Countless people have been lifting for years, yet when they take their shirt off, they don’t look like a professional athlete. In fact, they don’t look like they even work out.
Many fitness “experts” defend weights and cardio like they are infallible, but where are the results? Why does almost nobody look even marginally athletic?
Dr. John Jaquish would argue that fitness may be the most failed human endeavor, and he’s endeavored to show others how exercise science has missed some obvious principles that, when enacted, will turn them into the superhuman they’ve always wanted to be.
Along with his partner Henry Alkire, John wrote Weight Lifting is a Waste of Time to explore the science that supports this argument and share a superior strength training approach that has been seen to put 20 pounds of muscle on drug-free, experienced lifters in six months.
I recently talked with John to learn more about what inspired him to write the book, his favorite ideas he shares with readers, and how those ideas have impacted his own fitness.
What happened that made you decide to write the book? What was the exact moment when you realized these ideas needed to get out there?
I knew this book had to be written when I was in London training doctors on the correct usage of the medical device I had created, which was then in the midst of its first clinical trial.
I had collected data on force creation capacities of human muscles and it was obvious: in standard exercise, we do not come close to tapping our potential for muscle growth and associated fat loss. It was apparent to me then that weight lifting overloads joints and underloads muscles, and it seemed like nobody had noticed this. Millions of people are wasting their time exercising like this. Our book is an attempt to help them understand this overlooked truth.
What’s your favorite specific, actionable idea in the book?
We approached nutrition from a different perspective, as that industry is full of “healthy” products and ideas which are actually not healthy at all. We observed that the people who live the longest have both high levels of strength and low levels of body fat. Our approach was to identify the nutritional principles that would maximize these two characteristics.
This unique focus allowed us to leverage a lot of research on nutrition specifically applied to optimizing exercise outcomes, which isn’t research that other people had considered in the context of “healthy diets.” That led us to some unusual guidelines, and of course, it’s a great synergy because our nutrition advice works incredibly well with the recommended exercise system discussed in another part of the book. It’s truly a holistic approach to health.
What’s a story of how you’ve applied this in your own life? What has this lesson done for you?
To achieve serious muscular growth, the kind that takes a regular looking guy to looking like a professional athlete, having a good training program is only half the story.
While I first created the ultimate training program, as I began to find what really worked with nutrition, the muscle gains and fat loss came to me fast. That’s how I know it works.