Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights?: Fitness Myths, Training Truths, and Other Surprising Discoveries from the Science of Exercise

Alex Hutchinson. Harper, $14.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-200753-7
This wide-ranging book covers far more than its title promises. Beyond the cardio/weight debate, Hutchinson covers fitness gear, physiology, flexibility, aging, injury, weight management, and the mental aspects of exercise in this question-and-answer-style offering. Hutchinson, editor at Popular Mechanics and Canadian Running and columnist for the Toronto Globe and Mail, is certainly a subject matter expert and a thorough researcher, clearly explaining scientific concepts for the average reader. He doesn't promote snake-oil paths to fitness, but rather promises and provides up-to-date, research-based health and fitness news. He touches on trends like barefoot running and Wii workouts and includes fitness oddities like the risk of water intoxication. End-of-chapter cheat sheets and helpful boxes, charts, and graphics will be more immediately salient to most readers than literature-review-centric body text, which sometimes feels prohibitively citation-laden. This book will work best when occasionally dipped into or when referenced in answering a specific question; a cover-to-cover read feels dense and overlong. Still, it will also be enjoyed by cerebral athletes who want the why behind the workouts. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/11/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-7710-3981-2
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-209208-3
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