Why, oh, why, do we blimp out after 30? Even when I was active, lifting weights and exercising regularly, I still found I gained weight steadily after 35 years old? Is it just in our genes? Author Phil Campbell reveals some interesting scientific findings here, and he provides practical 3 to 5 hour a week work outs designed to combat middle age spread. The cover picture is of the author who looks rather like a super-fit version of former President Clinton. It certainly seems to work for him--and he is fifty. Campbell discusses how growth hormone, banned from drug-free athletic competition, is responsible for keeping that middle-age spread at bay. But short of illegal injections in Mexico, what can a middle-aged person do to boost their growth hormone naturally and reap the fitness benefits? New medical discoveries show that you can significantly increase GH naturally. Very specific forms of exercise, some nutritional supplements, and adequate sleep, will increase levels of the hormone naturally, even in older people. Some interesting findings are that eating properly before and after exercise can either boost or inhibit growth hormone. For example, if you eat a Big Mac, fries and then go work out, and two hours afterwards, down the supersized coke or drink Gatorade, you can kiss results goodbye. The combination of high fat before and high sugar after exercise prevent the release of tiny amounts of growth hormone, which puts on muscle and improves athletic performance. The exercise programs here range from about 3.5 hours for beginners up to 5 hours for enthusiasts. But at first blush, the workouts seem excessively technical. They range from aerobics, to "plyometrics" which are exercises that boost fast-twitch muscle--the muscle type that fades away with age. And then there are weights. The book shows Mr. Campbell tossing javelins, doing karate kicks (another of his areas of expertise), bounding and otherwise flying about. This can be discouraging if you are a couch potato, but dream of being fit (me, for example.) The "Strategic Fitness Plans" are five different fitness levels- based on your age, your current fitness status, and training experience. If you intend to follow this program, you should visit your physician first if you are tremendously out of shape. Some of the exercises here can get you hurt if you don't go at them correctly (the bounding can whack your ankles.) And a personal trainer, if available, would be a real asset. There is a lot here--flexibility, fast movement (sprinting, fast cycling), weights and more. It seems complicated at first, but a complete exercise program should at least contain stretching, aerobics and weights, so here you are adding the fast-twitch stimulating exercises to combat that middle-age metabolic monster. If you are SERIOUS about wanting to beat aging and get or stay in the best shape, and are noticing that age is beginning to take a toll, this book could be very helpful. I predict Campbells s book will become the next exercise fad best-seller.
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