I was already impressed by Dr. Doug McGuff, but now I’m even more so.
Dr. McGuff’s book Body by Science (co-written with trainer John Little) is one of the best I’ve read on exercise and fitness. It’s a how-to guide for high-intensity resistance training, but also a nice primer on the science of how your muscles work, adapt and grow.
When you read this book, you’ll learn about the different types of muscle fibers and how they’re recruited during exertion. You’ll learn why there’s really no such thing as “cardiovascular fitness.” (All fitness comes down to muscular fitness. Your vascular system doesn’t become “fit.”) You’ll understand why you will never – no matter how hard you work – develop eye-popping muscles like a body-builder or professional athlete unless you’ve been blessed with an unusual ratio of fast-twitch vs. slow-twitch muscle fibers. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you’ll also learn how to become as fit and as strong as you can be by lifting weights correctly during brief but intense workouts.
I’ve also seen Dr. McGuff give a couple of speeches on diet, exercise and health that I thought were excellent. The man knows his stuff on those topics. I expected that.
I didn’t expect him to be equally impressive speaking about economics, but he is. (Any doctor who can talk intelligently about Milton Friedman’s spending quadrant is cool in my book.) After last week’s debate in the comments about insurance and ObamaCare, a reader sent me a link to this speech Dr. McGuff gave in 2012 titled Fitness, Health and Liberty. It’s more than an hour long, but worth the watch if you want to understand the economics of how and why our medical system got so screwed up in the first place. (Hint: products and services rarely become prohibitively expensive as a result of too much freedom.)
As an emergency-room physician, Dr. McGuff has seen what happens when people wind up in the medical system, which he calls “the belly of the beast.” I’d suggest paying close attention to the end of the speech, when he offers advice on how to avoid winding up in an emergency room in the first place.