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"1% Fitness is 100% the type of information people need to digest in order to redeem consistent long-term results."- Tony Gentilcore, Strength Coach, TonyGentilcore.com
About the Author
Mike Sheridan has been advising on nutrition and fitness for nearly a decade. His success is due in large part to his philosophy, that "Transformation Starts With Education" - not just showing his clients what to do, but teaching them WHY.
In addition to his 3-Step Transformation Plan (Eat Meat And Stop Jogging, Live It NOT Diet!, 1% Fitness), and newly released "Go With Your Gut" Protocol, Coach Mike continues to share his knowledge and experience via guest articles, blog posts, and personal appearances.
File Size: 2638 KB
Print Length: 329 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Lean Living INC; 2 edition (July 26, 2015)
I will preface this review by saying I read this on my Kindle and I was able to purchase it when it was offered as a promo for free. Regular Kindle price is $9.99.
This is Sheridan's premise: "That all of the fat loss, muscle gain, cardiovascular and metabolic improvements, and reduction in disease risk and mortality can be achieved in far less time." Specifically, he says you can do this in 108 minutes or less a week through strength/resistance training. And I will say from the start that I do agree with him that strength/resistance training are a crucial component of a fitness plan, I do not believe that it is all you must do. (And with enough time and resources, I am confident that I could find just as many references to make my case.) Neither does he, really, but I'll get to that a bit later in the review.
Here are the reasons for the low rating.
Editting. Sheridan needed to invest in a good editor for his book. Problems include wrong word choice, missing or extra words, typographical errors, numerous sentence fragments, and more. One example is "happens on a comfortable thrown that washes your business away" (referring to a toilet). Another example is this sentence: "Bicep curls seem to only be superior for improving ATTENTION every day life." Or the chart where he talks about doing Reps/Weight when the chart is actually weight/reps. There are many more examples.
Formatting. I don't know what the physical book looks like, but the Kindle one is awful. There are many times when lines are repeated from one page to the next and the illustrations are basically useless on the Kindle. If you enlarge them to try to read the charts and graphs, most of the line graphs are still too small to see, and the legends and captions for almost all of them are too blurry to read.
Errors and questionable facts. Sheridan's whole premise is that you need only devote 1% of your time each week to this fitness plan. Which he describes as "10,8000min in a week*1%." First there are obvious typos in there. Second, the actual number of minutes in a week is 10,080. You lose all credibility when you can't even get this much correct. As another example, he describes abdominal muscles as primarily fast twitch. I can find no reference that supports this. In fact, most of the references I found state that all of your core muscles are predominantly slow twitch. Those are just two examples, but there are many more.
Marketing Bait and Switch. Anyone picking up this book is going to think that they are getting a way to become fit in just a few minutes per week. However, Sheridan tells you in the introduction that he expects you to have read and to be following the principles in his other two books. One is his diet book that, from what I can infer from what he says in this book, is basically an Atkins-style low- or no-carb diet. The other book I think talks about his "lifestyle" changes. (I refuse to give this man money to buy these books. I don't like this trend of self-published authors to deliberately write books that force you to buy additional books to get the full plan or read the full story. If your book isn't good enough to stand on its own, don't write it.) Also, when you get to the end of this book where he finally describes the exercises, there are charts that name the exercises and tell you the number of reps, but there are no pictures or descriptions of them. I challenge all of you to do a Glute Bridge L2 right now. What is that? Who knows? (I also just noted that you go from Glute Bridge L2 to Glute Bridge L4 with no L3. I assume this is another editing problem.) In order to get the descriptions, you need to go to his website and provide an email address to sign up for his mailing list. At which point he sends you a discount code so you can go to another website to get the videos for the plan. However, even with the discount code, the website wants you to enter your credit card information. This is beyond deplorable in these times of rampant identity theft and credit card theft. If he wants to put the stuff behind a password protected wall, that's fine. Do not ask people to provide credit card information. (FYI, if you go to YouTube and search for his name and the name of the exercise, you should be able to find most if not all of them.)
Misleading. He asserts you can get fit in just 1% of your time each week (what he states is 108 minutes which, as noted above, is wrong and should actually be 100.8 minutes). However, you are supposed to be doing his lifestyle changes outlined in a different book which involve 30 minutes per day of walking along with some functional exercises and activity breaks every 45-60 minutes. So, way more than 1%.
Citations. Sheridan provides a ton of citations. Unfortunately, they aren't formatted consistently (some don't even include a publication date), and I was never able to figure out how they are ordered. I tried to look up the citation for a couple of things he referenced in the book, but I shouldn't have to read through up to 8 or 9 pages of references (per chapter) to find the one study I want to read.
So again, I do agree that a fitness plan needs a good strength training program. However, I cannot recommend this plan or this book.
Don't quite know what to make of this book and of the author. The content is generally good and seems very well-researched (there are so many references for each of the principles). Everything he says makes sense, is very logical and is pretty simple. He defies common wisdom in ways I had not seen before. The workouts are pretty simple at the beginning before you have to step into the gym and use weights. At the point where one needs to get to the gym and use weights and resistance bands, this is where, to me, it becomes unsustainable for most people. Sure, the workouts themselves may be short, but the overhead of getting to a gym with weights is going to be a deal killer. And when you take into account the 30 minutes of walking, the warmup, the workout, the desk routine, the feet strengthening, etc. you get to more than 1% of the week. Thinking you can get fitness with 1% of your week is just silly and a marketing slogan.
Like any workout book, if you stick with it long enough, I have no doubt that you will see results, so the "does it work?" question is a silly one to ask. If you walk for 30 minutes every day and do weights 2 to 3 times a week, you will lose weight and be more fit, regardless of what exercises you actually do.
My main gripe with this book is the packaging, which is terrible (low quality images / pictures) and bad editing. The author also plugs his "other books" quite a bit in the text. The website is not that much better, without encryption for logging in.
The author also favors the use of a potty stand so that you can squat while going number 2, which is one of the many eyebrow raising you will find in the book and on the website.
All in all, I love the theory / ideas in this book and I am giving it a fair shot. There are many helpful and practical things in there (the desk routine, the foot strengthening, the daily squats) and I love that the author takes a first principles / back to basics approach. But I'm holding off on the potty stand for now.
I've been on the weight roller coaster for most of my adult life - after having two kids. I used the fact that I'd had two kids as a "valid" excuse to slack on my physical appearance and fitness level. I decided a couple of years ago to change that, and I did tons of cardio, counted calories, joined online groups, and I did lose 27 pounds before a trip to Europe (Paris, Romania, Holland) with my husband. So what did I do when we returned? I gained it all back and then about 13 more pounds to boot. I stopped everything.
I decided to give it another go about three months ago. I've been doing quite well. Lots of cardio, counting calories... started down the same road that I was successful with a couple of years ago. Then I started doing some research and decided to mix it up some. Do things a little differently. The last book I reviewed was Eat Meat and Stop Jogging (also by Mike Sheridan). It kindled a new determination, so I decided to read 1% Fitness, too.
I'll be honest; I was skeptical. Reduce cardio and start lifting weights..? But I don't want to bulk up, I just want to tone. During the last week (or 10 days?) since I bought the book, I've started lifting more and doing less cardio. I haven't had much time to see results yet, but I can say that I'm not bored while running on the treadmill or on the stair stepper. I enjoy my gym trips more because I've started circuit training, and I've even changed the way I workout at home. I've started doing more high intensity interval training to "shock" different body parts.
I'll update as time goes, but so far I'm enjoying changing things up and doing everything differently. And I believe other reviewers are correct when they say that Mike knows what he's talking about.