From the research I have done, I am convinced that lifting weights is overrated and that more useful strength and fitness can be developed through bodyweight exercises. Not to mention, I like the idea of not paying for a gym membership and not going there to work out with a bunch of other people.
I prefer to just get up from my chair in front of my computer and start exercising here in my work room, in my own comfortable clothes and barefoot.
So I was hoping this book would help me devise a long-term program for building my muscles without weights.
There is a lot to learn here, but I missed the day-to-day program.
The chapter on aerobic exercise is worth reading to debunk the myths people believe: the photo of a marathon runner with love handles is hilarious. He also points out that long-distance running isn’t the cardiovascular cure-all that everyone thinks it is. By now, everyone should know about Jim Fixx, the jogging author who died while jogging. But Peterson mentions people dying in marathon races years before the recent death of three people in the Detroit marathon.
In the section on weightlifting, he explains the dangers of this popular activity; everyone who uses weights to build their muscles should read it.
He describes his Transformametrics as a combination of four different types of exercise: Dynamic Visualized Resistance, Dynamic Self-Resistance, Isometric Contraction, and Power Calisthenics.
Dynamic Visualized Resistance which consists of visualizing your largest muscles while you move them. I find it interesting that Peterson learned this from the book YOGA AND HEALTH by Selvarajan Yesudian and Elizabeth Haich. I read it when I was about twelve years old; in fact, I still have it.
Dynamic Self-Resistance is using your own strength to resist your own effort, which you learned by taking the Charles Atlas course as a child.
Isometric contraction is pushing or pulling against an immovable object. It had a period where it was popular in the 1960s (I remember swim coaches making us do isometrics), but it died down.
Power Calisthenics is a series of bodyweight exercises to build strength and muscle.
The authors demonstrate the exercises in a series of photographs that demonstrate the exercises well and serve as good examples to follow. Both are obviously in excellent shape.
The actual exercises in “Miracle 7” are only part of what it teaches. These are a series of Dynamic Visualized Resistance exercises that he learned from John McSweeney, a strong older man who called them the Seven Movements of the Tiger.
The majority of the book consists of various workouts that focus on different parts of the body: upper body, abs, core, and legs.
All the exercises are good, but I was wondering how to put them all together. Should I start with the Miracle 7? Should I decide to focus on my arms, legs, or legs? Should I alternate them? In what schedule?
How should I keep increasing reps? When should I advance to a more difficult variation?
I guess it’s true that everyone is different and therefore needs an individualized program, but it would be nice if they gave me more clues to put together the program that I need the most.
It contains many excellent pieces of the fitness puzzle, and even, in a sense, the final “picture” (to look like the authors). Unfortunately, readers are left on their own to figure out how to go from their current weak condition to the muscular strength they desire.