Lean Gains by Jonathan S Lee
|Lean Gains by Jonathan S Lee|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A gold mine of advice for the serious sports enthusiast on building muscle and losing fat.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 150||Date: September 2016|
I don't often begin a book by telling you what it isn't but in this case I think it's important. If you're a fairly sedentary person or a casual sportsman or woman looking to shed a few pounds then you won't get the best out of this book. You'll find some good advice about diet, but I'm afraid that much of it is going to go over your head. Of course you could always take up a sport seriously... On the other hand, if you are a serious sportsman then you could find that the advice in Lean Gains could lift you up to the next level of performance.
If we're looking for a lean torso with good muscles our bodies have an inherent contradiction built into them: fat is good in a famine. Muscles burn energy, but fat saves it - so our bodies are constantly fighting efforts to reduce fat. There are ways to circumvent this problem, but Jonathan S Lee has a word of warning for those people who want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger: you're only going to get there as a result of one or more of the following - favourable genetics, drugs such as anabolic steroids (and Lee is adamant that he's not going there) and hard work. For most people it's simply not going to be possible, but he can help you to change your physical appearance by modifying diet, sleeping patterns and training routines.
Evidence suggests that diets don't work in the long term, but Lee is reassuring that it's not just down to people lacking the willpower to stick to a diet. Once we hit a plateau the natural reaction is to reduce calories and carbs - which makes the body fight even harder to retain fat. The way around this is complex - involving hormones and calorie partitioning. Don't worry - it's all fully explained, but the sad fact is that one diet or one training routine is not going to work for long. Change and flexibility are required. Exercise regimes need to change about every four to six weeks.
I liked the advice about liquid consumption: even a 1% dehydration affects your cognitive abilities. The book is full of nuggets of information like this, but it's strongest on suggestions for the training needs of your particular sport and ideas as to the diet to be followed. He gives the pros and cons of different combinations of diet and regime and takes a hard look at dietary supplements. His own personal routine is shown in detail and I liked that it's realistic: there are rest days and carb loading happens at weekends. You'll find the FAQs at the back of the book and it's worth referring to these if you have any questions about the main content of the book.
I have a couple of minor niggles with the book. I'd have loved a glossary. The convention of giving a term in full before using abbreviations is followed but when you get a few that are new to you it's easy to forget what each one means. I spent a lot of time flicking back and forth, when it would have been much easier to bookmark a glossary. Some of the illustrations annoyed me too: I liked the ones relevant to the text such as the before and after pictures of Lee when he followed his own advice as to diet and training, but there are rather a lot (woman tearing hair out in frustration, man looking confused...) which seem to be there to pad out the text. That's me being picky though and neither point detracts greatly from a valuable resource. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
You can read more about Jonathan S Lee here
You can read more book reviews or buy Lean Gains by Jonathan S Lee at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Lean Gains by Jonathan S Lee at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.