Man vs Bookshelf

Man vs Bookshelf: Cardio Sucks

This entry is part 62 of 79 in the series Man vs Bookshelf

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.

Still, while falling out of the gym habit depressed – and still depresses – me it was a conscious decision to stop going.

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.

Oh, what’s this? It’s my book, isn’t it? That’s so embarrassing How’d that get it? Oh well, now it is, might as well click it, right?

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.

Series Navigation<< Man vs Bookshelf: More Word Count and Mother TongueMan vs Bookshelf: Thanks for Nothing >>
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International worst selling author Mark Ayre has been writing since before he could pick up a pen (somehow). Recently he is taking the internet by storm with his Man vs Bookshelf Challenge where he aims to read the 210 books on his bookshelf in 210 weeks, reviewing them on his blog and Goodreads along the way. He is also publishing books on Amazon, his most recent being the family suspense novel, Poor Choices, which you can find here.

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