Customer Reviews: Exercise Physiology: Nutrition, Energy, and Human Performance
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on December 20, 2009
This excellent book covers more than the basics of exercise physiology with hundreds of references to studies, charts and graphs. Everything, it seemed to me, was backed by empirical evidence. There is still much to be learned in this field, but I think anyone interested in the subject would do well to own this textbook. It is written on an introductory college level, in my opinion. I rated it 5 stars based on the presentation of the material and sound scientific basis for ideas presented.
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This book by McArdle et al is essential reading for those studying fairly basic to moderately advanced exercise physiology. For those who want something a little easier to read, I would start with "Exercise Physiology" by Sharon Plowman and Denise Smith 3 EdExercise Physiology for Health, Fitness, and Performance; also available on Amazon. For more advanced post-grad stuff, I would also recommend "ACSM's Advanced Exercise Physiology". In my opinion, McArdle's .. book is an indispensible text for all readers interested in exercise physiology other than for those who only require a really basic, cursory knowledge of the subject. PS I own all 3 of the titles I have mentioned.
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on March 15, 2012
I'll start with the positive:
1. There's about a 1000 pages of information complete with 1000's of references (listed online), colorful illustrations and diagrams. The text doesn't dumb the material down, and explains nearly everything. A person that reads and studies this book can go from near complete ignorance to a very solid understanding of human physiology and how it adapts to exercise.
2. The text differentiates between what is substantiated knowledge and what is conjecture or expert opinion of the authors for the most part. See the negative.

The negative:
1. The authors write from a perspective of achieving and maintaining general health, and not achieving athletic excellence or elite status. If you are a coach or athlete striving for athletic superiority, there are better books for you.
2. My biggest gripe: the authors are obsessed with endurance training and fitness. Whenever they describe a trained athlete, they go on to talk about an endurance athlete. Fitness to them means endurance fitness. Unless you are reading a section specifically devoted to maximum strength, power, or hypertrophy, the authors will ultimately end up supporting their contentions with studies of endurance athletes. This is sad because tremendous evidence shows that endurance training is contraindicative to many aspects (strength, power, RFD, speed, hormone response) of athletic improvement. This book mentions the negative consequences of endurance training and then the authors attempt to belittle them and justify endurance training. It is clear the authors have bias for endurance training. A book 1000 pages long and titled "Exercise Physiology" should be much more balanced and objective.
3. If know anything about Shock Training (aka Plyometrics) you will find the authors ignorance and brevity on the subject disturbing. The discovery and understanding of plyometrics is perhaps the most important development in exercise science in this century. I highly recommend Yuri Verkhoshanky's books for more information on plyometrics.
4. The authors state that the 1st law of thermodynamics (calories in - calories burned = changes in body mass) applies simply to humans when it comes to dieting as if this were a fact. It's not a fact, and there's tremendous evidence that counters this contention. 1. The body is not 100% efficient. Many factors can alter it's efficiency. 2 The body will excrete material that could have been burned as energy under various conditions 3. Various factors affect human metabolism.

Indeed one author (male) confesses to have ~20% body fat. I have single digit body fat (and I never do any type of endurance exercise, nor do I count calories. I do base my diet on a scientific understanding of metabolism and hormone response to food intake). Overall, the book makes an honest attempt at reviewing applicable scientific literature without bias, but the authors are clearly biased when it comes to dieting and endurance exercise.

I still give this book 4 stars because of the tremendous volume of science backed information and all the wonderful graphs, diagrams, and charts that make understanding the information so much easier.
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on May 3, 2014
I used this book to help with my graduate level courses in physiology and it helped tremendously. Some of the information was different from other text books I have used in the past, but besides that this was a great resource.
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on May 16, 2012
I bought this book 2 months ago. It has a lot of chapters explaining different subjects, such as nutrition, VO2 max etc. I definitely recommend it to university's students who want to learn more about exercise physiology, nutrition and how the human's body system works.
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on February 24, 2011
A great book and a great resource for anyone looking for a basic understanding of exercise physiology -- The citations are clear, the information is pretty thorough, and the illustrations and charts are easy to interpret. In addition to basic physiology, the book also includes fitness guidelines and other resources you wouldn't necessarily expect to find.

If you are planning for a career in this field, this book would be a good one to keep in your collection as opposed to just throwing it away or selling it after you pass the course. Happy reading!
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on February 6, 2013
I purchased this as a gift for my nephew, and was generally disappointed. There is far too much "Nutrition 101" information contained that was unnecessary. While the book does have good information, I don't think it lives up to the hype as described on Amazon.
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on June 1, 2015
This is the third updated version I have ordered. It's an excellent book that I would recommend to anyone interested in their own health, particularly if you are an athlete of any level of fitness.
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on April 16, 2015
I was supposed to buy the 4th edition for $36,083 but I opted to buy the 3rd edition for $15 and it has 98% of the same information. A good deal on a high quality physio book
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on February 12, 2013
Bought this book for one of my graduate school classes. Necessary for the class. A bit tough to read at times, but full of great information.
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