The Thinking Person’s Guide to Fitness Review
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Even though I enjoy my daily run, which helps me unwind, I can’t say that I look forward to lifting weights. Since my time is limited—as is my desire to work out indoors—I’m always seeking new opinions and ideas about fitness and how I can obtain maximum results in as little time as possible. Therefore, when I ran across The Thinking Person’s Guide to Fitness, I knew the book was calling out to me.

Author Jake Nash is not only a certified personal trainer, but he also holds an MBA and a degree in mechanical engineering. He regards the human body as the “ultimate machine and the ultimate engineering challenge.” He maintains that he knows the needs of the busy professional and wants to show the most efficient way to get in shape and to stay in shape.

This is not a step-by-step “how to get fit” manual. Instead, the book consists of a series of topics that have proven to be useful for Nash’s clients, such as how to set tangible goals, how your muscles work, and how your body adapts to your workouts, along with other topics like nutrition, injuries, and posture. He also demystifies the world of weight training: full body vs. split routines, sets and reps, types of resistance training and the advantages and disadvantages of each, how heavy to lift, rest time between sets, and terms such as “periodization” and “supersetting.”

Nash maintains that this book is geared toward beginners, but I feel that he goes into too much detail for his target audience. In fact, I cringed when I read the chapters on “Essential Exercises.” He explains in detail how to perform such fundamental moves like squats and deadlifts, accompanied with how-to photos. These exercises can be dangerous if performed incorrectly. He does stress that you should have a trainer to watch and guide you to ensure proper form and that, if you perform them incorrectly, you can badly injure yourself. So why entice the novice to try these effective exercises on his/her own, with such detailed explanations?

These novices and busy professionals may also find themselves yawning as Nash loses his focus by skipping around his various topics. He could have served his readers better by including a summary of each chapter in list form, including a to-do (action) list.

Since I have an interest in fitness, I found The Thinking Person’s Guide to Fitness to be informative and thorough. Moreover, if you are patient about how you receive your information, this just may be the book for you. But please ask a trainer to show you how to perform the recommended exercises. Do not attempt them on your own!

However, for beginners who are busy professionals, I would recommend seeking another source. This book may show the most efficient method of working out, but it doesn’t convey the information in the most efficient manner.

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