Brain Over Brawn - An Owner's Manual for the Human Body

This is one of the best fitness and general health resources I’ve seen. Simultaneously no-nonsense and deliciously nerdy, it’s the antidote to all the crap you see peddled in the mainstream media. Even better, there’s now a 100% free e-book release. Yup, the author is so confident in his stuff that he’s trusting you to read the whole thing through before deciding whether to buy or recommend buying it from Amazon. His postscript is a great summary:

The original seeds for this book were planted not just by clients I’ve trained, but with almost anyone I’ve ever spoken with who sooner or later discovered I was a ‘personal trainer’. The primary purpose was to dispel the persistent untruths I hear time and again, these same-y bits of misinformation that inadvertently spread like a juicy bit of gossip or ‘hilarious’ image or video.

It’s a short book. Rather than having people feel that shortness somehow diminishes the value, I would like to point out I generously skipped all the complicated recipes that nobody’s ever going to follow, and the 40 variants of biceps curls that somehow miss the point of exercise entirely. This book was written for anyone, young or old or (like many of us) in between, so they might sit down in their favorite chair and read it in an evening, or skim it during a few trips on the train, or knock out a chapter while waiting for an appointment.

Maybe I should have called it “All The Things I Wish You Knew”, but it’s not quite that ambitious in scope. It’s simply those things I say time and again; when I reveal them, I am treated to startled gasps of surprise and disbelief. I’d like to make this book baby-sized, and simply hand out complimentary copies as we each exit the womb. Watch your head, have a great day. Who knows?

The book does a great job of dispelling common myths about nutrition, exercise, and general health, offering simple, easy ways to improve your quality of life, and not getting too caught up in the details. When he knows a piece of conventional wisdom is bullshit, he calls it, but he also points out places where the science hasn’t quite reached a consensus yet.

For anyone in less than perfect shape, who wants to get more out of their workouts, or who is simply curious about how their body functions, this is a must-read. It’s nice and short, too– I got through it in about an hour.

Update: The book’s author, one Clint Cornelius, offered me a free copy of his book after I repped it on Reddit! What a cool dude.