- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 1 edition (May 24, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 006200753X
- ISBN-13: 978-0062007537
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 119 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights?: Fitness Myths, Training Truths, and Other Surprising Discoveries from the Science of Exercise Paperback – May 24, 2011
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“Authoritative and easy to use. . . . This book answers all the big questions.” (Amby Burfoot, Runner’s World)
“Factual, informative and empowering....a refreshing perspective on fitness and well-being.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Once in a while in the crowded fitness & health genre a book comes out that stands out from rest...[I]f there’s only one fitness book you ever buy this should be the one.” (BC Living)
From the Back Cover
There's plenty of conventional wisdom on health and fitness—but how much of it is scientifically sound? The truth is: less than you'd think.
In Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights?, physicist and award-winning journalist Alex Hutchinson tackles dozens of commonly held beliefs and looks at just what research science has—and has not—proven to be true:
Should I exercise when I'm sick? • Do I get the same workout from the elliptical machine that I get from running? • What role does my brain play in fatigue? • Will running ruin my knees? • To lose weight, is it better to eat less or exercise more? • How should I adapt my workout routine as I get older? • Does it matter what I'm thinking about when I train? • Will drinking coffee help or hinder my performance? • Should I have sex the night before a competition?
This myth-busting book covers the full spectrum of exercise science and offers the latest in research from around the globe, as well as helpful diagrams and plenty of practical tips on using proven science to improve fitness, reach weight loss goals, and achieve better competition results.
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Top customer reviews
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The book is very well-written and even the chapters that weren't directly relevant to me were interesting to read. I appreciated the author's attitude - if the research isn't clear about something, he's not afraid to say we don't know!
One comment on the Kindle edition: looking at the Amazon previews, it appears that the printed edition has some inset fact boxes. They aren't highlighted as such on the Kindle, so sometimes the text skips to something slightly unrelated then back into the main text. It didn't happen often but it was confusing the first few times. The images replicated just fine, though.
While the book consults with sports doctors, physiologists and other experts, what's unique about it is that the author has looked for scientific studies which can help prove or disprove the conventional wisdom you hear in the gym. Though the author was a former competitive athlete, he leans more heavily on his PhD background to help you understand what scientific studies have shown about the best way to exercise. This helps you to cut through the marketing hype and locker room folklore so you can decide how best to exercise for what you want to accomplish. And, where the science isn't conclusive, he tells you that, which I like. I've already found two or three improvements in how I would exercise.
So what does the book cover? Well, just about every exercise question I've ever wondered about and a few dozen more. And there are as many topics for the serious athlete as there are for the casual exerciser so this would make a good reference for both. Good ones that come up for people often:
- Is running on a treadmill better or worse than running outside?
- Do I need strength training if I just want to be lean and fit? (or also: Why should I do cardio if I just want to build my muscles?)
- Does listening to music or watching TV help or hurt my workout?
- What are the benefits of yoga for physical fitness?
- To lose weight, is it better to eat less or exercise more?
- Will running on hard surfaces increase my risk of injuries?
- Do I need extra protein to build muscle?
Good ones for more serious athletes:
- Should I carbo-load by eating pasta the night before a competition?
- What is lactate threshold and should I have mine tested?
- What should I do with wobble boards and exercise balls?
- Is there any benefit in deliberately training with low energy stores?
- How should I adjust my training in the final days before a competition?
- Should I be taking probiotics?
With 270 pages of material, I can't list everything I found interesting but my wife is already bugging me to take the book after I'm done so I'm quite happy with the purchase.
So, as i progress in my own training and have a question, and i keep reviewing different parts of the book when i remember a topic in it that suddenly has a relevance. And the chapters have specific information but really are a compass to help navigate a lot of information out there that is conflicting and confusing and often just out there to sucker you into buying a product. This book had a range of information, citations if you want to go further into something, was fun and interesting to read, and really well presented. Totally worthwhile. If you like the kindle sample, buy the book, i was not disappointed with the rest of the book.
I also like how they don't always answer the questions directly. It just has the research and what pro athletes do. That makes me trust it more because there are tons of fitness professionals who would just tell you their opinion. Just the facts, please.