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Body by Science: A Research-Based Program for Strength Training, Body Building, and Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,836 ratings  ·  132 reviews
Building muscle has never been faster or easier than with this revolutionary once-a-week training program

In Body By Science, bodybuilding powerhouse John Little teams up with fitness medicine expert Dr. Doug McGuff to present a scientifically proven formula for maximizing muscle development in just 12 minutes a week. Backed by rigorous research, the authors prescribe a
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Paperback, 284 pages
Published December 11th 2008 by McGraw-Hill
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Nick No, but you could hire someone on Fiverr.com or Freelancer.com to read it for you.

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 ·  1,836 ratings  ·  132 reviews


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Start your review of Body by Science: A Research-Based Program for Strength Training, Body Building, and Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week
Tony61
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Five Stars out of Five. Highest recommendation.

STOP. Read this book before you do one more exercise routine.

McGuff is an Emergency physician with an avocation for fitness and John Little is a professional fitness trainer. Body by Science is subtitled “A research-based program for strength training, body-building and complete fitness in 12 minutes a week.” The authors cite empirical studies relating workout regimens and formulate a specific routine to most efficiently build muscle while burning
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Zack Ward
Body by Science does an excellent job at explaining the science of fat metabolism. It advocates a once a week, superslow, high intensity training regimen with emphasis on getting sufficient rest for optimal muscle growth. They make the argument that the training stimulus must be powerful enough to shock your body into survival mode, citing several studies in scientific journals that showed elevated growth in response to the superslow method (or HIIT bike training).

However, they do not mention
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Tina
Jan 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Loses a star because while most of it seems to be backed up by pretty decent science (I'm basing this judgment on descriptions of studies, not on looking up the studies myself, because I'm far too lazy), it has some unsupported claims sprinkled in.

The gist (and what does seem well supported) is that our health and fitness are best served by infrequent bouts of high intensity exercise -- basically, about 12 minutes of hardcore strength training (heavy weights that lead to muscle failure in 45-90
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Aaron Gertler
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What can I say? It worked for me.

This is not a book for sport-specific athletes or aspiring Olympic lifters. This is a book for people who want to build and/or maintain muscle mass without spending very much time. In other worlds, this is a book for most people, especially older people.

I'll stay specific from now on. I am 22 years old. I weigh 180, bench 225, squat 275, deadlift 350 (with some variation around these numbers). I can do 20 strict chin-ups without stopping. I work out once every
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Daniel H.
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: exercise
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David
Mar 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a very interesting book about an approach to strength training. The approach is to perform a small number of high-intensity resistance exercises for a short duration, about once a week. The exercises involve slow repetitions to the point of muscular failure, and then holding the weight against resistance for about ten seconds, even after further full repetitions are impossible. The idea is (1) to break down the muscles to a significant extent and then (2) to give the body an adequate ...more
Chuck Claunch
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I grabbed this book after watching Doug McGuff's youtube video regarding medical proof of the paleo diet (seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PdJFb...). The book explains the medical science behind various types of workouts. The authors do a great job of going into extreme medical detail of how and why various workout techniques work or don't work. I found it refreshing for someone with a fitness plan to actually explain to me how things work and why their routine works best rather than ...more
Shaun
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to start this review by adding some perspective. Mine.

A chunky 10 year old, early on I developed an interest in exercise. This interest ultimately manifested itself in a request for some weights that Santa brought me on Christmas. They weren't much, 5-10 pound sand weights. Enough to curl and press and make me feel as if I were doing something.

These weights were soon followed up with a Joanne Greggins exercise tape. We're talking about the late '70s so think thongs, leg warmers, sweat
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Jacob
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
The argument in this book actually seems clear and reasonable, and makes sense to me. It also tracks with my own training experience. The premise is that low intensity workouts don't benefit our muscle and cardiovascular development nearly as much as high intensity workouts because they never use some of the most significant muscles. The authors believe they have developed the maximally efficient workout regimen for the average individual in a 10-minute workout once per week. This workout does ...more
Dave Bolton
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
I found the science in this to be credible (not having the background of the authors, I can't debate it), but I was not so taken with the implementation. While short and hard "to-failure" workouts seem fine according to the theory, I'm doubtful that I could build up the overall strength that a system like Starting Strength has given me. They also quote large improvements from new recruits (I don't have the book to hand, but it was in the order of "50% improvement over 12 weeks!", which sounded ...more
Ann
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book makes a compelling case for working towards complete fitness with a 12-minute workout once a week.

Strong muscles prompt a strong body in every way and too much repetitive movement (running, cycling) is actually detrimental to your body over time.

This book turns everything that we have come to believe about health and fitness upside down.

Weight lifting is for everyone -- not for body building as we traditionally know it, but for building a healthier body. Seniors especially should read
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Sean Goh
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Such statements of "you ought to take up swimming, because you want long, lean muscles, not big, bulky muscles." are the result of misapplied observations and of assumed cause-and-effect relationships that are actually inverted: it wasn't the activity that produced the body type; it was the body type that did well in that activity.

It is a common practice to "seek a doctor's advice" regarding what type of exercise program one should follow to be healthy. This seems to most of us a logical thing
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Filip Ligmajer
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it
page 10 | location 145-151 | Added on Tuesday, 23 September 2014 22:14:46 People will see a group of champion swimmers and observe a certain appearance, or they’ll see a group of professional bodybuilders and observe another appearance, and it seems logical to assume that there is something about what these athletes are doing in their training that has created the way they appear. However, this assumption is a misapplication of observational statistics. If you should ever attend a national AAU ...more
Colin Larcombe
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
I tried to apply it but it requires a lot of thought whilst training
Michael
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Bad title, very good book. Also not just about strength training but covers diet as well.
Catherine B.
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This exercise modality is wonderful for moms who don't have a lot of time to devote to getting into shape. I have two children under the age of 3 and I aim to get to the gym twice a week, but the reality is that I get to the gym once a week, most of the time. I found this book while researching ways to get into shape without needing to spend a lot of time doing it. I'm so happy that I found this book and it has had a profoundly positive affect on my life. Here is my lengthy review:

This book is
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Suhrob
Oct 31, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting book. I liked the introductory passages on muscle biology - clear and well written.

Concerning the program itself:

1) it sounds it *could* work in *theory*
2) But: training to failure is very hard to do without a trainer. The program really requires failure and without a trainer it is hard to achieve consistently both due to physical and psychological factors. Measuring time under load is also a slightly larger hassle than volume+reps.
3) Special type of equipment is recommended
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Nick Short
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2013
Well written and thoroughly researched. Caused huge reversal in thinking in a domain I considered myself knowledgeable. Advocates high intensity, low frequency exercising. Not against "'cardio' exercises" as some think, rather the authors explain (very well, and repeatedly) that taking each rep to its extreme forces one to use deeper, fast twitch muscle fibers which is in turn much more productive to your cardiovascular system. Also genetics, fat, and muscle growth explained and some human ...more
deleted d
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading it, and found quite some useful information. Recommended to people with open mind for weight lifting and recovery.

Body by science
- Less is more, but more intense
- Average recovery time is 7 days, can range from 6-12 days
- Slow lifting for less momentum. Use 5up/5down only as guideline use slow smooth motion
- Machine lifts is safer
- Author says streching is mostly useless
- No rest between exercises
- No gym? No excuses: chin up shoulder width, pushups, squats, static lateral
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Dhandayutha
Nov 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, fitness-health
Eye opener.Great book in the area of fitness and health.Must read for all.
Lynda
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dave Asprey referred to 'Body by Science' in his 'Headstrong' book. I am glad I came across this book. I have highlighted many sections from the book for later reference, and fortunately, Dr. McGuff has also remained active with his seminars, being a guests on podcasts, and making many videos available on YouTube. This book came out in 2009. And it still feels like a long-tail book about an important topic that has not become mainstream yet.

After reading this book it is clear to me that the
...more
Sergiusz Golec
Jan 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
That book promotes Hyper Intensive Trainings (HIT). Train 6-9-12 minutes a week (in a gym).
The science around the subject.

For me, some parts of the book are strongly disappointing and subjective.
"There are lies, big lies and statistics". I remember that from my studies at university. Like "90% of doctors like Chinese food", where in the 10 doctors sample 9 are Chinese.

In that book, you can find statistics and DNA justifications. Here I felt that I observe many biases. Like the errors of
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Samuel Kordik
There is more high-quality scientific knowledge about the body available today than ever before, but it lives in many different fields and is often inaccessible without rigorous scientific training. Because of these factors, this knowledge is not commonly understood in combination, and despite the advanced state of our science, Americans are unhealthier than ever before. Doug McGuff is an emergency physician motivated in large part by seeing the end consequences of our collective poor health in ...more
Alex Moskalyuk
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Starts with quite a bit of quotable reproducible science, but then quickly deteriorates into hearsay. Machine circuit is preferable to free weights because bodybuilding magazines are controlled by Big Free Weights conglomerates. Authors quickly gloss over the evidence that free weights contribute to more comprehensive muscular development and consequently require fewer exercises.

Early Nautilus machines are preferred to late Nautilus machines because they have the magic touch of Arthur Rock
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Mooncalf
May 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book makes quite a few claims that contradict almost every book on the same subject. It's possible that with enough qualifications it would not contradict other books and studies, but they don't tend to give those qualifications. It's also possible, the rather unlikely, that this book is correct and the other books are just wrong. I haven't looked into the studies personally yet.

Some of their claims are more obviously dubious. They recommend doing squats and deadlifts, but just setting up
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Ulrich
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent food for thought if you are already well-immersed in the field.

Usable as one's only and sole source of training advice, I think.

I modified my training regimen after reading this book, but I did not adopt his protocol 100% because I have specific goals and extensive workout records showing how my body best responds to various stimuli. I don't recall the heavy emphasis on keeping good records that I think is indispensable, so let me say that here. If you go by this book, please keep
...more
Jennifer
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: reference
Its a boring boring read. However the two topics of interest are that sprinting for 30 seconds, walk for 4 minutes for a total of 6 sprint minutes a week is an effective workout to increase endurance. Not necessarily to be combined with using the 5 power exercises for 90 seconds each once every 7 to 10 days is awesome.

My point is to stay fit for life and I was finding that I hurt to the point of sickness or muscle injury after attempting the standard 30 minutes 3 days a week after a few weeks.
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MikeXie
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Actually rigorous book on working out which begins by defining health versus fitness and delineating the point at which they diverge. This is obvious to anyone who has seen ballerinas, figure skaters, etc. retire early with pain for the rest of their lives. The book gets better from there giving a crash course on human anatomy, physiology, organic chemistry, nutrition, etc. Absolutely first rate, giving you the logic and only very briefly, at last, the conclusions. This is night and day from ...more
Caro Anderson
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. It's a surprisingly short read, as long as I was willing to skip the science I didn't understand. And, I was definitelywilling to skip all the science. But, it's there for those who do understand or want to try to understand it.

The recommendation have withstood the test of time. This is still THE book for information about how to exercise. I found I was gaining strength in only a week, which is quite unusual for me.

For a summary of the book, see my blog at self help
...more
Melissa
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book gives a good base of information for what it intends to explain. There are other books that follow this same platform that are older. Essentially it would be better if there was more information on how one could obtain the same or similar results at home but it leaves that out for the most part so unless you have access to a gym and the specific machines mentioned, the book doesn't help much.

The science is very informative and gives great detail in how this should and does actually
...more
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