Friday, May 13, 2022

Book Review: Intelligent Fitness

Next up for review is Intelligent Fitness, by Simon Waterson. The author is a fitness trainer that works with actors to help them get in shape for their movie roles. This sounds like a fun job and he has worked with many A-list actors filming big budget action movies.


This book has 4 sections. The first is some general information on training. The second section presents different actor’s workouts for the specific movie they were shooting. The last two sections are on recovery and nutrition. The book is 346 pages. It is very well written and I enjoyed reading it.

5 Things I Really Liked About Intelligent Fitness

1) I like the focus on proper sleep. This is an aspect of health overlooked by many that really can impact your hunger, metabolism and body weight, not to mention your energy and mood.

2) I also like the focus on hydration. Drinking adequate water is critical for health and fitness. I recommend 8 glasses a day to my clients.

3) The exercises presented were very nicely put together with text and pictures describing how to do them.

4) I like the variety found in the workouts. It is really important to keep your muscles guessing a bit when lifting weights. I change my client’s programs every 7 weeks or so.

5) I agree with the authors idea to workout at home, if possible. Investing in a small home gym, which could be as simple as some free weights, a bench and an inexpensive piece of cardio equipment, like the Gazelle Sprintmaster, makes it so easy to workout. It is also much cheaper in the long run than paying for a gym each year.

5 Things I Didn’t Agree With In Intelligent Fitness

1) The author does not recommend weighing yourself at all. I have my clients weigh themselves each week. Weight loss is highly subjective. As time goes on, I focus my client’s program based on what is working. If they lose weight one week, we replicate that behavior. If they gain or don’t lose, we’ll make some changes. How do you know that the program is working if you don’t have a weekly weigh in?

2) The author recommends 6 meals a day. I think this is not necessary. Once the blood sugar stabilizes, 3 meals a day is all you’ll need. If you are hungry all the time, something is wrong with your diet.

3) The author mentions that when it comes to diet you should be able to eat what you want, when you want it. I don’t agree with this because it does not take into account food cravings. Refined carbs like bread, white rice and especially sugar are quite addicting. The more you have, the more you want. If you can eat them whenever you want, soon you’ll be eating them all the time and you won’t lose a pound. With refined carbs, there has to be some level of deprivation. The good news is that once the blood sugar stabilizes, the cravings largely disappear.

4) Similar to #3, the nutrition in this book was a little weak, in general. I found pretty early in my training career that any results you get in the gym are largely dependent on what you are eating. I felt that the author could have given some more specific advice on what to eat.

5) Anyone who works with me or reads my books know that I am all about research and evidence-based advice. The author makes a few claims that seem a bit off to me and presents no research to back these statements up.  For example:

-On page 265 he mentions that jumping in and out of hot and cold plunge pools is great for boosting your immune system.

-On page 296 he states; “Tumeric and ginger are great natural anti-inflammatories and help the body to be less toxic and inflamed”.

Is Intelligent Fitness Worth Reading?

Absolutely! I like a lot of what the author says regarding weight lifting and cardio in this book. His results speak for themselves. The actors he works with look amazing in the movies they shoot.

Having said that, the book’s handling of the nutrition end of things is a bit lacking. I’d focus on the exercise sections of the book and get your nutrition advice elsewhere.




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