9/16/2019

book review: "which comes first, cardio or weights?"

"which comes first, cardio or weights?" is the second book by Alex Hutchinson that i read. the first one was "endure", which is focused on the real limits of our body during prolonged efforts (obviously a theme that will inspire especially endurance athletes). i really enjoyed "endure", so i decided to expand on the work of Alex Hutchinson and i bought his previous book,  the one that i'm reviewing right now.
let me put this straight: this book may be called "everything you always wanted to know about fitness but were afraid to ask " and it wouldn't disappoint expectations. all the most popular issues that are constantly discussed in the locker room of every gym and fitness club and on all fitness-related online boards are covered here. every single issue is analyzed from a scientific point of view and the most common questions find an answer. everything is backed up by the most recent studies and scientific evidences, and the author illustrates the way every single research has been done so the reader can elaborate and judge its actual reliability. the titles of the chapters are very explicative: "how long does it take to get in shape?", "how long does it take to get unfit?", "can exercise increase my risk of a heart attack?", "is the elliptical machine as good as running?", "how hard should my cardio workout feel?", "how much weight should i lift, and how many times?", "to loose weight, is it better to eat less or to exercise more?", "is there such a thing as the runner's high?", "should i have sex the night before a competition?". these are just a few examples of the themes that are covered in the book.
i've found extremely interesting the fact that in most cases science confirms good sense. for example, it is proven that the best way to regain and maintain a good fitness level is alternating cardio and muscle-strengthening sessions. science confirms also the benefits of varying as much as possible the intensity of our workout, going from the high intensity of interval training workouts to the prolonged efforts of long-and-slow-distance sessions. all in all, i have to say that i've found this book extremely interesting and that i've read it avidly. the only thing that i didn't appreciate that much is the fact that quite often the illustrated researches involve one or more phases of animal testing. ethically unacceptable and scientifically misleading if you ask me, but that's just my point of view.
still, considering that it's quite cheap and easy to find online, i feel i can recommend “which comes first” to anyone interested in sports, performance and overall fitness.