In Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? Alex Hutchinson, a physicist, award-winning journalist, and contributing editor of Popular Mechanics magazine, reveals the little-known and often surprising truths that science has uncovered about exercise. A book that ranges from cardio and weights to competition and weight loss, here are fascinating facts and practical tips for fitness buffs, competitive athletes, and popular science fans alike.
This wide-ranging book covers far more than its title promises. Beyond the cardio/weight debate, Hutchinson covers fitness gear, physiology, flexibility, aging, injury, weight management, and the mental aspects of exercise in this question-and-answer-style offering. Hutchinson, editor at Popular Mechanics and Canadian Running and columnist for the Toronto Globe and Mail, is certainly a subject matter expert and a thorough researcher, clearly explaining scientific concepts for the average reader. He doesn't promote snake-oil paths to fitness, but rather promises and provides up-to-date, research-based health and fitness news. He touches on trends like barefoot running and Wii workouts and includes fitness oddities like the risk of water intoxication. End-of-chapter cheat sheets and helpful boxes, charts, and graphics will be more immediately salient to most readers than literature-review-centric body text, which sometimes feels prohibitively citation-laden. This book will work best when occasionally dipped into or when referenced in answering a specific question; a cover-to-cover read feels dense and overlong. Still, it will also be enjoyed by cerebral athletes who want the why behind the workouts.