Body by Science: A Research Based Program for Strength Training, Body building, and Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week

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6 Responses to Body by Science: A Research Based Program for Strength Training, Body building, and Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week

  • Buba says:
    445 of 481 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A different lifting experience, January 29, 2010
    Buba (Florida MI USA) –

    This review is from: Body by Science: A Research Based Program for Strength Training, Body building, and Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week (Paperback)

    I have been lifting weights for about 2 years on a multiple times per week basis. I have a home gym with both a Vectra machine and bench and free weights. I am a victim of Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s aerobic revolution of the 70’s and 80’s, now with bad knees and bad ankles and chronic tendinitis and 2 herniated disks and spinal arthritis, which is what brought me to weight training in the first place. Over the years I have tried my own program, and I have purchased several programs from the “Guru’s” and I pretty much always wound up either injured or I would make progress for a while and then it would seem I would start going backward. My most recent program was the New Rules of Lifting program which I have found to be a very good program. I’ve done that for a year and have made progress and remained injury free. That program is basically a two or three times per week program and I noticed that I needed the rest between sessions to keep improving. Sometimes I would go down to one session per 5 or 6 days and I found when I lifted next it was easier to make an advance. That couple extra days allowed a more complete recuperation. The exercises in the new rules program are basically the big 5 that is described in the Body by Science program, so over the course of the year I have developed good form with each exercise and a good knowledge of how my body feels during the lift and post lifting.

    When I read this program it seemed to fit well with what I had been doing. I was of course skeptical of the 12 minute claim as the New Rules program is a timed set of reps across the exercises of about 45 minutes per session. In the New Rules program if you were anal about the timed aspect you would be forced into an anaerobic state of metabolism which I think is desirable in a workout. You can tell you’ve gone anaerobic when you quit lifting and ten minutes later your respiratory rate is still elevated. Your body at that point is working off the metabolic acid load it accrued during the anaerobic activity and converting it to CO2 and that extra CO2 load is being expelled by your increased resp rate. I could tell the by the way I felt that was the hormonal changes and increased metabolism associated with micro damage. I decided to give slo mo pumping as described in Body by Science a whirl. What it claims is true. I do 6 exercises bench press, reverse grip pull down, overhead press, seated row, squats and dead lifts, using the time under load method of accounting and trying to maintain 10-15 seconds during reps and it kicks my hind end. I go deep into anaerobic metabolism as I start huffing like a choo choo. I can also tell I am going deep into anaerobic metabolism because I get hot and start to sweat, signs of big sympathetic outflow and my heart starts beating like a trip hammer. I can tell the muscle micro damage and metabolic changes are greater with this slo mo methodology and I find I NEED a week to recover. I could probably compress that to 5 full days but the difference between 5 full days of rest and a week is not enough to push it. I’m still getting into the method trying to keep my form perfect during the time under load.

    I am a physician, so I read with interest the physiology described in the book, and what is described in general is correct. I’m not sure I would hang my hat on the “fact” that we grow big muscles so we can run away from tigers, in fact to me that is an unlikely reason. If you have to run away from a tiger once a week in order to build big muscles its unlikely you are going to escape from being dinner. I think it is probably more steeped in a protective adaptation to inflammation response that lifting causes, than running away from tigers. The cardiovascular information is absolutely true in terms of this kind of training being better than the typical “cardio” kind of exercise. Your heart responds to the demand of your muscles. The whole reason you have a heart and lungs is to deliver 2mm of Oxygen tension to the mitochondria in your cells to provide for aerobic metabolism and to wisk away CO2 and metabolic byproducts. When your energy utilization overwhelms your aerobic potential that is when your muscles need more oxygen than your heart and lungs can deliver that is when you get a cardiovascular adaptation. Aerobic exercise by definition NEVER gets you there precisely because it is aerobic. If you ain’t huffing like a choo choo (the sure sign of anaerobic metabolism) you may as well be sipping a drink by the pool in my opinion. I also believe every single beneficial claim proposed in terms of anti-hypertension and anti-diabetes improved flexibility and relief from back pain etc etc to be true. I have a pain management practice and I encourage my patients to do weight training to the extent they can, especially those who have managed to escape surgery.

    So I think this plan is a worth while plan. I think if you are not well trained in…

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  • Dennis A. Brown says:
    62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Understanding the Author’s Intent, December 4, 2011
    Dennis A. Brown

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Body by Science: A Research Based Program for Strength Training, Body building, and Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week (Paperback)
    I purchased this book several years ago and used this method for over a year with excellent results. Having come back and read the reviews of the book, I would like to clarify several misconceptions:

    This Exercise program is designed for two types of people:
    1. People already involved in a very active lifestyle, and
    2. People who are not capable or interested in spending a large amount of time in the gym.

    For people in the Group 1, the authors insist that fitness is best achieved using the S.A.I.D principle; that is, Specific Adaption to Imposed Demands. They teach that fitness for any sport is best achieved by direct participation in that sport or performing sport specific drills. Their weight program is designed to supplement the sport program and is intended to maintain or increase strength while participating in the program. One is able to focus most of their time on the sport specific training without sacrificing a lot of time in the weight room, since a minimal amount of time is actually required to maintain or increase strength. Dr. McGuff uses specific examples of his BMX training as well as examples from other sports to illustrate how the program is meant to be used to augment sports training.

    Long distance runners who want or need a higher level of cardiovascular training are not discouraged to “supplement” their strength training with long distance running or sprints. In fact, it is the other way around; those people who need or desire a high level of cardiovascular fitness do not need to sacrifice a lot of training time in also developing or maintaining a significant level of strength.

    For people in Group 2, this program greatly reduces the amount of time spent in the gym while still producing the primary goal of increasing strength and providing a moderate level of cardiovascular fitness. It meets the needs of the elderly and very sedentary people in teaching them it does not take a large volume of exercise to achieve a moderate level of strength or fitness.

    The authors never indicate that this type of training program is meant for bodybuilders. Their primary interest is fitness.

    I hope this clarifies things.


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  • Jeremy Arnold says:
    371 of 415 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Not as “scientific” as it lets on…, July 14, 2010
    Jeremy Arnold (Kingsport, TN) –

    This review is from: Body by Science: A Research Based Program for Strength Training, Body building, and Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week (Paperback)

    OK, this book has some things going for it that help set it apart from other exercise books out there. There are some decent footnotes and the main points all have some scientific backing behind them. It also gets bonus points for pointing out that super levels of fitness, low body fat, and big muscles do not actually equal high levels of health, longevity, and well-being. There is also truth to the author’s assertion that there is a quality of life issue involved in the time spent working out when you could be doing other things.

    There are a lot of other good points, too, but they are all pretty general and common sense. For example, “The Big Five” (or “Big Three”) has been exercise 101 for over a century because of one simple reason: there are really only 5 natural movements that the human body can reasonably perform with weights: Overhead pressing, pulling/pushing down with the lats, pushing out from the chest, pulling into the chest, and standing up to extend the legs. It’s also been long understood that the three pillars of weight training are training, diet, and rest: if you’re struggling to make gains, you should look at all three instead of just training harder, which can be potentially counterproductive. Again, this should be common sense, but it must be said nonetheless.

    However, for a book that’s supposed to be so predicated on “science,” the science that’s presented is often poorly understood or perhaps even deliberately confused to support the author’s own selling points and shortcomings of their training system.

    Example #1: There is no scientific evidence supporting “Max Contraction,” just John Little’s marketing. None. The authors’ emphasis on doing reps very slowly and counting the time spent under stress are also scientifically dubious with mixed support in the literature.

    Example #2: There is no scientific evidence that says old Nautilus machines are conclusively better for fitness than free weights or other manufacturors, but the authors own a gym that specializes in this equipment so it’s cited as being the ultimate in training. There is some truth to machine-based workouts being easier on certain joints, and they get bonus points in HIT because they allow you to safely go to failure without a spotter, but the authors barely reference those key points.

    Example #3: The studies that are cited are often sort of thrown together. Some will involve elderly or extremely out of shape clients who would have benefited greatly from the introduction of just about any physical activity. The authors point this out when the studies in question apply to aerobic exercise as a reason not to trust those studies, but fail to keep this in mind when studies on similar parameters agree with their own conclusion.

    Example #4: If you look up pictures of John Little and most of his clients, you’ll mostly find a group of fairly average looking men with very few impressive physical specimens. You’d be hard pressed to tell if some of them work out at all, and I think most people at least want noticable gains from their gym experience. Little asserts time and again that success in sports and bodybuilding is mostly because of genetics and that less than 2.5% of men have the “genetic potential” to build large muscles. However, if you go to just about any gym with a reasonably large clientelle, you’ll see several amateur bodybuilders who show that the genetics necessary for this kind of size are not so rare, if in fact they have any “special” genetics at all. Little’s “12 minutes a week of max contraction” disciples tend to look absolutely puny by comparison.

    That’s what I found most disturbing about this book: the misrepresentation of science in the book’s emphasis on “genetic potential,” particularly the role of genetically determined levels of myostatin as the holy grail, when it comes to building muscle. While myostatin inhibition does help produce large muscles with little bodyfat, the science simply does not say what the authors assert it does. That section is badly written, poorly researched, and misleading.

    For examples, the book says that professional bodybuilders refused to be tested for myostatin levels because it may harm their endorsement deals, when in fact many (such as the FREAKISH Ron Coleman, who bags millions in endorsements) were tested for a variety of genetic differences and the results usually came back that they were, in fact, fairly average. Only a couple of examples of genetic irregularities were found and those came from lesser known bodybuilders–most famously, “Flex Wheeler,” who has extra muscle fibers. The science just didn’t find that bodybuilders are necessarily genetic freaks when looking for the things that it expected to find.

    But the myostatin discussion gets worse when discussing myostatin inhibition in racing whippets (and the rare, super muscled freaks known as…

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