Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights?
In Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? Alex Hutchinson, a physicist, award-winning journalist, and contributing editor of Popular Mechanics magazine, reveals the little-known and often surprising truths that science has uncovered about exercise. A book that ranges from cardio and weights to competition and weight loss, here are fascinating facts and practical tips for fitness buffs, competitive athletes, and popular science fans alike.

Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? Details

TitleWhich Comes First, Cardio or Weights?
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 24th, 2011
PublisherWilliam Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN-139780062007537
Rating
GenreSports, Fitness, Health, Nonfiction, Science, Sports and Games

Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? Review

  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    This book was awesome, with short chapters, each answering a different question about exercise and fitness, reviewing the latest studies and knowledge. I was surprised at how much of my "common knowledge" was actually wrong. I liked the quick summaries at the end of each chapter.Here are some of the things I learned:* Lactic Acid build-up is NOT the source of the DOMS (day-after muscle soreness). Lactic acid is a fuel, not a waste product, that gets cleaned out of your system within an hour afte This book was awesome, with short chapters, each answering a different question about exercise and fitness, reviewing the latest studies and knowledge. I was surprised at how much of my "common knowledge" was actually wrong. I liked the quick summaries at the end of each chapter.Here are some of the things I learned:* Lactic Acid build-up is NOT the source of the DOMS (day-after muscle soreness). Lactic acid is a fuel, not a waste product, that gets cleaned out of your system within an hour after exercise. It's actually the repair process that causes soreness, so soreness is a sign your muscles are building themselves stronger. =)* "Stitches" are still poorly understood but good posture and avoiding eating heavily before a workout may help avoid them. * A good, short, intense interval session can give you the same changes as a long aerobic exercise.* Fitness begins to deteriorate after two weeks without working out.* Barefoot running remains unproven for now.* "Breathing Training" doesn't work to improve aerobic performance, so just breathe the way you do without thinking about it.* Balance training (like on wobble boards or exercise balls) helps reduce ankle and knee problems.* "220 minus age" is a really bad way to find your maximum heart rate. * Your body adjusts well to whatever surface it runs on, so running on hard surfaces does not increase injury risk. However, running on surfaces that are too smooth may contribute to overuse injuries.* High weights/low reps typically build more strength, while low weights/high reps build more endurance.* Choose weights to lift so that you reach failure by the end of your last set.* There's no proof that stretching prevents injuries. It also doesn't help a bit with DOMS. Stretching before aerobic workouts actually slow the performance slightly, so the current wisdom is not to stretch until after your workout.* Exercising with a cold doesn't exacerbate the symptoms or make them last longer.* Running doesn't ruin your knees long-term; it may actually help them.* Obesity isn't a risk when you're fit. Several studies show that those who are slightly overweight live longer. Obese people who are physically fit are actually half as likely to die as those who are normal weight but don't exercise.* The common wisdom that most people burn the same calories per mile no matter how fast they are going is wrong. It's been shown that much more calories are burned when running a mile than while walking one.* The body's thirst response is a good measure of how much you should be drinking during long workouts. It is possible to become over-hydrated. * Basic Gatorade is a great replenishment for long workouts because it delivers fluid, sugar, and salts. Nothing more than that is needed.
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  • Adrienne Strock
    January 1, 1970
    I was impressed with the new "science" in this book. Set up in a Q&A format, this book answers some common questions about fitness and weight loss. I'm no novice to exercise techniques and the science behind them, but it's been awhile since I've read up on new exercise science. While I don't think any of the answers are conclusive (it cites lots of research studies with mediocre sample sizes), I did learn a thing or two, like drink pickle juice if you have cramps. I will now tell people that I was impressed with the new "science" in this book. Set up in a Q&A format, this book answers some common questions about fitness and weight loss. I'm no novice to exercise techniques and the science behind them, but it's been awhile since I've read up on new exercise science. While I don't think any of the answers are conclusive (it cites lots of research studies with mediocre sample sizes), I did learn a thing or two, like drink pickle juice if you have cramps. I will now tell people that encourage me to stretch after I warm up to SHUT UP. There is no scientific evidence that supports the belief that stretching helps reduce injuries. Furthermore, these warmup stretches lead to inefficiency, so suck on that! I've been reading a lot about high intensity interval training (which I've been dabbling in for a few weeks), so I was pleased to see it mentioned here. This is a great book for those that know little about exercise and/or those that think they do, which could be anyone: meatheads, weight lifters, gym rats...
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  • Trung Nguyen Dang
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastic book, probably the best I come across for exercises.The book covers a wide array of common questions, myths, concerns regarding exercises, and answers those with proper scientific studies. The author, PhD and a former competitive runner, went through tons of scientific studies in various journal to write this book. I found myself highlighting all over the book and hard to put the book down once I started.Happy to share the highlights upon request
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  • Allison
    January 1, 1970
    The idea behind this book is a good one, but the content is simply outdated. I enjoyed Hutchinson's conversational tone, but sometimes I felt like he was "talking down" to me. Luckily, the way the book is structured, I could skip sections where I already knew the content without missing much. All in all, I think fitness magazines should focus on publishing this sort of material; I'd be much more interested in reading monthly educational snippets than a book-length Q&A-style info dump.
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  • Dan Bell
    January 1, 1970
    Hutchinson does the work for you by wading through the most recent studies to delineate scientifically strong fitness suggestions against folk tales with no factual evidence. A good read for anyone who wants to exercise more efficiently.
  • Jenny
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book slowly, more so I could take time to absorb it than because it wasn't easy reading. I really like that Hutchinson answers some of the most commonly-asked fitness-related questions. I was interested in it more to learn more about weight loss and cardio vs. strength training science, but I picked up a lot of interesting tidbits. For example:- There's no evidence that coffee takes away from performance. (Note that caffeine isn't the same thing as coffee.)- For my clients anxious to I read this book slowly, more so I could take time to absorb it than because it wasn't easy reading. I really like that Hutchinson answers some of the most commonly-asked fitness-related questions. I was interested in it more to learn more about weight loss and cardio vs. strength training science, but I picked up a lot of interesting tidbits. For example:- There's no evidence that coffee takes away from performance. (Note that caffeine isn't the same thing as coffee.)- For my clients anxious to see results, it might take 3 months to see bigger muscles and six months to boost endurance, but health and performance gains will start within a few days.- It confirmed that short bursts of intense intervals can be produce the same effect as a long, slow aerobic workout assuming that the intervals are HARD.- Working out at the end of a long, tiring day at the office can have an effect more on your mentality- you might not be able to work hard as long as someone who isn't as mentally drained.- Lactic acid isn't a metabolic waste product but instead a useful fuel that provides energy to your muscles.- Peak physical performance for most people is in the late afternoon or early evenings (body temp is the highest). But if you train regularly at a certain time of day, your body will adjust.- Starting in your 30's, you lose 1-2% of your muscle mass every year. Strength training will help combat this. (Phew!)- It confirmed that the amount of protein in most Americans' diets is enough to fuel muscle recovery.- People exercising under the eye of a personal trainer see better gains than someone who doesn't. (This applies to one-on-one training as well as small group led by a teacher.) - If you're not feeling good and trying to figure out whether to work out or not, use the "neck check"- if you have a symptom above the neck like a runny nose or a sore throat, exercising should be fine. If the symptom(s) is below the neck like a fever or a chest cold, you might be better taking time off.- Losing weight through exercise alone is challenging - middle-aged women had to exercise an hour a day just to maintain their current weight.- In a long race, contrary to common thought, a slightly faster start may help one finish with a faster time than a perfectly even pace throughout.- Swearing during a workout may actually give you more endurance since it triggers your fight or flight response.- Sleep helps exercise and exercise helps sleep. In a 2010 study, moderate aerobic exercise (but not strength training or heavy aerobic exercise) increased reported sleep time by 26% in a group of chronic insomniacs. - The body adapts quickly to weight loss or diets. If you burn mostly carbs during a workout, the calories you consume after a workout will be used to replenish your carb stores. If you burn mostly fat, your carb stories will remain full and any calories consumed after the workout will be stored as fat. Lots of interesting tidbits that apply to most of my clients!
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  • Evelyne
    January 1, 1970
    Two of my favorite things are common sense and empirical evidence--that's why I was an economics major. This book is chock full of both. Alex Hutchinson clearly outlines pretty much all aspects of physical fitness--debunking various myths in the process. All the while backing up every statement with empirical evidence (all studies mentioned are thoroughly referenced in the back of the book). As a loyal reader of the NY Times Well Blog (definitely go check it out) I already knew much of what the Two of my favorite things are common sense and empirical evidence--that's why I was an economics major. This book is chock full of both. Alex Hutchinson clearly outlines pretty much all aspects of physical fitness--debunking various myths in the process. All the while backing up every statement with empirical evidence (all studies mentioned are thoroughly referenced in the back of the book). As a loyal reader of the NY Times Well Blog (definitely go check it out) I already knew much of what the book touched upon, but there was sooo much more! Everyone should read this book--especially those who think physical fitness means eating nothing. I'm sorry, if you don't exercise, it is actually to your advantage to have a few extra pounds--you will live longer. I learned several things about the importance of warming up (soooo important to prevent injuries), when to stretch (AFTER workout), the effects of alcohol (doesn't hurt unless you drink WAYYY to much),and how to be slow aging (EXCERCISE). The only thing that I would add to this book would be a section on things that specifically concern women. I would really like to know stuff about exercising during pregnancy, etc.
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  • Jeff Van Campen
    January 1, 1970
    This is book is a redesign change from much of the nonsense that gets written about health and fitness. It is one of the best fitness books I've ever read. So many books on health and fitness fall into the category of what I call “one true way” books, which espouse a single way to be healthy. Usually these books are trying to sell you something beyond the book. Cardio or Weights is different. It is organised as a series of questions about health and fitness. Each question is answered based on re This is book is a redesign change from much of the nonsense that gets written about health and fitness. It is one of the best fitness books I've ever read. So many books on health and fitness fall into the category of what I call “one true way” books, which espouse a single way to be healthy. Usually these books are trying to sell you something beyond the book. Cardio or Weights is different. It is organised as a series of questions about health and fitness. Each question is answered based on recent research. In some cases, there is a clear answer. In many cases, though, there isn't. When the research isn't clear, Hutchinson says so. When different people with different fitness goals should do different things, Hutchinson says so. If you know what your fitness goals are, and want to determine how best to reach those goals, this is the book for you. If you want someone else to decide what your goals should be and how you should reach them, this is probably not the book for you.
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  • Katherine
    January 1, 1970
    I think this is a book that anyone who does fitness of any kind should read. It smites fitness myth and misinformation with the power of SCIENCE, which is the best way to do things.One of the things that made it such an easy read was the Q and A format, that make what could be a dry subject more interesting. And there was a little bit of humor interjected here and there.My only complaint is the title, it's one of the stupidest titles imaginable, but I suppose the book had to have some sort of ho I think this is a book that anyone who does fitness of any kind should read. It smites fitness myth and misinformation with the power of SCIENCE, which is the best way to do things.One of the things that made it such an easy read was the Q and A format, that make what could be a dry subject more interesting. And there was a little bit of humor interjected here and there.My only complaint is the title, it's one of the stupidest titles imaginable, but I suppose the book had to have some sort of hook.I just wish that Dr Hutchinson was there to interpret every new fitness study that comes out in the future!
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  • Evilskillit
    January 1, 1970
    This book was written within the last two years and contains lots of great up to date information about fitness and health. All of the information is backed up with references to scientific studies and explains plainly and thoroughly what the results mean. It's refreshing to read a book about fitness that just gives you the facts, as best as we understand them right now instead of anecdotal stories and unverified stuff made up by the "pros".
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    Quick read, worth it for someone who is fairly new to exercise and would like motivation. If you're someone who is experienced with working out you likely will not learn a ton.
  • Desiree
    January 1, 1970
    Fairly recent, good info; even one of the trainers at the gym I work at perused it for a half hour or so and then came back and said "I'll see you later... I'm going to buy that book."
  • Martin
    January 1, 1970
    A handy book with a lot of answer for common questions. It talks about a lot of myths which are really interesting.
  • Dmitry
    January 1, 1970
    An excellent summary of everything exercise (and much of nutrition) related. Highly recommended to everyone starting an exercise regime, and even to those who exercise for a long time.
  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    Up-to-date and very useful information. Probably aimed more for a beginner audience, but I picked up several useful tidbits too. The question/answer format makes it very readable.
  • Carl
    January 1, 1970
    So you want to get healthier? Excellent! Let me explain . . . No, there is too much. Let me sum up. That's basically what this book is. It takes all of the science around exercise and tries to sum it up in concise little chunks to help physiology neophytes like me understand what's going on with Exercise Type A vs. Exercise Type B. So which comes first? Cardio or weights? Well, it may not surprise you that there isn't one right answer. There are just lots of trade-offs. It turns out doing a vari So you want to get healthier? Excellent! Let me explain . . . No, there is too much. Let me sum up. That's basically what this book is. It takes all of the science around exercise and tries to sum it up in concise little chunks to help physiology neophytes like me understand what's going on with Exercise Type A vs. Exercise Type B. So which comes first? Cardio or weights? Well, it may not surprise you that there isn't one right answer. There are just lots of trade-offs. It turns out doing a variety of exercises might be the best thing for you overall. Who knew? (Hint: I did.) Even with that not-so-useful advice being the book's conclusion, it was still good to dig down a bit more into why that is the case, and to learn a few new things along the way, like the fact that lactic acid is actually fuel for your muscles, not a toxic by-product of exercise. The one new fact that, I think, will haunt me the most was that weight gain and loss can level off. Basically, if you eat an extra cookie a day, you will start to gain weight because of the extra calories. Eventually, your body mass will increase. But maintaining that increased body mass takes extra energy, which will eventually cancel out the extra cookie. That makes sense. The thing that terrifies me is that this same process works in reverse. If you drop, say, 300 calories from your daily intake, you will eventually hit the point where you are at a new equilibrium. In order to drop down further than that, you must drop more calories. Ugh. Still, now I understand this idea, and will be able to adjust my lifestyle accordingly to account for it. And that's a good thing. For anybody looking to get a leg up in their personal exercise, or to even try to figure out where to start, I think this book would be a great one to read.
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  • Perry
    January 1, 1970
    If you have a habit of listening to infomercials about fitness, or pick up the usual fitness magazine this is a really good book at dispelling so many myths about exercise. Even some really longstanding myths. The author is a runner and his bias for aerobics comes through. I think, however, he stays fairly objective listing the benefits of both aerobics and weight training. Here is the bottom line of this book. Exercise is really good for you. Eating a well balanced diet is good for you. You s If you have a habit of listening to infomercials about fitness, or pick up the usual fitness magazine this is a really good book at dispelling so many myths about exercise. Even some really longstanding myths. The author is a runner and his bias for aerobics comes through. I think, however, he stays fairly objective listing the benefits of both aerobics and weight training. Here is the bottom line of this book. Exercise is really good for you. Eating a well balanced diet is good for you. You should really, really exercise. There are so many references to scientific studies and research exacting the mind numbing minutia that it seems to be just hair splitting. If you exercise to be healthy and enjoy working out most of the details are just not relevant. Advice that might shave a half second off a PR, or if you are a competitive athlete it might give you a slight edge. That's the thing even with all the studies and info the information it comes down to this might help or this might do that but there are no hard and fast rules. Why? Because human bodies are very complex and what works for one might not work for another. Good information yes! Good information to know so you don't listen to the BS from gym rats and advertisers yes! My low review is mostly because the information seems to mostly overburden something that should be looked at in a holistic manner. Caveat; unless you really need to make small improvements for competitive events.
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  • Blake
    January 1, 1970
    This was an enjoyable and interesting read. I've been a little obsessive about fitness lately (I'm a marathon runner), and this book was right up my alley.There are a lot of articles on Runner's World and other websites that basically review a recent study and discuss the implications. This book is basically over 100 of those articles one after another. However, each short topic doesn't just focus on one study, but often mentions multiple studies. The science-based approach is very informative a This was an enjoyable and interesting read. I've been a little obsessive about fitness lately (I'm a marathon runner), and this book was right up my alley.There are a lot of articles on Runner's World and other websites that basically review a recent study and discuss the implications. This book is basically over 100 of those articles one after another. However, each short topic doesn't just focus on one study, but often mentions multiple studies. The science-based approach is very informative and it puts to rest a lot of common myths. The chapters focus on different themes, and at the end of each chapter there's a useful summary.I think I've already incorporated several things from this book into my routine, but I need it in front of me to remember specifics... Here are two of my favorite take-aways from the book:1. We tend to overestimate what we can do in the short term, and tend to underestimate what we can do in the long term. This is so true! It applies to running, but also to nearly every other area in our lives.2. Exercise is addictive. It releases dopamine with an effect similar to drugs. I've had some experience with this and laughed when I read it.
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  • Jeff DeRosa
    January 1, 1970
    If you know nothing about exercise, this book will help you sift through the inaccuracies and get you started. If you're an experienced athlete, this book will help reset your mind and focus your attention; and you'll say things like "oh, yes, I forgot about that." This was published in 2011 so updating will be needed soon. But much of the information remains relevant here in 2018. I love how the author cites many different sources. It's also an easy read.
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  • Caroline
    January 1, 1970
    This book has all kinds of fitness information and cites the studies conducted that led to the findings. There is more updated information about fitness out there, this book was written in 2011, but it has some good advice about what to eat before working out, how you should workout, what to focus on, and a lot more useful information. The question-and-answer format, along with summary sections at the end of each chapter, make it really easy to pick up and put down too.
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  • Pat Carlson
    January 1, 1970
    Fitness advice backed up by scienceThere is so much misinformation about fitness published. This book summarizes the conclusions that have been reached after multiple studies have indicated the same thing. It’s easy to read, and there is sufficient detail to make the information memorable.
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  • Mary Ann Merlin
    January 1, 1970
    Informative and quick to the pointFor an accurate view of the latest studies this book becomes a must read. If you were a decent in the know athlete 20 years ago, trust me a lot has changed. Read the scientific studies and above all think for yourself. You'll be surprise how much crap was passed off as fact. Ah, the good old days, it's a miracle we survived. Not kidding.
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  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    Do you like the sidebars in magazine articles? If so, you'll love this book. I generally like Huthinson's writing, but wished this had a little more depth instead of so much breadth. It makes for a quick read though if you skip to the chapter summaries of sections you aren't terribly interested in.
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  • Sam
    January 1, 1970
    Very good, very succinct, well-referenced book. There's a few things in there that I feel skew towards the "make the masses feel good"direction, but generally, I enjoy Alex's results/labs based conclusions and writing style.
  • Christian
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting pick-up-and-put-down book with little 1-2 page answers to fitness questons. In general the answer is usually, "Exercise is good, but don't do the same thing all the time." Biggest revelation was that stretching before an event might hurt competitors times more than it helps.
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  • Grant
    January 1, 1970
    This book was mostly entertaining and informative. It's written largely for people who are relatively new to exercising, but I still learned a lot. I liked how much he relied on scientific studies and was very forthcoming about the gaps in the research. I would've preferred if he'd covered fewer topics in more detail, but I can appreciate what the author was going for.
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  • Robyn
    January 1, 1970
    Read cover to cover, interesting and applicable.
  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    It read very much like a text book with recaps after every chapter. Good current studies and information in all things training.
  • Krista
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. There was a lot of great information and it's a worthwhile read, but it took me a while to get through.
  • Bill
    January 1, 1970
    I really like this book. It was written in question-answer style, making it really helpful.
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