Book Review : We're Working Out

A Zen Approach to Everyday Fitness.

This is a great book.

If you're not quite sure how (or why) to get started, this is a fantastic primer. Covering everything from Al's philosophy of health & fitness to the mechanics of 'how to begin', Al Kavadlo's We're Working Out is highly recommended.

Let's dive in.

The first thing that struck me when I started reading this (and if you know Al, this won't come as a surprise) is how honest this information is. There's no trace of the soft-spoken, 'great results with almost no effort' language in here - he's simple, clear and direct in everything he says. Extremely refreshing.

Equally unusual - in a good way - is his philosophy of all aspects of health and fitness. To illustrate this, here's an example :

'Don't worry about tomorrow until tomorrow. Take each day as it comes and try to win every day. Keep your mind and your focus in the present and concentrate on what you're doing now. If you can manage to do this and not worry about the future, you'll be pleasantly surprised by what the future brings.'

(here he's talking about diet, but the same thinking applies to almost any aspect of looking after yourself)

All-in-all, it's a great read. Whether it's the beginning of your fitness library or taking pride of place admidst many others, Al Kavadlo's 'We're Working Out' is highly recommended.

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NB : For a complete list of everything we use and recommend, swing by the reviews area. And of course the Straight to the Bar Store. It's all in there.

To learn how to put it to work, swing by the Guides area.

Quick note : although I've been training for several years now, I still actively try to retain a beginner's mindset. After all, there's always more to learn; and the information you need could come from anyone, at any time.

Even though this book has been written specifically for those who are new to the fitness world (and those who are yet to begin the journey), one of Al's stories struck me immediately as something I'd been overlooking for most of this time. It's obvious in hindsight, but it's a powerfully simple idea.

Al noted that his clients' form often deteriorates when they have something other than the workout on their mind. As soon as they begin to focus on the task at hand, their form improves.

As I said, obvious in hindsight, but a very powerful idea (think about breathing, rest intervals, workout music and so on).

Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 35) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

Find out what he's up to via Twitter, Google+, Facebook; and of course his online home. Enjoy.

Like this? Check out :

Straight to the Bar 2012 : Strength-Training Resources.

We've noted a number of superb resources in the newsletter this year. Here are a few personal favourites.

The Importance of Perfect Reps - Part One.

The thinking behind practice.

The Bodyweight Aficionado's Guide to Gear.

A few extras that can add a whole lot of possibilities.

From the Archives : A Little Yoke Work - 10 Exercises for a Bigger Neck.

Whether it's for protection, stability, or simply to look good in a suit - a strong neck's a great thing to have.

Of course, if you enjoyed these, I'd highly recommend grabbing the Strength & Fitness Newsletter. Delivered weekly, and absolutely free.

(there's also a Daily Update, if you're looking for an even larger dose of training-related goodness.)

NB : If you'd like to write a guest post for Straight to the Bar, or if you'd like to join the team of Moderators here (I love hearing about everyone's training approaches) - get in touch. And if you've got a fitness competition or seminar coming up, add it to the calendar.

Look forward to hearing from you.

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