I don't give books any extra points for having been written a long time ago. That said, Montaigne lives up to the hype.
My copy of "The Complete EssayI don't give books any extra points for having been written a long time ago. That said, Montaigne lives up to the hype.
My copy of "The Complete Essays" is scribbled-upon and corner-folded to a greater extent than nearly any other book I own, for the language and the humor and the clarity of the ideas. I read it at a time when I tried to finish every book I started, but still felt comfortable putting it down, picking it up nine months later, putting it down again, and so on.
As far as I know, there's nothing Montaigne says that hasn't been said better by someone else. But he says a great deal, says it well, says it from the unusual perspective of 16th-century France, and is a kind, curious person worth spending time with....more
Worm, my favorite book of 2014, featured (mild spoiler) a man whose power was organization: The bigger and more complicated the plan, the better. He becomes a villain when the government rejects his brilliant strategy to solve world hunger.
David MacKay is the nonfictional version of this. He tells you facts, then more facts, then combines the facts into a plan that would clearly work, if only everyone would cooperate!
He isn't as frustrated as I am, unless he hides it very well behind his graphs. He just gets on with the facts, at a rate of approximately 0.8 facts per sentence. (Many of the non-factual sentences are quotes from other writers who make things up, and require correction from Mr. MacKay.) If two sources disagree, MacKay breaks down their claims into a single question, answers the question, and moves on. He even uses colored fonts to make his numbers easier to read!
I'm a little bit in love with this man, and judging by his miraculous Amazon reviews, I'm not the only one. And his book, again, is free. Please join me in my devotion....more
This is not a book for sport-specific athletes or aspiring Olympic lifters. This is a book for people who want to buiWhat 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 four or five days, for 20-25 minutes of actual lifting (and about the same amount of rest time), with some Tabata intervals thrown in once in a while for cardio. Most of the time, I'm either lifting 90 seconds to failure (as the book recommends) or lifting for 1-2 sets of 3-5 reps, followed by 90 seconds to failure.
From ages 17-20, I built up to my current level of strength by working out 3-4 times per week, with slightly longer workouts. Since then, I've used the workout pattern described above to maintain that strength. My bench hasn't gone down in two years (and has gone up a bit). My body fat percentage hasn't really changed. I still sleep well at night, have a resting heart rate of 58 bpm, and have near-optimal blood pressure.
Admittedly, I don't power-clean as much I once did, and I don't see my main lifts increasing much unless I do something fancy. But I can see myself following my rough Body By Science protocol pretty much as-is for the next 20 years without losing strength. (I'm certainly lucky to be young, but I'd be happy to compensate for aging by working a bit harder and cleaning up my diet.)
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Anyway, you don't really need to buy this book. Visiting the website and watching the YouTube videos of people working out with the method should suffice to get you started. I mostly bought BBS to support Dr. McGuff's work. It's the sort of book I'd give as a gift, or lend out to a friend.
What else can I say?
The scientific bits are interesting. The writing is crisp, and the authors don't repeat themselves too often. The photos show people lifting heavy weights with questionable form: ignore them.
Also, if you like this book or the ideas within, you might also like Tim Ferriss' The Four-Hour Body, and Martin Berkhan's essays on "Reverse Pyramid Training" (which have also been influential on helping me figure out my workouts)....more