The Resistance Training Revolution by Sal Di Stefano
This review is for family and friends. And my 2 cents worth.
Excellent book. A lot of this data I have been using most of my life. There are a number of things, though, that I was reminded about that have been very successful but don’t always apply.
I love the fact that he stressed the fact that there is a technology to exercising. Exact ways to use weights and do various exercises to get the most gain. (“Knowing the tech of something will protect you…”.) I’ve learned a lot from the book on how to do certain exercises and will give that much more attention from now on.
He also dispels numerous falsehoods about exercising and dieting. I’ve always felt the wrong target was to lose weight. The right target for me has always been fitness. I love the way he suggests for people to change their mind set on how they feel about their body on this. Be gentle on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up.
One of the biggest things on how and when and what to eat: He talks about a small, practically non existent breakfast. I agree with him that one should not eat all day but for me two things are important to my physiology, one is big breakfast. If I have that, somewhere starting an hour or a bit more after I get up, then I’m good for a good 4-5 hours. A small lunch and a medium to small dinner. Sometimes a bit later if I’m hungry. The other very important thing is that I try and go at least 12-14 hours from dinner (or whenever I eat last) to breakfast without eating. So, if my last snack is at 8pm, then breakfast at 9:30 or 10am. Nothing has helped my digestive system as much as this one thing.
One of the things that he reminded me about was to not eat until you are full. This is a tough one. But to me, one of the more important. If you get rid of the idea that you are supposed to clean your plate and then put your fork down about 3/4s of the way through your meal… give it a few minutes and you likely will feel full. Also, the rule of not doing something else while you are eating, so important. That’s why I like sit down dinners, with family, spouse, etc.
I’ve always paid attention to my body and what it needs as far as food goes, something the author of the books stresses that one should try and achieve. He has some interesting steps to get to this point. I vary my food intake from day to day, depending on what I feel I need/want. Never been on a diet in my life. I try and get at least a good handful or two of vegetables into my body each day. Fruit and yogurt most days.
I haven’t had a MacDonald’s burger for about 40 years. I will admit I have had a Tim Horton’s breakfast sandwich half a dozen times in the last 20 years. No fast food.
Yvonne and I go out for dinner from time to time, well, when our government allows it, anyway. We mostly go for the ambience, just for a different space. Invariably, the next day we cook up something nice and exclaim how much better it is. The flavours are so much better and varied.
Very difficult to stay away from packaged goods but keep to a minimum.
Meat: One of the biggest things on buying meat over the last 10-15 years: I exclusively purchase meat where the animals have been raised without antibiotics or the use of hormones. Makes a tremendous difference in taste and those additives will really fuck up your body. If you are eating in restaurants a lot, you will not be eating ‘free from’ meat. If you are drinking a lot of milk you are also getting hormones and antibiotics. These are so bad for your body. The antibiotics mess royally with your immune system and the hormones are designed to make you grow.
The author goes into a lot of detail about keeping track of what you eat for a while and counting calories early on to train yourself. Me, I could never do that. Ever. My lifestyle has never been that rigid. I had to figure it out more by trial and error.
Back to exercise.
One of my favourite parts of the book was about the HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training). I’ve been applying this for years with my swimming. Years. Now after reading the sections of the book with regard to this, I understand why it kept my muscle mass fairly high. When the world was normal, in the Winter months, I would swim this way a couple of times a week and do a workout in the gym once a week. And never rigid on the schedule. I have to figure out a way to apply HIIT to my cycling.
I read a book on cycling about a year ago. One of the biggest things that that guy stressed was to keep it fun. I think that this is so important. Doing whatever you are going to do to keep fit can’t be a chore. There has to be some enjoyment for the thing itself.
Now, I want to either create a home gym or get back to the local gym, if they ever open again so I can apply more of the techniques from the book.