Body By Science Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: Body By Science offers a hands-on approach to fitness and what building a healthy, fit, and strong body implies, all while debunking common myths about training practices that served as a benchmark for gym enthusiasts since the rise of the sports industry.

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Our bodies work in a miraculous way. Given the right nutrients and exercise, they’ll become as strong, fit, and healthy as ever. If we do the opposite, they’ll take their revenge on us, both from an aesthetic and medical point of view. Naturally, everybody gravitates towards a well-looking, healthy body. So how can we achieve that? What’s the first step to becoming our best-looking version?

Fortunately, Body by Science by Doug McGuff has the answers. By understanding how the human body works and what are the right exercises for it, you can avoid falling into the trap of the sports and beauty industries, which sell inefficient diets, supplements, and programs for a living. When it comes to your body, it’s best to rely on data, not on advice, and so this book will get quite practical and technical.

Here are my three favorite lessons from it:

  1. A rigorous, intense body workout is more efficient than a slow, steady one.
  2. The simplest, yet most effective training can be explained by the Big Five routine.
  3. Aim for building muscle, and you’ll lose weight from fat on the way.

Are you interested in learning more about what these lessons have to offer? If so, let’s start by exploring the first one below!

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Lesson 1: Subject your body to high-intensity workouts to achieve better results in less time.

There are people who hit the gym on every occasion, even as much as five times per week, and then there are people who train half that amount and achieve the same results. Why is that? Well, as science reveals, more is not always better. Naturally, we are inclined to think that a large amount of exercise will help us reach our fitness goals.

However, it looks like high-intensity body workouts are a better way to do that. Although we were taught that jogging helps us keep our heart healthy, as it stimulates the cardiovascular system, this may not be entirely true. Sure, there’s a lot of benefits that come with it, but there are also downsides, such as weak knees, spinal degeneration, or arrhythmia. 

Instead, conducting rigorous body workouts that engage our muscles better is more efficient. Putting pressure on the muscle tissue kickstarts our metabolic processes, builds our endurance, and promotes a healthy and strong body. Best part? You don’t have to subject your body to endless workouts that can also damage it in the long run.

Lesson 2: Learn about the Big Five workout routine to simplify and upgrade your training.

Oftentimes, people tend to overcomplicate their workout routines, in hope that they’ll achieve dramatic results in less time. However, when it comes to your diet and your training, simple is better. Essentially, you’ll need five resistance training moves and a few machines to achieve your fitness goals. In other words, you’ll need to practice the Big Five.

The resistance moves are as follows: 

  1. Pulldowns 
  2. Leg presses 
  3. Seated rows 
  4. Chest presses 
  5. Overhead presses

That’s it! Going through these exercises will have you target all the major groups of muscle, if you do them correctly. When performing them, take your time and don’t rush to get them done quickly. Instead, perform them at a steady pace and repeat the process until you can no longer lift, or reach a positive failure. 

Most importantly, don’t stop after you feel comfortable. In time, you’ll develop resistance to your training, so you’ll have to keep on setting the bar higher and higher. Maintaining your hard built muscle is just as hard as building it. In order to do this, make sure to keep alternating your exercises and even split them by days. You could do chest exercises one day, and leg exercises the other.

Lesson 3: Cardio is overrated, so work on building your muscle mass instead.

Losing weight can be challenging. There’s many factors to consider, from your metabolism rate, medical conditions you may have, to the basic stuff, like your daily calorie intake in relation to the exercises you perform. The bad part is that it’s easy to indulge yourself and overeat large amounts of calories, while it’s incredibly difficult to lose them through exercise alone.

Cardio exercises are the traditional go to solution for everyone that wants to lose weight, or so states conventional knowledge. However, a pound of fat contains up to 3,500 calories, while an hour of jogging burns only around 200 calories. Fortunately, more recent studies suggest that high-intensity, high-energy workouts are more efficient in this regard.

As you build muscle, your body requires more energy to maintain your muscle mass when you’re not actively engaged in a workout, as well as when you’re exercising. As a rule of thumb, for each pound of muscle, your body burns an additional 100 calories per day. However, in order to reach this fitness level, you’ll first have to work on building your muscle mass.

Body By Science Review

If you’re the type of person that relies on data and facts, and not advice from a friend when it comes to fitness and sports knowledge, Body By Science is the book for you. It offers valuable advice on how to kickstart your fitness journey and get the most out of your workouts. All this without having to rely on cardio and endless training routines to see results. By working out properly and following scientific methods of reducing fat and building muscle, you can accelerate your fitness journey and improve your overall health.

Who would I recommend our Body By Science summary to?

The 23-year-old gym enthusiast who wants to build more muscle and a healthier body, the 30-year-old personal trainer who wants to create better training programs for their clients, or the 37-year-old person who just set a new fitness goal.

Last Updated on May 19, 2023

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Maria Deac

While working with my friend Ovi's company SocialBee, I had the good fortune of Maria writing over 200 summaries for us over the course of 18 months. Maria is a professional SEO copywriter, content writer, and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing or learning more about marketing, she loves to dance and travel all over the world.