The First 20 Minutes

The First 20 Minutes

Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer

Book - 2012
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"The New York Times "Phys Ed" columnist counsels casual and serious exercisers on the latest understandings about the mental and physical aspects of a fitness program, sharing recommendations for current "best practices" for a range of goals."
Publisher: New York : Hudson Street Press, c2012.
ISBN: 9781594630934
Characteristics: xvii, 266 p. ;,24 cm.


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HCL_staff_reviews Jul 17, 2017

Reynolds is the author of the Phys Ed column in the New York times and has compiled the latest research of current exercise dos and don'ts. Do: weight training, High Intensity Interval Training, squats. Don't: stretch before exercise, drink too much water, get a massage after a workout. I was happy to read that a short time of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can accomplish the same amount of conditioning as much longer workouts with a constant pace, but dismayed to read that the Intensity Intervals "have to hurt." In a funny and engaging manner, Reynolds carefully spells out the latest research while cautioning that it will probably all be wrong tomorrow. — Jan G., Penn Lake Library

britprincess1ajax Feb 02, 2017

A new fitness bible, I would highly recommend THE FIRST 20 MINUTES. In a world where most exercise research studies are highly contradictory, hearing what's what -- and more importantly, stating what we just don't know for certain -- is a breath of fresh air. There's a chapter on seemingly everything. The first chapter deals with how much exercise is needed; the second covers stretching and why most of it is bunkum; the third chapter is about eating and drinking and why chocolate milk is ideal; and so on and so forth. The FTO gene; non-volitional exercise-induced inactivity; VO2 max; fartlek; the swish test; plyometrics; listening to music when you work out; Kenyan running practice; injury prevention; the triviality of the "right" shoes; strength training; endurance training; the effects of exercise on your brain, mood, memory, aging -- it's all here. Infused with dry wit, Gretchen Reynolds writes about exercise in such a way that you're not rolling your eyes, or worse, crying. Since reading her work and doing high intensity interval training, I have lost over thirty pounds and gained muscle tone. I would highly recommend this book.

Nov 02, 2014

The first 20 minutes is a highly recommendable book for young entrepreneurs looking for a smarter way to excercise through the field of physchiology and old-school drills . Also the idea of this book leads to the idea of the worlds between your personal ego and seperating it from your own ideal body off the charts. Yes , it is very delightful for the true go-getters. When personal life collides with appearance, what do you do?, How do you organize yourself, Who do you go to? This book answers all those questions. In my opinion, this book wouldn't suit me well because 1.) I am not a go-getter 2.)I have no intention to work out, I like me just the way I am 3.) I'm still a premature child.

I have read the entire book and I kindly would like to comment that I would give this book a 2-star rating for its organization of ideas amd its poor grammar usage. Reading THE FIRST 20 MINUTES closely, made me encounter/discover redundant sentences such as "If you can see that......"(page # 14-132,Reynolds). Yes I can see your point. THAT IS WHY I AM READING YOUR BOOK. Mind the all CAPS, That WAS INTENTIONAL.

Other than that, THE FIRST 20 MINUTES did prove one thing : The whole "No pain, no gain" cliche rarely works.

Aug 06, 2014

I feel the author has revealed a lot of interesting facts and studies, but really hasn't thought deeply or critically at the research. It seems like she just reprints the media-attention grabbing studies instead of looking at the whole body of evidence. While chocolate milk may be a better recovery beverage after an hour of intense exercise, is this sat-fat and casein packed beverage really the best thing for an athlete?! That's a milk marketing study reprinted because most of us love chocolate.
I do agree with the issue of overhydration and the lack of science on the 6-8 glasses a day modern sport/health mythothogy. On the massage therapy side, she sites one study, but not any that actually shows benefit of massage for DOMS (delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), so she didn't do her work, because such studies have been published.
I'd recommend Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? Fitness Myths, Training Truths, and Other Surprising Discoveries From the Science of Exercise
and/or Gold Medal Nutrition as more authoritative sources of athletic science-based advice.
There are some good ideas, so the bike isn't a total write-off. The injury prevention chapter is good.

Mar 11, 2014

I'm taking it out for the 3rd time - for a refresher. It is one of the better books on fitness that I've seen. Practical advice that dispels commonly held beliefs about exercising. Highly recommend.

Feb 02, 2014

This is an excellent and knowledgeable writer on this subject. (Previous NYTimes people, like Gina Colada, and yes her parents really named her that, and the other lady with the bad advice and artificial knee from following her own advice, were really, really baaaaad!) Physical trainers in Seattle sure could use this, especially the pointer on warming up as opposed to stretching before a workout!

This book is always available in the PlaneTree Health Information Center @ Cupertino Library. BC 100 R 2012

Jun 22, 2013

A very good review of the current research regarding the benefits of, the best form of, and the necessary length of types of exercise....all for the non-expert reader.


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britprincess1ajax Feb 02, 2017

"The vast majority of people...experience a rather precipitate physical decline at some point, usually beginning in middle age. We start to lose our muscle tone, waistline, height, energy, hair, motivation, sex drive, and car keys."

britprincess1ajax Feb 02, 2017

"Jack LaLanne, after all, never complained that he could no longer tow a caboose or complete 100 one-arm push-ups merely because he'd turned 70. Or 80. Or, in fact, 90. A model worth emulating, apart, please, from the skintight orange bodysuit."

britprincess1ajax Feb 02, 2017

"I began running when I was in college. I'd been a track athlete in high school, but that didn't mean that I ran. By the time I was in high school, Title IX was in effect, assuring equal access to organized sports for girls, but its impact was slow to reach the suburban Midwest, where I grew up. There was no girls' cross-country team at our high school, since cross-country courses were two or three miles long, and, at that distance, a girl's uterus could fall out."


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Sep 19, 2012

Thorough and well researched. The writer has an excellent sense of humour that makes the book a joy to read. I would like to re-read this again one day.

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