I am reading a book by Michael Matthews called Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body (The Build Healthy Muscle Series) and have been finding it quite helpful. Okay, I don’t have a male body to build but I do find these types of books helpful for me and I like to keep up with the interests of men since I blog about and work with those of the male persuasion.
If you are new to fitness, the book is simple and informative though it does seem to promise a lot! Here are a few highlights from the Amazon page:
Getting into awesome shape isn’t nearly as complicated as the fitness industry wants you to believe.
You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars per month on the worthless supplements that steroid freaks shill in advertisements.
You don’t need to constantly change up your exercise routines to “confuse” your muscles. I’m pretty sure muscles lack cognitive abilities, but this approach is a good way to just confuse you instead.
You don’t need to burn through buckets of protein powder every month, stuffing down enough protein each day to feed a third world village.
You don’t need to toil away in the gym for a couple of hours per day, doing tons of sets, supersets, drop sets, giant sets, etc. (As a matter of fact, this is a great way to stunt gains and get nowhere.)
You don’t need to grind out hours and hours of boring cardio to shed ugly belly fat and love handles and get a shredded six-pack. (How many flabby treadmillers have you come across over the years?)
Hey, I’m one of those flabby treadmillers, it’s hard to realize that this may be a waste of time but it probably is. Though my weight is fine, my overall bodyfat is ridiculously high and always has been except for one brief period of time when it went down to 17%. I am an outlier, I guess.
Anyway, the book gives good points about shortening your workouts using just the basics, mainly squats, deadlifts, and benchpresses. There are some good chapters on diet with tips such as “have a cheat meal.” This meal is just some additional carbs, not an all-out gorge or anything. The other tip I got from the book was to eat a slow digesting protein before going to sleep to help repair muscle. The author gives examples such as egg protein, 0% Greek yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese. I eat a lot of protein during the day but at night, I tend to eat carbs so maybe switching it out for protein might help, although eating nothing at night would probably be better.
After reading the book, I feel very motivated about going to the gym and trying out a few things and trying to tweak my diet a little more. I definitely think if you are a guy wanting to get the body-building basics, this book is a good one and gives you a free bonus report in the back of the book where apparently, one can download more workouts and some of the recipes from his cookbook. It would also make a nice stocking stuffer for any guys on your list interested in fitness.