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Lift Audiobook

Lift: Fitness Culture, from Naked Greeks and Acrobats to Jazzercise and Ninja Warriors

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Publisher's Summary

A fascinating cultural history of fitness, from Greek antiquity to the era of the "big-box gym" and beyond, exploring the ways in which human exercise has changed over time - and what we can learn from our ancestors.

We humans have been conditioning our bodies for more than 2,500 years, yet it's only recently that treadmills and weight machines have become the gold standard of fitness. For all this new technology, are we really healthier, stronger, and more flexible than our ancestors?

Where Born to Run began with an aching foot, Lift begins with a broken gym system - one founded on high-tech machinery and isolation techniques that aren't necessarily as productive as we think. Looking to the past for context, Daniel Kunitz crafts an insightful cultural history of the human drive for exercise, concluding that we need to get back to basics to be truly healthy.

Lift takes us on an enlightening tour through time, beginning with the ancient Greeks, who made a cult of the human body - the word gymnasium derives from the Greek word for "naked" - and following Roman legions, medieval knights, Persian pahlevans, and 18th-century German gymnasts. Kunitz discovers the seeds of the modern gym in 19th-century Paris, where weight-lifting machines were first employed, and takes us all the way up to the game-changer: the feminist movement of the 1960s, which popularized aerobics and calisthenics classes. This ignited the first true global fitness revolution, and Kunitz explores how it brought us to where we are today.

Once a fast-food inhaler and substance abuser, Kunitz reveals his own decade-long journey to becoming ultra-fit using ancient principals of strengthening and conditioning. With Lift, he argues that, as a culture, we are finally returning to this natural ideal - and that it's to our great benefit to do so.

©2016 HarperCollins (P)2016 Audiobooks.com Publishing

What Members Say

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  •  
    Fadi Atlanta 10-06-16
    Fadi Atlanta 10-06-16 Member Since 2011

    Enjoys listening to books while exercising.

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    "Educating yet Educational"

    I've never been a big history guy but as I matured I have enjoyed it more. Daniel really puts culture and fitness all together really well. Being in the health and fitness industry for 22 years, Lift provides me an excellent educational piece as well as a great story telling experience. Joe's voice is pleasant and easy to listen to . I will read this book and I will listen to it again and I will share it with my clients and my followers for sure. Although a little heavy on the CrossFit and mostly performance, Lift does touch a little bit on bodybuilding and other forms of physical strength. I do recommend this book to anyone looking to grasp a better understanding of Health Fitness exercise lifting CrossFit and all sorts of Adventure.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    JON 10-06-16
    JON 10-06-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Excellent! Learned So Much"

    Joe Towne is great. This book will challenge everything you thought you knew about exercise and performance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    pierre-Julien 08-25-16 Member Since 2014

    I'm bad at twitter, I can't keep up with my facebook friends and I rarely actually have time to read.

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    "For nerds who lift!"

    This is great for the nerdier weightlifters. A little heavy on the gospel of crossfit at times, but otherwise interesting

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    R. Bailey 07-19-16
    R. Bailey 07-19-16
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    "The book that fitness enthusiasts have been waitin"

    This is the most interesting book I have read in a long time. Hearing the history of how we got where we are now makes you really appreciate being born in this era.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
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    ryan 08-25-16
    ryan 08-25-16 Member Since 2014
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    "ok for history"

    written by someone that has never trained "real" people. a valid history, but only understands rudimentary exercise protocols. kunitz fails to explain the higher than normal injury rates of crossfit...how would that help our health care situation. i think its a good starting point and raises some valid questions, but he avoids some rather touchy issues in nff.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 01-06-17
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 01-06-17 Member Since 2012

    I focus mainly on History, Endurance Sports and Science/Speculative Fiction books.

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    "Get to Work"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Lift to be better than the print version?

    I would. This is not a workout primer with exercise routines, rather it presents a narrative argument for changing your life based on nutrition and exercise.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Lift?

    I enjoyed his analysis of Crossfit and Paleo eating. But some listeners might not. If you are an old school power lifter or bodybuilder you might be turned off by his interest in Crossfit. I understand that, having lifted for over 30 years. This book is aimed at someone who is either new to fitness or looking for a different approach. Just be aware of this and listen with an open mind.


    Which character – as performed by Joe Towne – was your favorite?

    This is really an autobiographic sketch by the author, so the best character was the author.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I thought it provided great info. You can be critical of anything if you want, but the functional fitness and back to basics nutrition presented by the author creates a compelling case. You may not want to join a Crossfit box but after you are done I think you will see the value in compound movements and functional exercise supported by a healthy diet.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this for anyone who is interested in fitness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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