Regulars at MedX can attest to the fact that I am constantly talking to people about this book, and that study, and how I always try to find a way to connect the message of the book to the MedX Method. I try to take practical knowledge-bombs and piece them into the puzzle that is your day, to help you maximize your output wherever you may need it. Whether it’s at the gym, at work, at home, while you sleep, or while you play, there are always places we can apply these principles that we may not always see or acknowledge.
I figured this month’s blog post was as good a time as any to talk to you about some of these influential books that I am constantly referencing. I want to give you all a glimpse into some of the books that have influenced me the most.
Here are five books that will improve your day-to-day routine:
1. Body By Science
Written in 2008 by two exercise gurus, John Little, and Dr. Doug McGuff, BBS touts itself as being a ‘research-based program for strength training, bodybuilding, and complete fitness in 12 minutes a week.’ Disclaimer: for those of you who don’t know, my career was launched out of a cannon due to my mentorship with John Little, so I have a bit of a bias towards this wonderful book, as I both contributed (slightly) to it, and am mentioned in it (along with my dad, Dave Wilson). This book is a very concise and helpful dissection of the functional human anatomy, metabolic process, and logic behind an intense, brief, infrequent, safe, and sustainable workout regime, just like the one we practice here at MedX. Backed by rigorous research, and thoroughly cited, this is a must read for all MedX trainees!
2. The Exercise Myth
If you’re going to look at this list of recommended reads and have a crack at them; make sure you follow up Body By Science with this sucker. Published in 1984 by Dr. Henry Solomon, a cardiologist from New York, The Exercise Myth challenges the conventional thought process of more is better. Almost everything has a downside, and exercise isn’t an exception: chronic overtraining can lead to some pretty significant health issues.
Dr. Solomon is keen to point out these health risks; however, this book has been met with some heated criticism, which he has been able to very eloquently shut down with facts--facts that are still unravelling themselves today. Taking this information to the bestsellers list was one heck of an achievement, especially during the Kenneth Cooper cardio drive (he has since gone back on his running advocation - Google it!). Dr. Solomon points out that chronic cardio and aerobics will NOT make you live longer, and it will NOT make you healthier. He uses a combination of scientific facts and practical logic to drive his points home.
3. It Starts With Food
First published in 2014, this book quickly became my go-to recommendation for anyone with food questions, so they could very quickly and accurately grasp the foundations of nutritional knowledge. It Starts With Food is a witty, workable path towards a natural and healthy way of eating. It outlines how specific foods may be having negative effects on how you look, feel, and live—in ways that you’d never associate with your diet. More importantly, they outline their life-long strategy for eating Good Food in one clear and detailed action plan designed to help you create a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, calm systemic inflammation, and put an end to unhealthy cravings, habits, and relationships with food.
Typically, when you sit down to discuss nutrition, you will likely lose more friends than you will gain. With the information in this book, you can have a real, informed conversation with your loved ones about their relationship to food.
(Maybe the gym should do a Whole30 together? An excellent program created by the same authors)
Roy Baumeister and John Tierney join together on this one to revolutionize how we think about one of our most important virtues; self-control. From Amazon because I couldn’t say it better myself:
Drawing on research and the wisdom of real-life experts, this book shares lessons on how to focus our strength, resist temptation, and redirect our lives. It shows us how to be realistic when setting goals, monitor their progress, and how to stay the course when we falter. By blending practical wisdom with the best of recent research science, Willpower makes it clear that whatever we seek—from happiness to good health to financial security—we won’t reach our goals without first learning to harness self-control.
I’ve read this book twice, back to back. It was an eyeopener. Proclaiming that self-regulation is the greatest human strength is a pretty tall statement, but the sound logic and science in this book really do support the notion.
5. Better Than Before
My most recent read of the list, and probably the most thought provoking. Author, Gretchen Rubin in of The Happiness Project takes the willpower talk a bit further in Better Than Before with an in-depth discussion of how those among us with the strongest self-control maintain this power: they never have to use it! Through careful analysis and explanation, Reuben describes how willpower is great, but habits are the basis for not having to rely on our willpower to get us out of sticky situations. She discusses in great detail how different personality types react uniquely to various habit-forming scenarios, and offers great insight on how to identify what type of responder you are so you can better set yourself up to tackle those new challenges.