23 Following


Currently reading

Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems
David Rakoff
Lock and Key
Sarah Dessen
How Music Works
David Byrne
Michael Grant

Fitness for Geeks: Real Science, Great Nutrition, and Good Health

Fitness for Geeks: Real Science, Great Nutrition, and Good Health - Bruce W. Perry I got this book for my husband, thinking that he would enjoy it as a geek. I imagined it would clearly lay out the science behind diet and exercise principles in a scientific manner, leaving out the photos of musclebound dudes that I'd imagine would turn off a geek from other fitness books.

What was I not expecting? A thinly veiled piece of Paleo diet propaganda. When I say veiled, I only mean that it was not mentioned on the front or back covers. I'm not saying paleo doesn't work for some people, but I don't appreciate it being described in such smug scientific terms, when the science behind the diet is in fact not as solid as it might appear. Occasionally the author will ask an actual dietitian questions in a sidebar, often including "what do you think of Paleo?" as the final question. It doesn't present options other than paleo, and offers more dubious advice (please note: chocolate is not actually physically addictive. You may have an emotional need for it, but your body does not suffer withdrawl if you stop. Don't compare it to coffee, it is not the same!)

Although called "Fitness for geeks," the diet portion takes up the majority of the book. When we finally get to fitness the info is cursory at best, and (no surprise) CrossFit is pushed (actually, I don't mind CrossFit, but it's not useful in a book like this - and it's totally expected from the paleo leanings in the beginning.)

At this point it became clear to me that while called "Fitness for Geeks," what it meant was "Fitness for geeks who are also dudes." There are exactly 3 photos of a woman in this section. In all three she is demonstrated using weight machines (except one where she has tiny dumbbells and does hammer curls). The male demonstrator, meanwhile, shows exercises such as back squats with a barbell. I know a fair bit about fitness - I'm geeky and also a weight lifting enthusiast, and one of the most damaging things to women is this concept that they musn't use heavy free weights. Of course, all the text in the book is aimed at men (gee, I wonder why there aren't more lady geeks - maybe we are all bad at math? Or maybe we sense that we are automatically excluded, even from pandering pieces of poop like this book.)

The info on tracking is very detailed, far beyond what I think a beginner geek would care about. Overall the book is poorly organized, and I cannot recommend it. There are many better books on diet and fitness to be found, and they all come without the side helping of condescension.