Once in a while in the crowded fitness and health genre, a book comes out that stands out from rest
Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? is such a book.
It was researched and written by Alex Hutchinson, an award-winning Ontario-based journalist. I'm a fan of his Jockology column in the Globe and Mail and when I heard he had written a fitness book I knew I'd have to get it.
Science-based Yet Easy to Read
What really sets this book apart from the hundreds of other offerings in the genre is that it's evidence-based. Hutchinson reviewed over 400 actual research studies to answer dozens of common fitness questions.
While the reference section appeals to geeks like me, don't think you need a degree in exercise physiology to understand the book. Even though it tackles some complex subject matter, the book is a surprisingly easy read.
It's divided into chapters dealing with subjects ranging from strength training to nutrition to weight loss to much more. Each chapter breaks down the overall topic into specific questions, which Hutchinson then answers based on scientific evidence. You can read the book end to end or simply look for a topic you're interested in and read that specific information.
Hutchinson's writing is clear, concise and conversational. Even though this guy is smart (Ph.D in physics, M.A. in journalism) he doesn't come off as stuffy or boring.
I was going to do a short interview with Alex for this review, but he's already done a couple which answered my questions so I'll simply use them.
You can also watch his Breakfast Television interview on City TV's video portal.
This book doesn't make outrageous claims like so many other fitness books. Sorry, there are no magic bullet promises.
Hutchinson uses science to explain how to get fit and stay healthy. And he does give you some great ideas on how to leverage your time so you get the biggest benefits in the shortest time possible.
I can honestly say that if there's only one fitness book you ever buy this should be the one. It provides credible advice, is an easy read, you can find the information you want as quickly as Googling it and you'll be supporting a fellow Canadian.
Buy it at Chapters, other bookstores or at Amazon.