Flex Life: How to Transform Your Body Forever 1st Edition
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- Item Weight : 1.2 pounds
- Paperback : 262 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1775039900
- ISBN-13 : 978-1775039907
- Publisher : Flex Life Inc.; 1st Edition (December 9, 2017)
- Product Dimensions : 7 x 0.6 x 10 inches
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,655,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Flex, which is much bigger than most books I’ve encountered in this genre, by the way, sets itself apart from most also in that citation references appear throughout the text while usually unsubstantiated exclamation marks are the norm (ie, often unfounded but very bold claims). Instead, not only do we have a book that’s well-referenced, but the references are worthwhile too; mostly from peer-reviewed journals. All too often, writers in this and related fields do reference their work (albeit, usually much more sparsely than this), and then upon checking the bibliography, it turns out that the majority of the references are from sources that are questionable at best (personal blogs, established “woo” sites, quasi-scam marketing companies, and so forth). Not so here, so that was a huge plus.
Equally refreshing was the recurring theme of pragmatism and realism; going with what is psychologically optimal rather than what is technically optimal, to include physiological aspects of willpower, postponement of things one should avoid, “out of sight, out of mind” issues, and advice on how to keep on top of things even if (like the author and, I must admit it, myself), one is naturally inclined towards drinking too much, and doesn’t seem likely to change on that front.
For number-crunchers, there were also a lot of tables of figures to optimize various aspects of diet and exercise, down to even tweaking for maximum protein utilization and balancing the “fat loss vs muscle gain” aspects that trip many (commonly, trying to do both and succeeding and neither; this book suggests a methodology for keeping both in order—again, pretty close to optimally, by the numbers).
If I were to find criticism of this book, it’d be minor points indeed. For instance, a section on sugars lists sucralose in a table as nutritionally comparable to sucrose, despite it being followed by a section on the marvels of dietary fibres (sucralose is indeed a sugar that would be nutritionally comparable to sucrose, if it weren’t for the fact the body doesn’t metabolise it and instead processes it as a dietary fibre, hence its popularity as a practically zero-calorie sweetener). But such tiny aberrations are few and far between and do not detract from what is on the whole an incredibly valuable book.
Spencer speaks directly to us without the need for preaching: ‘Flex Life was inspired by my years of struggling to lose fat and gain muscle. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the dedication or the drive. I was simply drowning in information overload and didn’t know where to start. Search for answers online, and you’re bound to find contradicting, confusing, and sometimes bizarre diet and exercise advice. Some people swear by ketogenic diets (ultra-low-carb), and others just focus on “clean eating.” Some people recommend heavy weight training, and others embrace CrossFit. Some people run sprints, and others run miles. It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. I just wanted to separate what works from what doesn’t and find a diet and exercise program that’s enjoyable and sustainable. So, I set out to learn the true science of diet and exercise. I spent hours reading medical and academic literature and reviewing hundreds of studies. What became clear was virtually any diet can work. But the best diet is the diet that you can maintain. So, I decided to try a few diets to see what they were like. I tried numerous approaches including ketogenic, low carb, clean eating, and traditional bodybuilding diets. I lost weight, but it impacted my quality of life. I had to eliminate many foods that I love and sacrifice my social life. I couldn’t imagine myself following any diet long term. What I really wanted was a diet that enabled me to attain the body of my dreams, without living with so many restrictions. I started following flexible dieting, where no foods are off limits, and achieved remarkable results. I lost 30 pounds and gained considerable strength and muscle mass. For the first time in my life, I felt comfortable and confident in my body. Most importantly, I was enjoying what I was eating, and I could see myself maintaining this diet long term.’
The major message is realistic goals and expectations and remaining flexible in our approach to health. ‘The goal of Flex Life is to balance science with practicality, sustainability, and your needs and preferences… Most importantly, an evidence-based approach also means that you’re willing to change your opinion as new research emerges. Science is constantly evolving, and it isn’t unusual for new research to disprove accepted beliefs.’
Spencer shares five major lessons – ‘1. Diet Is the Biggest Factor: Your diet is the greatest factor affecting weight gain, both at home and on vacation. When practical, you can maintain your current diet by purchasing food that enables tracking what you eat. On vacation, many people prefer to use the 80/ 20 method where they eat whole foods about 80% of the time and indulge about 20% of the time. Maintaining your typical eating habits and frequency can also help to prevent overindulgence. 2. Try to Keep Alcohol in Check: Try your best to keep your alcohol consumption within reason. When you do drink, choose drinks primarily from the Flex Life Drink Menu. From time to time, it’s okay to splurge on sugary or high-alcohol drinks; just don’t make them your go-to drink. 3. Maintain Some Sort of Weight Lifting Routine: When you travel, your goal should simply be to maintain your body, not improve it. Weight lifting can be reduced to as little as once or twice a week, and you’ll still maintain your strength and muscle mass. Generally, I recommend adopting full-body workouts to ensure you train all major muscle groups. 4. Stay Active to Stay Lean: If you incorporate daily activity into your plans, you don’t need to do any cardio to maintain your weight. Try to walk as much as possible and look for fun outdoor activities to do. 5. Get Back on Track ASAP: It’s crucial that you get back into a healthy diet and exercise routine as soon as you return from vacation. Don’t let excuses or a busy schedule get in the way.’
Read the book, absorb the practicality and attainability of the goals presented and feel the difference. Spencer Langley is wise – and wholly accessible as a health guide. Grady Harp, January 18
Top reviews from other countries
What I love most is that Spencer is honest and pragmatic. This is exemplified by the pictures of his own transformation from flabby to buff. He’s not starting with the ‘fantastic me’ and saying I can make you like this. He’s laying out a path that anyone can follow as far as they want to.
I think the fact that Spencer references the available research both to support and debunk certain positions is excellent. He’s not saying so much ‘this is what I think’ he’s saying - ‘the research tells us’...
This book has debunked some myths for me - e.g. the whole ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’. I’d already stoop eating breakfast but it was lovely to have this approach confirmed as valid. It has also educated me - e.g. about what supplements to take, when, why and how they work. And finally it has inspired me and helped me to see that, like all things in life, what you get out is directly related to what you put in. It is as simple the fact that I can engineer the body I want if I follow what the research is telling us works.
Thank you Spencer and I will be recommending this book to my friends.
Admittedly, I am only a short way through, but I am impressed with the author's no nonsense approach and his interpretation of all the various diet regimes.
Well worth a read.