special water he suggests you to use. So much for being natural. Don't get me wrong, plant-base, whole foods, minimal sugars are great, most of my work involves helping people to figure out HOW to do it in their lives.
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on March 29, 2010
"Thrive" is a comprehensive guide, full of valuable information to help any newcomer into veganism and the reasons we should all take a good hard look at the harsh standard diet so affluent in our malnurished obese nation. I love this book and I use the recipes but be advised that these recepies will require more money out of your pocket book, access to a health food provider and added time in preparation of each meal. If you are looking for quick recipes, you will not find them here unless you are making a smoothy..:) You can always use the web to find alternatives on those days where the time is just not available.
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