Wednesday, 17 October 2012
Body By Science Review
Body By Science is a different exercise book. Rather than prescribing as many exercises and movements as you can fit into a week it has you doing the minimum work needed to achieve a growth stimulus. How much exercise? The baseline program is called "The Big 5" - 1 set each on 5 different machines, which covers the full body. Where other exercise programs have you doing set after set after set, Body By Science has you doing only 1 set - to muscular failure. This might sound a bit scary to the uninitiated, but it is what is required to tell your body that it must adapt. You then just have to let it do just that - by not lifting any more weights for another week. The result is a highly time efficient program (around 12 minutes per week) which is sustainable for life. Those 12 minutes are hard, but the results are worth it.
What I really loved about this book is that it doesn't just give you a list of exercises to do then fill up the rest of the space with drivel. It actually goes into the science of why it works, which really helps get your head around doing so little work. If you didn't understand the basic concepts then it would be easy to throw in some extra exercises. But with the knowledge you learn from Doug McGuff & John Little you will understand that 5 sets (or even less) is all your body needs to adapt and grow stronger and bigger.
A somewhat controversial point, but one which I enjoyed, was that by the definition of health, aerobic activities like jogging are actually unhealthy! After reading this section you'll start seeing joggers in a different light!
I previously mentioned the base-line program of The Big 5. The book also gives you a free weight variation if you don't have access to exercise machines. The book also explains how to change the program as you get stronger and progress starts to slow. Without going into too much detail this means reducing the 5 down to 3 exercises per week - making the program even more time efficient! There are also plenty of exercise intensifiers described - helping you milk the program dry even when you are becoming more advanced in your training and your body.
There is also a chapter on how to tweak the program if you are an athlete, with examples for football, hockey & golf.
Seniors are also a subject for another chapter, explaining the benefits of resistance exercise then prescribing the program which will work best for them.
To sum it all up, Body By Science by Doug McGuff & John Little really helps you understand the science of exercise and why so many people are doing it so wrong. It is more like medicine than people realise. You want to do the exact amount of exercise required, not punishing your body with as much as you can fit into your week. It really helps develop the High Intensity Training ideas which Mike Mentzer helped to create. Both men and women will benefit from this book, getting people into exercise for the first time, as well as freeing up more time for people who already exercise.
Click here to view the first 12 pages of the book for free at Amazon.
Body By Science - Kindle Edition is also available at this link.