Non-Fiction - Health - Fitness
176 Pages
Reviewed on 03/09/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Steve Leshin for Readers' Favorite

Squat by James T. Speirs is a straightforward, sometimes funny, sometimes deadly serious indictment of the myriad expensive diet plans and celebrity-endorsed corporate exercise gyms that we are steered to by the media every day. Speirs starts out by attacking the various exercise and diet programs by pointing out that “the industry’s success is based on failure”. He also states “the multi-billion-dollar diet industry could not sustain itself financially if ... the plan worked”. With that thesis, Speirs takes the reader through a history of attempted exercise programs and the psychology behind them. As a kid I remember the ads for men of the Charles Atlas program where you can go from a 90 lb weakling to a Hercules in a few short weeks. The author points out the folly of this in a clear yet humorous way. Over the years up to present day, Speirs covers why expensive gyms with state of the art equipment, personal trainers and such, and diet fads, surgery to remove fat, etc. are a waste of money and not really needed.

As the title of this book implies, the road to success in any exercise program is through simple moves in the weightlifting field of squats, cleans, bench press and deadlifts, or “kinetics”. It is the “simple transfer of energy from the large muscle groups to the smaller ones”. As far as dieting, it is simple. Calories in, calories out. Speirs also points out if you follow his weight program properly, you will burn more calories and have more energy. The theme is: keep it simple. Filled with historical tidbits of past stars of weight lifting fame such as Steve “Hercules” Reeves and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Squat is a good read for serious students of diet and exercise, or read it just for fun.