I recently read Alex Hutchinson’s “Which comes first, cardio or weights?“, and found it very helpful. Hutchinson is not just a runner and a journalist, he also has a Ph.D. in physics. The book attempts to answer many commonly asked questions about exercise, and uses a science/evidence based approach to answer them. This is the best, most awesomest approach, in my opinion.
When the evidence isn’t clear, he says so. He is very familiar with the latest scientific literature regarding fitness. It is refreshing to read a fitness book based on science; all too often, fitness/health authors push pseudo-scientific ideas that may be useless or even harmful. It is also refreshing that Hutchinson is not using the book to hawk supplements, exercise equipment or videos, which are often intertwined with the pseudo-science the author is pushing.
Among the questions Hutchinson answers are:
1) How much should I drink to avoid dehydration during exercise?
2) Will stretching help me to avoid injuries?
3) Is it possible to be fat and healthy at the same time?
4) Should I have sex the night before a competition?
5) How should I pace myself for a long-distance race?
6) How can I adjust my chakras so I can run faster? (just kidding! This is NOT in the book!)
Among dozens of other common and uncommon questions. Some of the answers may surprise you. For example, scientific studies suggest that stretching does not help prevent injuries – because of this, I almost never stretch anymore.
Besides not wasting precious time stretching, I’ve found a lot of other information in the book beneficial for my fitness routine. While the book doesn’t cover fitness juggling or joggling, the general fitness information it contains may also benefit fitness jugglers. I highly recommend it. I have no connection to the author.
I also recommend reading the scientific literature yourself whenever you can. It won’t be long before this book becomes dated and certain recommendations may even change over time as new scientific evidence comes in.