- Man vs Bookshelf: Introduction
- Man vs Bookshelf: Horowitz Horror
- Man vs Bookshelf: Lisey’s Story
- Man vs Bookshelf: Devil May Care
- Man vs Bookshelf: Big Little Lies
- Man vs Bookshelf: Good Omens
- Man vs Bookshelf: Grandpa’s Great Escape
- Man vs Bookshelf: Clough: The Autobiography
- Man vs Bookshelf: The Cuckoo’s Calling
- Man vs Bookshelf: The Escape
- Man vs Bookshelf: I Am Legend
- Man vs Bookshelf: Confessions of a Sociopath
- Man vs Bookshelf: Silence
- Man vs Bookshelf: Six Years
- Man vs Bookshelf: The Thin Executioner
- Man vs Bookshelf: The Entrepreneur’s Book of Checklists
- Man vs Bookshelf: John Dies at the End
- Man vs Bookshelf: Harry Potter and the case of the Duplicates
- Man vs Bookshelf: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (series)
- Man vs Bookshelf: Ayoade on Ayoade
- Man vs Bookshelf: Junk
- Man vs Bookshelf: Bobby Moore
- Man vs Bookshelf: The Hard Way
- Man vs Bookshelf: 102 days down (+ Freakonomics)
- Man vs Bookshelf: Dirk Gently (1 & 2)
- Man vs Bookshelf: The Clifton Chronicles (1 & 2)
- Man vs Bookshelf: Twitterature
- Man vs Bookshelf: Pele
- Man vs Bookshelf: The Collector
- Man vs Bookshelf: Cirque Du Freak
- Man vs Bookshelf: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Scripts
- Man vs Bookshelf: The Hobbit
- Man vs Bookshelf: The Lord of the Rings
- Man vs Bookshelf: Odd Thomas (1-3)
- Man vs Bookshelf: Harry Redknapp
- Man vs Bookshelf: Motivation and Doctor Who
- Man vs Bookshelf: The Killing Floor
- Man vs Bookshelf: The Dark Tower
- Man vs Bookshelf: The Moaning of Life
- Man vs Bookshelf: Will You Manage?
- Man vs Bookshelf: Creative Writing
- Man vs Bookshelf: Quantum of Solace
- Man vs Bookshelf: The City Trilogy
- Man vs Bookshelf: Horowitz’s Holmes
- Man vs Bookshelf: Forever Young
- Man vs Bookshelf: Drive
- Man vs Bookshelf: Story
- Man vs Bookshelf: Whatever You Say I Am
- Man vs Bookshelf: Football Manager Stole My Life
- Man vs Bookshelf: Red Dragon
- Man vs Bookshelf: Business Stripped Bare
- Man vs Bookshelf: The Damned UTD
- Man vs Bookshelf: The Gold Standard – Rules to Rule By
- Man vs Bookshelf: The Bazaar of Bad Dreams
- Man vs Bookshelf: Am I Proud?
- Man vs Bookshelf: The Black Angel
- Man vs Bookshelf: Stress and Soccernomics
- Man vs Bookshelf: A Spot of Bother
- Man vs Bookshelf: Word Count & The Good Guy
- Man vs Bookshelf: Amazon Recommendations and Noughts and Crosses
- Man vs Bookshelf: More Word Count and Mother Tongue
- Man vs Bookshelf: Cardio Sucks
- Man vs Bookshelf: Thanks for Nothing
- Man vs Bookshelf: The Finish Line & The Bachman Books
- Man vs Bookshelf: Book 100 & Extraordinary People
- Man vs Bookshelf: Arsenal & MotD
- Man vs Bookshelf: Kevin Master of the Universe
- Man vs Bookshelf: Inbound Marketing
There are a lot of reasons to buy a book, some sensible, some not so much.
One of them is because you emphatically agree with its title.
I’ll leave it up to you to decide where on the scale that comes.
The gym and me
It may surprise you to know, given what I look like now (which you don’t know, because you can’t see me… I hope), that I used to be big into the gym.
Yup, I would go three, four and sometimes five times a week. I had the protein shakes and I monitored what I ate. I made progress – something I can only dream of now – and, most surprisingly, I loved it.
I used to go in the mornings before work, getting up at five in the morning, and while that was horrible, I would always come home feeling fresh and ready for the day.
I would walk to work hyped and full of energy and would hate dropping into my seat at my desk because it would feel as though all this energy was going to waste.
But that was fine. I liked the way I felt, and, although I had no star body, I liked the way I looked, too.
It was so good for me.
So, naturally, I collapsed back into the lethargy brought on by not going to the gym, getting up five minutes before I was due to go to work, and eating shit all day every day.
Funny how it takes months to build up good habits and seconds to build up a bad one.
No, honestly it was.
Writing and me
It may be apocryphal at this point, but so far as I remember I’ve loved writing since I crafted a story about a penguin back in Year Two at school.
I would have been six or seven.
Sometime after this, I remember stories about a world made of chocolate (even the teapots – very impractical) and one about a Ninja and these are just the tip of the iceberg.
Over the years I have written millions of words and started hundreds of stories, but I have only ever completed two novels to the point where I have a physical copy on my shelf.
In truth, it has always been on off. I will go several weeks writing every day then won’t do anything for months.
That is, until around 20 months ago, when I finally decided to take this writing thing seriously.
This meant blogging properly and regularly (hey like this) and putting proper time and commitment into my writing career.
By this, I mean writing during my lunch break and at work every day, and spending most of my weekends doing nine or ten hour days.
Of course, there have been off days and even off weeks, but things have been going well. I published a full novel last November and have another coming out this winter.
I’m improving every day. I can feel it as I write and edit.
I want to keep pressing on with this until I can make a career out of it. Even if that never happens, I want to know I gave it my best shot.
It’s for this reason I no longer go to the gym. It doesn’t fit in with my new priorities.
“But what about eating healthily, and getting up more than five minutes before you have to leave for work? Neither of those takes away writing time and actually getting up earlier would mean -“
Please hold all question’s, it’s time to get on with the review.
Michael Matthews and Me
Michael Matthews is one of those annoying people who has worked very hard, achieved a great body, and is now making money bragging about it.
Like Joe Wicks, without the annoying accent.
During my the peak of my gym going era, I was reading fitness and gym blogs every day, trying to learn as much as I could about the best ways to improve, get stronger, leaner, and all that crap.
Speaking of crap – there is a lot of it out there, and of course, it is always difficult to discern the gyms from the rubbish.
Michael Matthews always struck me as the former.
I came across him via his book: Bigger, Leaner, Stronger – The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body, and, after getting over the disappointment of finding out it wasn’t written by Dr Frankenstein, I started to pay attention.
What I liked about Matthew’s style is he stripped it all back, and made it simple to understand. But everything was backed up with real science which again wasn’t bogged down and was delivered in a way that was digestible.
I started putting Michael’s teachings into practice and had quite a lot of success with them.
Before long, I was a convert and so, when I saw another book of his, I decided I would buy that, too.
Not least because of its title.
Cardio Sucks and Me
Like Harder Better Faster Stronger…
No, let me start again.
Like Bigger, Leaner, Stronger, Cardio Sucks is a book written for people who want a simple guide to improving their fitness.
An approach that is backed by a science everyman can understand. A book that gets straight to the point and isn’t constantly trying to sell you protein powder along the way.
Where Bigger, Leaner, Stronger focused on strength works outs, Cardio Sucks is more about diet and HIIT training.
It was useful, in a way, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it.
If someone was looking for a great book on working out and getting fitter and stronger, I would point them to Bigger, Leaner Stronger.
Both are easy to understand and immensely helpful, but Bigger contains more. It focuses on the workouts, but there are diet plans in there as well, plus bits on cardio and HIIT.
So Cardio Sucks is a great book and is good at what it does, but if you want to improve your body, and you are a man – go for Bigger, Leaner, Stronger.
Next time and Me
Thanks for nothing
is the name of our next book.
It’s a book by Jack Dee, deadpan comedian, dealing with his early dives into comedy and all the jobs he did before, as well as moaning about pretty much everything.
He’s a man after my own heart.
I’ll see you for that.