- New Article: How to Communicate With Your Doctor to Get a Timely and Accurate Diagnosis
- My Three Favorite Books on Exercise
How to Communicate With Your Doctor to Get a Timely and Accurate Diagnosis
I published a new article.
This article takes you behind the scenes of the medical interview.
When you’re done reading, you’ll know why your doctor asks certain questions, what sort of answers they’re looking for, and what they’re thinking about while you’re talking. Once you know all of this, you can learn to communicate more effectively with your doctor.
Efficient and effective communication will improve your rapport, save time, and improve the chances of your doctor making early and accurate diagnoses.
See how it works by reading the article.
If you have questions or suggestions regarding the article or this newsletter, please write to me by replying to this email or contact me here.
My Three Favorite Books on Exercise
The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss
In this book, author Tim Ferriss shares the results of his world-wide search for excellence in all things related to health and performance. He chronicles his self-experimentation with fat loss, muscle building, speed and strength development, sleep optimization, and more. The book is filled with delightful and inspirational anecdotes.
Ferriss is all about effective, efficient, and quantifiable interventions. He presents concepts and approaches that will work for anyone at any skill or experience level. His book is both entertaining and extremely practical. It’s broken into chunks so that readers can reference sections as needed without having to read the entire text to gain useful insight.
Here is an excerpt in which he identifies the reasons that people don’t do the things that they know they should do:
“For most of us, the how-to books on our shelves represent a growing to-do list, not advice we’ve followed. Several of the better-known tech CEOs in San Francisco have asked me at different times for an identical favor: an index card with bullet-point instructions for losing abdominal fat. Each of them made it clear: “Just tell me exactly what to do and I’ll do it.” I gave them all of the necessary tactical advice on one 3×5 card, knowing in advance what the outcome would be. The success rate was impressive … 0%. People suck at following advice. Even the most effective people in the world are terrible at it. There are two reasons:
- Most people have an insufficient reason for action. The pain isn’t painful enough. It’s a nice-to-have, not a must-have. There has been no “Harajuku Moment.”
- There are no reminders. No consistent tracking = no awareness = no behavioral change. Consistent tracking, even if you have no knowledge of fat-loss or exercise, will often beat advice from world-class trainers.”
Almost everyone is sure to find something in this book that they’ll identify with.
Get it here.
Body by Science by John R. Little and Doug McGuff
Body by Science is a book that takes the reader through an in-depth look into the science of exercise physiology and performance. The essential discovery made by the authors flies in the face of what we’ve been told about exercise our entire lives.
The authors believe that people can make consistent and life-long improvements in body composition, strength, speed, and endurance by exercising for roughly eight minutes per week. Here is an excerpt:
“In 1997, physiologists conducted a ten-week training study of recreational weight lifters in which various set schemes were tested. They concluded that one set per exercise was just as effective as two and four sets for improving muscular size, strength, and upper-body power.2 In addition, physiologists R. N. Carpinelli and R. M. Otto conducted a study out of Adelphi University that surveyed all of the known scientific literature concerning single-set versus multiple-set resistance training. They found that, on the whole, performing multiple sets brought absolutely no additional increase in results compared with single-set training. The literature came down overwhelmingly in favor of a single set of exercise as being sufficient; only two out of the forty-seven studies surveyed showed any benefit (and a marginal improvement at that) to be had from the performance of multiple sets.”
For several months last year, I implemented the Body by Science training methodology. During that time, I added twenty pounds each to my bench press and deadlift while training only once per week.
For a more detailed account of my experience, and an explanation of the Body by Science program, you can read my article “Building Strength And Mobility With 1 Workout Per Week”.
If you want to understand the science and ideas behind the program and learn how to implement it for yourself, I recommend buying and reading the book.
5/3/1 by Jim Wendler
Author Jim Wendler is a life-long weightlifter and strength training coach. In 2009, Wendler published his now famous 5/3/1 program in which he applies his 4 core concepts of strength training:
- Emphasize Big, Multi-Joint Movements
- Start Too Light
- Progress Slowly
- Break PRs (personal records)
Wendler is all about getting stronger. His approach is one of pure empiricism and practicality. He tells the reader what works for him, and when addressing areas of possible complexity, he takes a very simple approach, which is as refreshing as it is amusing. For instance, with regard to food, Wendler says this:
”Nothing is more confusing than diet. There are a million opinions, books, experts and internet heroes claiming to know how to eat, what to eat and judging by the scare tactics out there, what NOT to eat. I’m not sure if there isn’t a food out there that hasn’t been linked to cancer, heart disease, death, diabetes and obesity. Even fruit has gotten a Frowny Face from some nutritional experts. Really? You think apples are what make people fat?”
His attitude towards exercise “science and studies” is also simple. For those who enjoy “in-your-face” irreverence, he serves that up too:
”Get rid of all the meaningless crap in your life and your training. Get rid of the things that bleed your energy in the weight room and in life. Don’t fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your s— in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking a–, and take out the crap that doesn’t matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? [bleep] [bleep]…”
I think you get the point. Wendler is a pretty hardcore guy, but behind all of that, he is also quite thoughtful and believes in long-term-thinking:
“The game of lifting isn’t an 8-week pursuit. It doesn’t last as long as your latest program does. Rather, it’s a lifetime pursuit. If you understand this, then progressing slowly isn’t a big deal. In fact, this can be a huge weight lifted off your back. Now you can focus on getting those 5 extra pounds rather than 50.”
Wendler’s 5/3/1 program is a simple framework that can be adapted to any experience level. It’s simple, structured, measurable, scale-able, and progressive. Because of this, it’s easy to implement and it’s motivating. For these reasons, Wendler’s program is my current framework for strength training.
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