Award-winning journalist, physicist, and bestselling author of Endure Alex Hutchinson reveals the little-known and often surprising truths that science has uncovered about exercise, ranging from cardio and weights to competition to weight loss.
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.
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.