Information on how to run faster, lift stronger and think deeper

Book Review: The first twenty minutes

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Jul 2, 2014 5:00:00 AM

Book Review: The first twenty minutes

Review of "The first 20 Minutes" a book by Gretchen Reynolds

"The first 20 minutes" was another grab at Easons for the buy One get one half price promotion. Easons's marketing definitely works on me... As i am currently preparing for a marathon i thought it might come in handy to read a book which claims to tell you how to excercise better, train smarter and livelonger.

Gretchen Reynolds is a writer for the New York times column Phys Ed. As a mother, pet owner and fulltime worker she understands the challenges the average Joe faces when it comes to excercising. 

The book mainly describes an accumulation on experiments which have been done on mice, rats, humans, apes and other specimen to see how exercise influences their capabilities regarding movement and intelligence. At the end of each chapter there are tips on how to stretch, improve your balance or keeping a better diet to support your sport efforts.

The book is rather short and fast to read through. The language is easy and straight forward. The balance between description of experiments and the author's own experience is balanced and helps to make the content more accessible. 

I was surprised that low fat chocolate milk could such a good isotonic drink. There was no hesitation to add this to my diet plan to be drunken after my runs and workouts. The insights about stretching came as a surprise to me. Still I would have liked to know how stretching after excercise is evaluated by the experts. In total I took away from this book that science seems to agree to disagree about the major questions of excercising and is following a path of listening to your own body whilst challenging oneself. If you need someone to show you why you should get yourself up and running this book is ideal as the insight on the aging process with and without exercise is compelling. For sport pros this isn't that right choice except you want to take away just one or two new ideas,as there are no detailed training and nutrition plans in this book. Entertaining read for beginners and the generally interested.

Further reading

Topics: Think Deeper