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Fitness for Geeks

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3.07  ·  Rating details ·  222 ratings  ·  41 reviews
If you're interested in how things work, this guide will help you experiment with one crucial system you usually ignore--your body and its health. Long hours focusing on code or circuits tends to stifle notions of nutrition, but with this educational and highly useful book you can approach fitness through science, whether it's investigating your ancestral health or using t ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published May 5th 2012 by O'Reilly Media (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.07  · 
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Jessica
Oct 06, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one. Seriously. You can do better.
Shelves: fitness, cooking
I got this book for my husband, thinking that he would enjoy it as a geek. I imagined it would clearly lay out the science behind diet and exercise principles in a scientific manner, leaving out the photos of musclebound dudes that I'd imagine would turn off a geek from other fitness books.

What was I not expecting? A thinly veiled piece of Paleo diet propaganda. When I say veiled, I only mean that it was not mentioned on the front or back covers. I'm not saying paleo doesn't work for some people
...more
Craig Maloney
I tried to like this book.

About three chapters in, I decided this book wasn't for me. From indirectly talking about people's auras after working out, to indirectly recommending paleo diets, this book just hit my woo-woo trigger one too many times. I enjoyed the discussion about different sites for tracking fitness, but when push came to shove about nutrition and such, I felt like I was spending more time on the web trying to verify every little piece of information in this book. I felt like I wa
...more
Rod Hilton
Fitness for Geeks is a cool idea, an O'Reilly book, targeted at geeks, all about staying healthy. As a geek who has lost 100 pounds in the last few years and who wants to lose 40 more, this was the perfect book for me. Or so I thought.

The book is actually very disappointing. Despite clearly being targeted at geeks (it even includes a number of detailed references to programming), it's unsatisfying. A chapter on nutrients goes into extremely "geeky" detail about the chemical makeup of various foo
...more
Lauren
There were some really great sections in this book. I particularly enjoyed the detailed explanations and the nutrition science sections (even showing what macronutrient molecules look like). The strength of the book also comes from the quality sidebars that share interviews with medical and sports professionals , or share recent research findings. I found this particularly helpful in the 'intermittent fasting' section and in interval training section regarding Tabatas, etc. I also liked the Outd ...more
Regina Hunter
Apr 03, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Have two words for this book: Horse shit!
Ann Dulhanty
Really a 3.5/5. Some interesting information, I like the general philosophy that our bodies are optimized for a different lifestyle than the one we are now leading. Science seems accurate but didn't go far enough at times. For example, the section about various stages of sleep, along with the apps available to track them, needed more explanation on the relevance. I enjoyed the overview of the various apps, but found the diagrams too small to read (I got the paper version of the book). Also, the ...more
Ursula
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Informative and helpful

I really enjoyed the balance of detailed analysis and pragmatism - it's a pity that the tracking tool sections have become a little dated since the time of writing so perhaps less on them could have been better. Also, men and women, not men and girls (that dichotomy appeared a few times and was a bit of a mental jolt considering the otherwise meticulous approach of the author).
...more
Susan Visser
May 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I'm glad I read the book, but it could have been so much better! Here are some things I think could have been improved:

1) Nitpick, but it makes a difference: be consistent with your use of measurements. The book was all over the map... metric, imperial, and even really old fashion (pints??). Being from Canada we are well versed in both major measurement systems, but the way most authors handle is they put one unit in parenthesis.

2) Who is the audience? You had me fooled at the beginning. I reall
...more
Nicholas Litzow
Some good and useful ideas but overall lacking in scientific rigor. I would have preferred a narrower scope with more thorough research, less anecdotal information and a more formal style.
Shawn
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hav­ing thor­oughly enjoyed Cook­ing for Geeks (which I highly recom­mend), when I saw that a sim­il­arly novel approach to fit­ness was avail­able I was all on board to enjoy this one as well. And…enjoy it I did. Bruce Perry’s approach in Fit­ness for Geeks is a com­pre­hens­ive and quirky walk through a new way of ima­gin­ing fit­ness. As the author quickly points out, things such as fit­ness, diets, ets are ejec­ted from the dis­cus­sion — not for lack of rel­ev­ance but simply because they c ...more
John Constable
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this pretty much the day it came out, if memory serves; I think there was an O Reilly ‘deal of the day’, or bundle, or some-such, and I’d been meaning to get it anyway. I got about a couple of chapters in and the Hugo Voters Packet descended, and I didn’t read much else for a while, but went back to it for something more factual every now and again. Once The Hugo season was over, I got back into it in earnest.

Initially it got off to a good start, with a round-up of some healthy lifestyl
...more
Mark
Apr 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health, nutrition, fitness
If you are looking for a book which presents a systematic model for fitness that is backed by well integrated science, you will be disappointed. Likewise, if you are looking from a book to give you a simple plan to follow, you will be disappointed. This book does cite a number of science studies, and has some broad organizing principles, but nothing I would bet my life on. We still don't really understand a lot about how our bodies work, they are extremely complex systems, so I shouldn't be surp ...more
Mariano
It was a nice, straightforward, easy reading, with useful, practical information, and lots of references to websites and/or other books to get more details about the covered topics.
As for the "geek" part, I think is a bit overrated, and quite a few of the "for geeks" tips & tricks might seem obvious and even kind of silly if you are a computer geek (but maybe for other geeks are ok?).
I picked this book with a lot of reservations, because I was afraid of it trying to "sell" some silver bullet or
...more
Craig
Sep 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-research
This is a very good book, that wasn't what I wanted or expected. I was looking for some good information on exercises; which it had, and even had some app and website suggestions.

It also has a LOT of detailed information on everything about fitness, from nutrition to sleep. While I didn't know all the details, I knew enough for what I want (and what I am, as yet, unwilling to change).

If you are a geek, and want good, detailed information on everything about fitness, this book has that for you.
...more
Brian Glass
Mar 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a nice overview of present views on health and fitness with a bent toward geeks. The trouble with writing a book of this nature, is that the information is out of date within a year or two. The author gives a nice overview of several fitness tracking sites and devices, but also covers trending topics like intermittent fasting. It will be obsolete within another couple years unless updated, but is worth reading as a way of keeping one's finger on the pulse of fitness culture. It is n ...more
Sabin
Sep 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Nice intro on fitness science, complete with resources for further documentation and pointing out some controversies. Common-sense advice for the most part and basic coverage of nutrition data, ways to keep track of your progress, types of exercise and the benefits of different training regimens.

Then it goes into the paleo-diet and intermittent fasting and calorie restriction and stuff which sound either too expensive, time-consuming or more like torture to me than healthy living. I wish there w
...more
Rayn
Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Geeks who want to get fit.
Giving this book a 5 stars because of a few reasons. It's reinforcing my decisions I made before I picked the book up, talks about tools I was already using etc. That's part 1. The primary reason though is you can upgrade this book with O'Reilly for $4.99 and get free updates when they come down. I'm hoping for updates as the burgeoning idea of kicking it old school with our ancient ancestor's way of life get's more researched and respected.

SCIENCE!
...more
Sigurd
Feb 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad, but it could be much better.

Why are some topics — like vitamins — written in so much detail, while chapters like imminent fasting are so superficial?

Don't expect too many tips or action plans. This book introduces you to some aspects and new ideas but you may want to do your own research and read more ...

If you are (or about to get) serious about fitness, this is a decent, introduction to some fitness aspects. I definitely recommend reading more things that go into detail.
...more
William
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the book interesting, with the exception of chapters three and four, which seemed to be pretty much a listing of vitamins and nutrients. I'm not sure how useful the information is, but I enjoyed reading it.

I reviewed it earlier this month at Vulcan Ears Book Reviews.
...more
AdultNonFiction Teton County Library
TCL Call#: 613.7 Perry B

Madeleine - 2 stars
The information in the book is current. If you know a true blue geek who only knows orcs then this might be necessary to get through. But as an IT person myself, I found it a bit ridiculous and pandering. I don't need my body described to me as an Operating System for me to be able to understand what you're talking about.
...more
James Tharpe
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably the best book on fitness I've ever read. It goes into the biology and chemistry of nutrition and exercise, and provides lots of references to studies and data to for the true "geeks" that want to know more. There's no "plan" in the book, and I think that's a good thing - instead you are provided with the tools and information you need to form a plan that works well for you. ...more
Damir
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-awareness
Informative.
Yet, the title betrays the content.
It's a thinly veiled paleo diet manual, which in itself is not a bad thing (and for some people paleo works great), but the title is totally misleading!

I still give it two stars for the online tools bit, but everything else is actually easily found online and in other, more appropriately named books.
...more
Avvitare Mente
i've read this book the entire night ,, dufak !!! what's wrong with ppl ,, y the refuse to look sexy !! i mean they always want to look fabelous ,, i know its painful sometimes but u'll huv a legendary body ,, its not that complicated !! i feel pethatic for 'em !! anyway great book !! great tips ,, ganna learn a lot from it :) ...more
Brett
May 08, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sections of the book are information dense and interesting. However, the book is repetitious in parts, contains a number if anecdotes of no interest, is not very cohesive, and contains lots of pointless asides.
Keith Martin


Poorly written, poorly edited (at least in the kindle edition). It seems borderline sensationalist, without solid backing evidence or specific actionable recommendations. I recommend Tim Ferriss's "4-Hour Body" instead...at least that book is forthright about its assumptions.
...more
Samuel Proulx
May 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science
The advice for adding more physical activity into daily life contained in this book is quite valuable. The advice on food, however, not so much; cost and practicality take an extreme back seat in these sections.
Andrew Doran
Turns out there is no substitute to watching your diet and engaging in physical activity. Some good insights behind the science of nutrition and exercise, however I got a bit lost in the detail. Would be useful to pick this up again as a reference book if I ever commit to a health regime.
Abhishek Kona
A book rich in detail. Touches a lot of topics and bombards with a lot of facts. After a few chapters Titu just stop following what the author is saying.
Michelle
Maybe a little TOO geeky for me. I did enjoy the discussion of various fitness/nutrition websites and apps.
hissi
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
very informative. i loved it.. a bit geeky but i guess thats obvious from the title
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