New book, “Muscle Up”, coming soon

muscle up

Muscle Up

I’ve been working on another book, this one on the health benefits of strength training, and it’s called “Muscle Up: How Strength Training Beats Obesity, Cancer, and Heart Disease, and Why Everyone Should Do It”. I ordered a couple of mock-up covers, just to see what might work, and here’s one of them:

muscle up

If you have any opinion on this cover, good or bad, I’d be more than happy to hear it.

The book covers what seems to me to be an under-emphasized topic: weightlifting for health. Obviously there are tons of books and sites dealing with lifting for the bro set, that is, lifting to build muscle. While building muscle is an integral part of any program of strength training, the aspects of lifting that improve health seem mostly to be ignored.

Steady-state aerobic exercise is inefficient and has a poor weight-loss record

Probably about 99% of people who exercise do some form of aerobics, whether walking, jogging, or cardio in the gym. Strength training for health is just ignored, because it has been little promoted. Health authorities have promoted aerobic exercise for decades now, as if that were a unique way to health, which it is not.

Worse than that, those 99% of aerobic exercisers believe that their aerobic exercise is both necessary and sufficient for health, when it is neither. It is not necessary, because strength training has a substantial aerobic component, and it is not sufficient, because aerobic exercise has a poor record at fat loss and does nothing for or even accelerates sarcopenia, the loss of muscle with age.

Despite most people letting themselves get fat and out of shape, there are plenty of people who want to stay fit and who exercise regularly. I see people out walking for exercise all the time. The problem I have with it is that these people have been told that walking a few miles a day is all they need to do for health. They could do so much better, and I believe many of them would put in the extra effort at something like strength training if only they were told about it.

As for pure cardiovascular fitness, there’s an even better alternative, high-intensity training, and there will be a chapter on it in the book.

When aerobic exercisers try to use their form of exercise for weight loss, perhaps in conjunction with a low-calorie diet, they almost invariably lose a fair amount of muscle along with the fat. As I show in the book, this is bad for health; it appears to be so bad that not losing the fat in the first place, so long as you keep the muscle, might actually be better for health.

Strength training, waist circumference, and sarcopenia

Strength training has a much better record at fat loss, particularly as it pertains to waist circumference, which is a much better measure of health risk than Body Mass Index (BMI). Even with a “normal” BMI, a larger waist circumference means higher risk of illness and mortality.

As for sarcopenia – muscle loss with age – it appears that strength training could all but abolish it. Even people in their 90s – even hip fracture patients – greatly benefit from resistance training, as I document in the book.

You may have noticed that I’ve used the term “strength training” a lot here, as well as in the subtitle to the book. That’s because “weightlifting” will probably turn off lots of regular people, who associate weightlifting with bros and steroids. The aim of the book is to show how a program of strength training can benefit everyone, not just guys looking to add muscle.

I got the idea for the book from the fact that my post showing that muscular strength decreases cancer mortality is consistently one of the most popular and searched posts I’ve written, and in fact at this moment stands at number one. I’d say most people think that cancer just more or less strikes at random and, beyond not smoking, there isn’t a lot you can do to decrease your risk. This of course isn’t true at all, and strength training is one way of decreasing cancer risk.

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Leave a Comment:

28 comments
A. says September 21, 2015

The cover is a triumph. Clean, professional, emanating gravitas and the sub-heading is conscience and intriguing. Well done.

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    P. D. Mangan says September 21, 2015

    Thanks A. I of course can’t take any credit for the design, but I do like it.

    Reply
Jason Roberts says September 21, 2015

What about a cover showing off your physique? The proof is in the pudding.

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ProudDaddy says September 22, 2015

We oldsters can become intimidated by photos of young muscle. I don’t know who your target audience is, but I think the over-sixty crowd would think a book with gray hair on the cover would be more relevant to them. I personally can’t relate to the above cover. Also, 20-40 year olds aren’t much concerned about the diseases of aging.

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    P. D. Mangan says September 22, 2015

    Thanks PD for that perspective. Agree about 20 to 40 year olds, on the other hand I want the book to appeal to a wide range of people, older too, but not only them.

    Reply
Stephen Werner says September 22, 2015

Two thumbs up on the cover. I’m eagerly awaiting the release of your upcoming book. Any hint on when it will be available?

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    P. D. Mangan says September 22, 2015

    Thanks, Stephen. I was planning on a relatively short ebook, but now I’m unsure, it’s taking on a bigger shape. I’m thinking that this topic might be popular as lifting for health isn’t covered much. Long story short I don’t know, hopefully within a couple months.

    Reply
Joshua says September 22, 2015

The cover’s pretty good overall, but that guy on it has some pretty freaky-looking deltoid action going on. Maybe a different “model” with less prominent shoulder muscles?

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RW says September 22, 2015

Having the word “UP” in color is a good design element; makes a positive statement. An effective cover design overall.

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John says September 23, 2015

Cover: @ProudDaddy: I like Greek gods. Statues of Neptune with trident, or Zeus, or Mars… Woops I think these are all Roman names. Poseidon (sp), Jupiter, and Mars……. Anyway, in some of those statues, they are ripped, and well over 21 years of age. Even in Disney’s Little Mermaid, the father is ripped.

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MANGAN: New book, “Muscle Up”, coming soon. – the Revision Division says September 23, 2015

[…] MANGAN: New book, “Muscle Up”, coming soon. […]

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Dusan says September 25, 2015

Like the cover! What’s your opinion about TRX – trening resistance excercise?

Reply
    P. D. Mangan says September 25, 2015

    Thanks, Dusan. I’m afraid I don’t know a thing about TRX.

    Reply
FormerlyFatGuy says September 27, 2015

Good cover. I like it.

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Jer says September 28, 2015

Much better than the Best Supplements book photo.Thought that guy had slightly weird triceps (though I’d swap mine for his)!

how tall is this new guy in real life do you know? he seems shortish. subconscious and all that might make this relevant.

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José Carlos says September 28, 2015

I agree with Jason Roberts. Why not a picture of yourself? On the other hand, I am certain that your audience is not only white males, so I would favour a more neutral cover, if anything: maybe something like a drawing or sketch of a human being with no reference to gender or race, if possible. Also, as a foreigner, I am a bit concerned about the title. What does ‘Muscle Up’ have to do directly with strength training for health? You need to read the subtitle to get the main idea and purpose of the book. Maybe you could work on making the title more attuned to the contents. My two cents.

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    T says October 5, 2015

    You are a magnificent troll, “Jose Carlos.” Crouching your opinion in SJW terms. “Concerned” over a title “as a foreigner.” You need to buy Mangan’s book on increasing your T-levels before you go around giving him advice on how to market to men.

    Reply
      P. D. Mangan says October 5, 2015

      lol

      Reply
        José Carlos says October 5, 2015

        But why? I beg your pardon, but was my post so misguided that could make people laugh?

        Reply
      José Carlos says October 5, 2015

      This is unfair. I may have made a mistake by posting on here, but I am not a troll at all. I gave my opinion because he asked for it in the first place. You are free not to agree with me, but I am sad to see that you try to offend me and lower me. As a foreigner, I certainly miss some of the subtleties of the English language. I was not sure about all the meanings of the title “Muscle Up”. That was the source of my concern about the title.

      Reply
        P. D. Mangan says October 5, 2015

        José Carlos, please don’t think you made a mistake by posting here, and I don’t think you’ve misunderstood any of the subtleties of English. The title “Muscle Up” is a little bit of a play on words, referring to increasing muscle, an exercise called a “muscle up”, as well as the importance of muscle. As for your other ideas, I think that the other commenter was just disagreeing.

        Reply
          José Carlos Barbosa says October 5, 2015

          P. D. , I didn’t know that muscle up was the name of a specific exercise as well. I sort of understood that muscle up (as an imperative) meant ‘increase your muscularity’, but what I was arguing with was that, in my view, the title was not in total accordance with your goal: bodybuilding as a way to acquire health and cure disease. Forget about my comment about the picture: I know I was sounding politically correct, if that is a mistake. Of course, the other poster was disagreeing with me, and obviously he is entitled to it. I was, however, disappointed that in doing so he also tried to make fun of me. Let it be. And my first reaction, as I read your ‘lol’, was: “Oh, my God, he is endorsing what T said.” Thanks for your additional comments, anyway.

          Reply
          P. D. Mangan says October 5, 2015

          Everyone is welcome here, and I hope you stick around as a reader. It was certainly not my intention to give offense, and I apologize for any offense given.

          Reply
José Carlos Barbosa says October 6, 2015

Okay, I apologize as well for any misunderstanding and for having in a way hijacked this thread. This is about your book rather than about my emotions or someone’s else for that matter. I should have known better: it may be hard to be out of the blue labelled a troll and effeminate, but with hindsight I should have ignored it. Now it is high time we moved on.

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José Carlos says October 6, 2015

As was said by other posters, the idea for this book is great. However, I would question the word ‘beats’ in the title. Can you be sure that strength training alone will beat obesity, cancer etc? What about the right nutrition? Unless you give additional advice on nutrition and lifestyle (besides the training), I think you might say instead “how s.t. helps beat obesity, cancer… and so on”

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    P. D. Mangan says October 6, 2015

    You’re correct that other things like proper nutrition are necessary to beat cancer completely, but I think my subtitle is already too long. I don’t make any such overwhelming claims in the book however. Greater muscular strength is associated with a 40% reduction in cancer for example.

    Reply
Lightning Round – 2015/10/07 | Free Northerner says October 6, 2015

[…] Mangan has a new book: Muscle Up. […]

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New book, Muscle Up, is live! - Rogue Health and Fitness says October 13, 2015

[…] For a little more explanation of the book, see the post I wrote about it. […]

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