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Chris Carmichael's Food for Fitness Hardcover – July 22, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Marathon runners, triathletes, long-distance runners, bicyclists and other very active adults are "a minority group living in a society struggling to cope with serious health issues." America's current focus on low-carb dieting is of no concern to them, but there are scant resources available to guide them through the morass of protein intake, hydration and carb-loading. With this comprehensive resource for fueling active bodies, Carmichael fills a much-needed gap. The author, Lance Armstrong's coach for 14 years, insists he doesn't want readers to eat calories to specifically balance out the energy they expend. Rather, they'd do well to follow his in-depth program, which matches activity with food by periods, breaking the year into four big segments: foundation, preparation, specialization and transition. The amount of energy you burn changes as you go through weeks, months and a year of training, and eating the same basic number of calories all year results in over- and under-eating during certain months. It's a perfectly commonsense method, and Carmichael expounds upon it with charts and graphs that give facts on everything from sources of calcium to high-quality grains and cereals. Although the quantity of information can be dizzying, persistent and diligent elite athletes will come away from this book with plenty of ideas on how food can help them excel.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


I would not be a Tour de France champion without [Chris Carmichael]. --Lance Armstrong --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (July 22, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039915194X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399151941
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,334,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jonathon W Poore on August 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I've been looking forward to Chris Carmichael's "Food for Fitness" for some weeks now. I'm a fan of Lance Armstrong, and I'm a beginner marathon runner myself, so this combination of cycling lore and nutritional information is something I thought would be both informative and fun.

However, I have to say that I am disappointed by the quality of the final book. There is quite a bit of good data here, and the science behind how we process and burn energy is described in some detail. But the information is poorly organized, spread over multiple chapters and often contradictory. Sample meal plans are provided, but these are vague and sometimes incomplete. For example, one daily diet described on page 212 skips breakfast. This seems like a bad idea for anyone, let alone an endurance athlete.

In addition to the factual inconsistencies, the writing itself is not very clear. I often found myself having to reread paragraphs to understand the point the author was trying to make. In a technical book such as this, a consistent use of the topic sentence would have made it much more readable. It feels as if the book is half-completed; with data, anecdotal stories, and recipes all dropped in and stirred around a bit, with not enough effort spent on making the text into a cohesive whole.

Mr. Carmichael also spends a significant portion of the book promoting his other products; notably his CTS training courses and his affiliation with PowerAde. There are whole pages that read more like a brochure than a technical nutrition book.

There is some good information here, and I will keep the book and use it as a reference in the future. But I can't help thinking that so much more could have been accomplished with better organization, a more approachable writing style, and less emphasis on the add-ons.
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Format: Hardcover
As someone with insulin issues (Insulin resistance) I have struggled for the last year to find any information on nutrition that related to me as a runner. All the info I could find was either geared to marathoners who run 60-80+ miles weekly, or to couch potatoes...my 4-5 hour a week training didn't seem to fit in anybody's info, even though i was infinitely more active than anyone in my circle of friends. There was nothing in the middle for me and it was frustrating.

I bought Chris's book 48 hours ago, the day it arrived in our bookstore. It is without question, the best resource on running and eating I have ever read, and I've done literally hundreds of hours of research trying to find information applicable to me.

I was concerned about the book being too elitist, but it is amazing. He has absolutely done his homework on everything from low-carbing to sports drinks and I have no doubt my book will get worn out from all the referencing I will be doing. I haven't been able to put it down.

He writes as an authority, but he his style is one as fellow athlete and not preacher. The book is a wealth of graphs and charts and things to help us individually. Some folks might get bogged down in some of the detailed nutrition info, but I have to admit it fascinated me. It was well-written and his stories involving real life athletes are engaging.

I HIGHLY reccommend this book. Not only does the guy's reputation precede him, but as somebody who has struggled to find good info from the monotonous assembly line of books on running/athletics out there, I've found this book to be the cream of the crop. Chris has an all-encompassing, realistic and well written book for everybody from serious to recreational athlete.
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Format: Hardcover
It's about time someone wrote a new nutrition book for active people. This book cuts through all the carb confusion to give people who exercise real information about how much carbohydrate and protein we need, and the reasons why. Carmichael gives low-carb diets credit for being effective for weight loss, but then provides all the reasons a higher-carbohdyrate diet is better for active people. More than that, he tells you how to match nutrition to training so you perform better and control your weight during the year. This is the plan Carmichael uses with Lance Armstrong, who just won his sixth Tour de France. I expected the book to be over my head, but I am impressed; Carmichael makes science easy to understand and applies his common-sense nutrition program to middle-aged, moderately-active, very busy men like me. I haven't tried the recipes or used the meal plans in the back of the book yet, but I expect they're as good as the information that precedes them.
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Format: Paperback
Within 3 weeks of implementing the basic concepts I noticed a massive difference in my ability to train productively on successive days and that my soreness after long runs of 10-20 miles was drastically cut.

One of the great things about this book is that you can apply it's concepts in a macro or micro level pretty easilly, from grams to food groups to eating for specific training cycles.

The organization and layout could use some cleaning up, but the content makes up for it. It has plenty of sample diets, though it could use a little more.

Truly outstanding!
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Format: Paperback
I have a masters degree in Exercise Physiology, and as such, have had numerous courses and training in exercise nutrition. I found this book to be incredibly helpful and an all-around great nutritional resource. It touches all of the main points of nutrition and really does a good job of applying the principles to active individuals.
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