- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books; First Edition edition (April 29, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345498461
- ISBN-13: 978-0345498465
- Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.9 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 71 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #731,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Strength for Life: The Fitness Plan for the Rest of Your Life Hardcover – April 29, 2008
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Advance praise for Strength for Life
“Strength training is unsurpassed in its ability to create superbly sculpted muscles and increase balance, strength, and stamina while ridding the body of unwanted fat. Shawn Phillips has developed an outstanding holistic program that will help you to reach these goals quickly–regardless of age or current fitness level. His unique mind-body approach keeps you constantly motivated, enabling you to achieve true strength for life.”
–Nicholas Perricone, M.D., F.A.C.N., author of The Perricone Weight-Loss Diet
“This is the first book to take you through a 12-week transformation and beyond. It’s like finally hearing the rest of the story. In week 13 and afterward, you set yourself for a lifetime of strength and fitness.”
–Lynn Lingenfelter, 1997 Body-for-LIFE co-grand champion
“Strength for Life is truly fantastic! This is a book and a message that every single person can identify with and be inspired by.”
–Larry North, founder, Larry North Fitness Clubs
“Do you want to be in control of your life? If you do, the answers are in the pages of Strength for Life. This book illustrates the difference between exercise and training. Now my mind is right and my body is ready, and so far each session has been more productive. It reminded me of why we seek to be fit, and seek the ultimate goal of our lives.”
–G. Porter Freeman, 1997 Body-for-LIFE co-grand champion
“Strength for Life is a superb handbook on physical transformation, leading to a complete life transformation, a novel and tremendously effective technique. Highly recommended!”
–Ken Wilber, author of The Integral Vision
“Shawn Phillips is the epitome of form following function. There is no need to suffer through exercise when you hack away the inessentials and focus on what really matters: Strength.”
–Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek
About the Author
Shawn Phillips is CEO of Phillips Performance Nutrition, maker of the world’s premium total-nutrition shakes. He lives with his wife, son, and daughter in Golden, Colorado.
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Interestingly, Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength was written by Shawn's brother. The major difference that I see is focusing on multiple dimensions that make up fitness including the development of aerobic capacity in a systematic, time effective manner with a lack of fluff.
This book is easy to read, but it has everything you need to know to get stronger. It is written with an encouraging tone and obviously the author practices what he preaches based on the cover photo and other photos I've seen in his other titles. If you liked Body for Life, you will love this book because it goes even further. I suspect Shawn built on what his brother learned along the way with his book as well as his own deep experience.
There are other good reviews that detail the contents of this book, but if you are looking for a fast track and well-rounded program, this may really be for you. I've tried out the workouts and advice here and was very impressed. I must say some of the workout advice may not be appropriate for a beginner, but the program is progressive and you can always start with less and work up to more.
I used to be a Teaching Fellow in physiology and I also did biological research for a living. While I don't believe in a one size fits all approach, this is certainly a good guideline for both men and women. If you want other more specific and detailed information on strength building, I also recommend the following... Build Muscle Lose Fat Look Great: Everything You Need to Know to Transform Your Body,Brawn, 3rd Edition and Beyond Brawn: The Insider's Encyclopedia on How to Build Muscle and Might (Brawn). For supplemental diet advice or more information as it relates to the health of the skeltal system, see FrameWork.
I hope this review was helpful. I don't think you can go wrong with this well-organized, progressive and innovative approach. It is balanced and really considers every dimension of life and how it contributes to overall fitness. It also treats the body and mind as a unit. Interestingly, Ken Wilber reviewed this book and it quoted on the product page. Ken has over 20 books in print some of them for 20 years and is the only living author that I'm aware of who has been asked to do a compilation of his life's work by Random House. I have read much of Wilber's material and reviewed most of it on here. I also compiled a listmania list on my profile page for those who would like to know more.
Most of the fitness books out there are written by people who just don't get it and are "cookie cutter" approaches.
The "Phillips Brother's" have always done it real!
Of course, there may be other programs that would work to achieve similar results. The most important thing is to find a program and stick to it. For me, at least, the best way to get results is to follow a program as if it were scripture -- to follow the advice without deviation until it becomes firmly entrenched into my routine. But I've tried other programs over the last several years (such as the "Abs Diet") that didn't bring me nearly as much success and were not as well thought out as this one. More importantly, what is needed is a program that you can really follow for life -- with adaptations to fit your own experience and growing knowledge of your own body -- and this one fits the bill.
I was drawn to Strength for Life because it was written by Shawn Phillips, the brother of Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength author Bill Phillips. About 7 years ago while teaching in London I picked up Body for Life and decided to follow it. I lost a lot of weight and got a lot stronger -- and it lasted until I came home and got back into my old routine. Then I found myself spending all my time working and hardly any time exercising -- part of the problem was that I'd gotten bored with a program that put looking good as its top priority.
Shawn Phillips' book offers a similar program to the one in "Body For Life" -- but it is aimed in part at people like me who can't see the value of following a tough weight training program indefinitely for the rest of their lives. He modifies the program in a few ways -- but above all adds a "mindfulness" dimension to the exclusive body focus of "Body for Life." Strength, for Shawn Phillips, combines mental focus and body discipline. Each workout becomes both about building strength and practicing mindfulness.
In addition, while he makes clear that the quickest way to lose weight is through a smart combination of strength training and aerobics exercise, he also knows that a good routine is one that offers variety. Following a 12 week intensive body transformation program over and over for the rest of your life is just not something that most people are able to do -- and in the long run such a plan would be destructive since the body needs to rest.
What Phillips suggests is that you follow his 12 week transformation program once a year -- and consider that like the on-season of a sports program, or like the build-up to a yearly marathon. Use the other three quarters of the year to focus on another dimension of strength, such as flexibility or endurance, or as a time to build expertise in a sport of choice. This is a plan that I could live with. Even now, during the intensive 12 week program, it only takes about 45 minutes a day to do my workouts -- and the food I eat tastes much better and leaves me with a lot more energy than before -- and the results have been astonishing.
The nutritional guidelines are easy to follow and merely simplify and clarify nutritional advice that the best experts and research provide: don't eat junk food, eat small meals 5-6 times a week instead of 3 large meals, eat a healthy balance of lean proteins and good carbs and the right kind of fats. There is a lot of very useful advice packed into this book on how to think about eating and exercising and other matters, written by someone who has obviously been living this for a long time and reflected carefully on what works and what doesn't. For example, he suggests that you think about eating in a whole new way: not as a way to fill a hunger, but as a way to provide your body with the energy it needs to accomplish what you need to in the next few hours. That simple advice has been like a paradigm shift for me -- eating better no longer feels like a restriction, rather it feels like liberation, because I see it as enabling myself to accomplish what I want to.
My only qualm about the book -- and a point that I think could be improved in an otherwise excellent program -- is that it doesn't seem to give enough attention to stretching. The program includes a stretching routine one day a week -- but everything I know about exercise and fitness says that stretching, after a warm up, should be included as part of every aerobic and strength training session. An excellent complement to this book, for anyone who really plans to take it seriously, would be Nicholas DiNubile and William Patrick's "Framework."