I am a longtime fan of the experimental books by AJ Jacobs who is best known for writing about the year he spent reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica (the know-it-all) and the year in which he followed all the rules of the bible (The Year if Living Biblically) and now this one where he tries to get “healthy” but because everyone has a different idea of health and how to achieve it he spends a lot of time bumbling between one crazy idea to another without the normal discriminating gaze of an experienced athlete. He does eventually settle on some kind of routine but it is unclear what he was doing. I know that near the end of the book he was benching 185 lbs x 15 reps which is very good for a middleweight and fantastic for a person of his size with so very little experience- he could also do about 170 push-ups in one go. How did he achieve these feats? We may never know. The parts I was most interested in, like his exact workout routine and diet are seldom discussed- more time is focused on new experimental or silly fads. I do know that he spent a lot of time on the wii which gave him a training injury and that much of the book was written while on a treadmill allowing him to walk over a thousand miles – I may need to get one of those. I can't emphasize enough that this is not a “health book” it is a pseudo intellectual humor book about health. It is fun natured and he quotes a lot of the most popular currently trending health books that he got from TED (so he knows these people)- but I do not know what all he kept at the end of the experience other than a lot of tips on eating small portions- He said in an interview that the healthy lifestyle almost killed him- I may been dozing off a little here and there but I don't remember anything like that in there. So the book is very fun but terribly incomplete
The other books by AJ Jacobs are really just prequels to this one- same genre- same charicters- different experiments. One certainly has to admire his adventurous spirit, attempting everything at least once- reminding me of what a close minded curmudgeon I really am. I am glad to have his opinion of so very many angles of the health world including a couple I had not heard of before
I spent a lot of the book wondering when he was going to get down to business and start the REAL MAN exercises- He did do them at some point but didn't write about it. I feel cheated. Sounds like they worked well, too. Also, a Before and after PDF would have been nice.
I can't be certain who this book was targeted towards but it is only useful as an EXTREME beginners guide to personal development. Things like "try to be happy, try to laugh and smile, think of the things you say to yourself and others, be nice to people" are the topics covered. Every three or four sentences the book announces that it is changing the subject even though it is really saying the same thing a slightly different way which makes the book even more frustrating. I actually think this might be a decent guide for children aged 8-12 or for severely emotionally or socially disabled adults. If you want to introduce your child to monitoring his/her mood and thoughts this might be a decent guide provided an adult is there for coaching but for stable and normal adults this book is useless as most of this book will have occurred to the reader naturally in the course of getting older.
Did you know that some music is happy and some music is sad? If this has never occurred to you then this audio will play gratuitously long stretches of music and tell you how it might make you feel. If however you have already discovered that music can affect your mood than this is a total waste of time for you
I am not offended by vulgar humor but there is nothing of value here. The acronym AIDA does not stand for anything- it is just a way to remind you to use NLP, specifically for advertising. The book does not actually teach NLP and I am not entirely certain that the writers understand how NLP works. The phase in the title is repeated over and over even though there is no real pun. AIDA refers to NLP and Pussy refers to a cat. So be nice to a cat with NLP. Doesn't make sense? well that is all you are going to get. The author seems to be endlessly amused with himself for having come up with this useless slogan and he repeats it over and over but the only real advice is that when making commercials you should try to do things to help you be remembered. Um... duh
Total disclosure- I did crossfit for a month about two years ago and had good results and I continue to watch it on TV.
Crossfit refers to a fitness based sport in which participants do a number exercises in a race to finish the list (which they call a WOD) first. To train for this event competitors do crossfit workouts. The workouts are designed so that most people including the obese, the elderly and super elite athletes can join in. Times are posted so everyone can compare results.
The writer of this book constantly confuses a crossfit workout with a crossfit competition. In a full out competition everyone uses the same weight and they compete for big money on TV. At the gym you are just getting stronger. This simple confusion makes up more than half of his arguments. He makes a big deal about how different people need to lift different weights which in the gym they all do. There is a lot of talk about how beginner athletes should not compete with more advanced athletes which in the gym of course they don't. Everyone know who everyone is so I know not to compare myself to the obese or elderly folk or most of the women nor super advanced guys who look like toy action figures. I know that I can outrun the 350 pound strongman but I can't out lift him. Then there are the men who are about my size and build and fitness level and we can all compete and it's fun.
He has some really broken arguments about the choices of exercises, especially with a kipping pull up. If you do not know what a kipping pull up is you can google it but basically it is a pullup plus momentum that uses a lot more muscles of the body. The swinging lets you pull higher and do reps faster but they will exhaust you much faster. 1 kipping pull up ( to the nipples) is about as hard as 1 traditional pull up but ten kipping pullups is harder than 40 pull-ups. Mr. Clinger goes on and on about how this kind of pull up is wrong and that it is both performed wrong and that it gives all the wrong results. That it is a separate exercise seems totally lost on him. Yes, crossfitters know what a traditional pull up is- they CHOOSE to do kipping pull ups because the workouts prefer full body movements over isolation movements.
He spends time talking about crossfitter nutrition even though crossfit does not have an official diet. He keeps saying how bad a low carb diet is though I have never heard a crossfitter describe his diet as "low-carb" Glassman does Zone (which can be considered low carb though Glassman doesn't) and eats lots of vegetables but simply encourages people to eat naturally. The most common diet is Paleo though the current champion Rich Fronning just eats whatever he wants. Mr Clinger is just plain making stuff up.
Everything gets compared to bodybuilding. I don't have a problem with bodybuilding but kettle-bells, calisthenics, olympic rings and aerobics are all good too. To Mr Clinger everything that is not bodybuilding (bar or dumbbell 5-15 reps- isolation exercises) is simply wrong
There is more- much more that is wrong or illogical. The only point that I agree with is that Cross-fit has a far too relaxed attitude about Rhabdo which occurs in a small number of participants.
There are REAL complaints to be had about cross-fit. The competitions do not have weight classes so anyone with a small frame can never compete on the national level. The schools lack uniformity so you never know how advanced the athletes or the exercises will be from one gym to another. These issues are never talked about. From what I can tell the author saw a kipping pull up- did not understand it and then he wrote the book
This is just a simple list of basic, intuitive, common knowledge tips such as get enough sleep, try not to get overly stressed, get enough exercise etc. There is absolutely nothing in here that your mother has not already told you to do anyways. There is nothing in here that is not an intuitive step to being generally healthy. These are not even things that you "should do" as much as things you are probably already doing if you are healthy person. Total waste of money
95 theses against the school system and I don't think I agree with the author on a single one of them. Pretty impressive since I love the authors he cites, I love the homeschooling and schooling movements, survived some extremely bad school experiences and loved being home schooled. Most of his complaints are that school teachers engage in politics and behind the scenes drama, favoritism, rank based on education with the people who hold the fewest credentials being given the least work and the most demeaning tasks and with the most educated and most powerful staff calling the shots. In that case I guess we should shut down all newspapers, hospitals, grocery stores... just about everything. Most of his examples are very specific to his own work history and how he did not get along with some of his peers. There is a lot of talk about his principal who he constantly refers to as "Chairman Mao" because being unwilling to negotiate with a teachers assistant is just like-- genocide? This is the first and only book about homeschooling that I find to be poorly thought out and grossly harmful to the movement. The reader has a hard time with some words, I cringe every time he says "ask" as he will say "ax a question" At least he has the decency to read quickly. I wish more readers could match his pace. Though his pace is inconsistent- when he is reading fast he goes at what I think is the perfect pace. If he can develop a bit of annunciation and double check how to say key names and big words he could be a great reader in the future
Write with your non-dominant hand. Why-- dunno. Maybe you will think of something new. What is that good for. Idunno. The example that keeps coming up is "what animal would you want to be?" my dominant right hand says tiger but my non-dominant left says sparrow- what does that mean? I don't know. It is not useful and hearing it over and over for several hours does not shed any light on the topic. This might have been an interesting paragraph but after this book I never want to hear about this topic again until someone somewhere figures out what this is good for
This book moves very fast and covers a lot of topics throwing out logical vocabulary and case studies and clear examples at a super rapid pace. If I did not know all of the stories he was talking about before I read the book I would be very frustrated. He might mention the Orson Wells War of the Worlds Radio Show incident and quickly move on. If you don't already ready know the story than you are out of luck. For us that know this material it is like six books in one. The question might be- why read a book if you know all the material- meh, it's fun, it's healthy to review, it is nice to hear it from a new perspective. But if someone said that he was moving too quickly or not explaining himself enough I would totally understand
This is a book about kids who wanted to go to school in Europe and found ways to go. This is NOT a book about how those schools are different. Any discussion about the differences in the school systems is a footnote to the real topic of the book- long overly dramatized mini-novels about kids who want to go to Europe- Why do they want to go? Meh, Not important. Every time the writer comes dangerously close to having to say something substantive about her supposed topic she very suddenly and awkwardly changes the subject. She might have though she was being suspenseful but I don't have a whole lot of patience for writers who want to fill their non-fictions with pointless stories, all of which are overly dramatized to pad her book. Who cares how depressed these kids were about the weather and what they thought about their hair when they wanted to go to school in Europe? How about telling us the differences in the schools? Differences in the administration? Differences in the techniques? Differences in the discipline? Differences in the teachers? Differences in the culture? Differences in the schedules, curriculum, athletics, funding ANYTHING! What about a book about The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way? Would that be too much to ask? I am going to get a refund. This book is nothing like advertised. People who like short novels about kids getting into European schools will find this book entertaining.
This sounds worse than if it was recorded on an olde audio cassette player- there seems to be a vacuum or loud air conditioner in the backround. Doors opening and closing. the reader stumbles on his lines, trails off, mumbles and reads slowly with long pauses. I got about twenty minutes in. While I would not be surprised if I had missed some of the content all I got from the book was that it is important to develop personal problem solving skills- not instructions on how to do it. I can't go any further. I hope I can get a refund.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.