What is the opinion of Reddit about the
Body by Science: A Research Based Program for Strength Training, Body building, and Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week?

A total of 34 reviews of this product on Reddit.

2 points

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10th Sep 2018

Absolutely… I happened to find keto worked for me (it isn’t for everyone) and I used MyFitnessPal.com to track my food. Once I got a handle on what I could eat, and how much of it I could eat, I started to slack off on logging, but kept to “Lazy Keto”. I started off at 220-230 and I weigh 168 right now. The last 10-15 lbs are proving to be a challenge so I will probably go back to logging to make sure I am not being too “lazy”. I use keto, running and short “Body By Science” intense strength sessions because that combo seems to work best for me. I’m almost 50 though… I wish I had started when I was your age.

1 point

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28th Dec 2021

Lots of resources here for bodyweight exercise; see the sidebar.

You needn’t spend much time in the gym if you exercise efficiently. See Doug McGuff, Body By Science for a start. Forget all those Arnold-style sets & reps and adjectives like “swole, jacked, ripped, big, hypertrophy” promoted endlessly by the fitness industry. Think “fitness with health,” “good shape,” “good body composition,” and “functional fitness.” This way lies rationality and fitness for the long haul.

I’ve had my time at gyms. Now I prefer the convenience and comfort of home. I watch vids and listen to music during exercise sessions. (Looks like you’re well set up to do so yourself.) I’m not a natural athlete but also a natural couch potato. I’d much rather play Deus Ex, Skyrim, and Call Of Duty than exercise. So I find exercise boring but just absolutely necessary for health and wellbeing. I just hate the idea of docs & meds! Hence I stick to the workout schedule come what may.

I stay fit with bands and a TRX. We only like rings on this sub, but a TRX is quite versatile, esp for the lower body exercises. It does make bodyweight a lot more interesting. Since you’re just starting, you might head over to /r/trx and maybe even sign up for the well-regarded programs offered by /u/trx_traveller. You can get a decent knockoff TRX for about USD30-40 and about the same for a set of bands.

I like bands for particular exercises, notably overhead presses.

Other than that, I do intervals on a treadmill 20 min a couple times a week, and I take walks. My numbers are consistently good and I stay lean & fit.

Even if you’re fit you may not look fit and your health will still not be optimal over time if you’re overweight. Low carb and intermittent fasting (eating window) work well for me and will definitely help you avoid the imminent dad bod.

/r/lowcarb

/r/intermittentfasting

1 point

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29th Aug 2021

> then says that if your overall weight increases but your waist stays the same, you’re healthier because the weight is better distributed. WHAT??

if your overall weight increases but your waist stays the same, you’re healthier

> Becoming fat everywhere else

Holding waist-circumference constant, increased weight means increase bone mineral density, increased muscle mass, and increased brain mass.

> The only way they could possibly go from being a hundred pounds overweight with fat to carrying a hundred extra pounds of muscle (aka no weight change, just muscle for fat) is if they subscribe to an incredible level of physical exercise

No. As little as 12 minutes a week: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0071597174/

Body by Science: A Research Based Program for Strength Training, Body building, and Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week

> Pretending that the average American pegged by BMI as being fat is really just super muscular is incredibly dishonest.

BMI doesn’t take waist-circumference into account. ABSI does.

1 point

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26th May 2021

> People that are busy with work and don’t have time to be active

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0071597174/

Body by Science: A Research Based Program for Strength Training, Body building, and Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week

John Little, Doug McGuff


> because they don’t burn it

Exercise doesn’t modulate bodyfat levels. Diet does.

1 point

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14th May 2021

If you are looking for “Minimum Effective Dose” for strength training, please read this book:

Body by Science, by Doug McGuff and John Little

Once a week strength training, approx 15-20 mins each.

That 15-20 mins need to be SUPER INTENSE, and your muscles will workout to failure.

Rest of the week is spent in recovery.

(this is also known as High Intensity Strength Training, or Super Slow protocol, etc. Not to be confused with High Intensity Interval Training)

I am doing this protocol, and I am seeing dramatic changes. (I am a 56 year old male started Keto in Jan 2021 and started the McGuff protocol in March 2021)

This protocol should work for you if your goal is to increase your strength. It will *NOT* work for you if your goal is to compete in professional body building competitions.

1 point

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30th Mar 2021

Yes. I was willing to workout a lot more, but I read the book and tried the program, and now I’m a believer. The workout itself is hard. I do everything at a heavy weight, to positive failure, or even to negative failure if I have a spotter. When I look around the gym at other people, nobody is doing this, nor are they doing super slow reps. I believe it’s an uncommon way to lift weights. But… I read the book 3 times, and I tried it myself, and it’s amazing. Great results, plus I know I can stick to it the rest of my life. We started with Doug’s “Big Five” and recently we added a B-side that we do on alternate weeks to hit some of the smaller muscles that weren’t in the starter / basic workout.

The book cover isn’t pretty, but if you want to read about studies and evidence yourself, here it is: https://www.amazon.com/Body-Science-Research-Strength-Training/dp/0071597174/

Personal trainers and gyms don’t promote this type of program. I imagine it’s bad for business.

1 point

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10th Feb 2021

Has your wife complained about being left alone for 40 min? Perhaps she understands the need for the supporter of family to stay fit.

Ask your wife to restrain your daughter in the same room while you exercise. Your daughter can be taught.

Look into Body By Science. You can apply the same principle using bodyweight and get the max benefit/time spent. Besides super slow, you can use isometrics and timed static contractions, and you can probably do these safely enough if your daughter is around. You can use bands rather than weights for more resistance. These would have their own issues but might still be less dangerous.

1 point

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6th May 2017

Body by Science, Doug McGuff, MD.

Apart from the proposed training programs, it covers a great deal about the human metabolism, how muscles grow, how your body adapts to certain triggers etc…

1 point

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19th May 2011

My favorite book on training is Body by Science (link is to amazon, the book is rated 5 stars on the site)

The basic jist of it is that you really don’t need to work out more than once per week to build muscle mass. Probably more for you since you’re older and your recovery ability is slower, so maybe like once every 10 days.

Another good thing is that you only perform one set per exercise, so the chances of wear and tear on your joints are slim. The book is written by a doctor.

I highly recommend you read this book instead of starting strength or any other bullshit redditors recommend.

1 point

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23rd Mar 2011

How has no one mentioned Body By Science in re: this?

I find that /r/fitness is often more like /r/SSandSL — but BBS is a robustly-researched protocol based on TUL, working muscle to failure, and allocating proper rest.

If you want your studies go look at BBS.

(edited to add link)

1 point

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26th Apr 2011

Maybe you can give this a shot: http://www.amazon.com/Body-Science-Research-Program-Results/dp/0071597174/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1303796147&sr=8-1
Even if you decide it isn’t for you, there’s a lot of good info on training, recovery, diet, etc.

Personally I think an intense workout every day is counter-productive. You don’t give your muscles enough time to recover and develop.

Do you have a macronutrient ratio you’re aiming for? Maybe increasing the fat and reducing carbs (or at least getting carbs from lower GI sources) could help.

1 point

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31st Mar 2011

I strongly suggest workouts from this book, it basically says that the most you can workout to build muscle effectively and efficiently is once per week, give or take. So even if you don’t have a lot of time you can just go to the gym for about 20 minutes a week and build some good muscle.

Myself and my brother have seen tremendous gains in strength and hypertrophy (muscle size) from this program.

1 point

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8th Oct 2010

I don’t really motivate myself to work out, I just do it. 15 minutes once a week just isn’t that hard to fit into my schedule.

2 points

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7th Feb 2016

You could read his book. He references where he comes to his conclusions (the concepts have been around for a while). You could also listen to the whole lecture where he basically goes over the essentials of the book in a very clear and easy to understand way.

Hope this helps.

1 point

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12th Apr 2022

Good, and great if it works for you. Seems overthought to me. Slower and more intense is better, yes, though it’s an unpopular idea here.

Dr. Doug McGuff documents the research and effectiveness in Body By Science. McGuff builds on the previous work of Arthur Jones, Mike Mentzer, Ken Hutchins and more. “Less is more,” work “smarter, not harder.” Steve Maxwell, Drew Baye, and P. D. Mangan are trainers/authors who follow the method.

Consider this:

> We recommend that appreciably the same muscular strength and endurance adaptations can be attained by performing a single set of ~8-12 repetitions to momentary muscular failure, at a repetition duration that maintains muscular tension throughout the entire range of motion, for most major muscle groups once or twice each week. All resistance types (e.g. free-weights, resistance machines, bodyweight, etc.) show potential for increases in strength, with no significant difference between them, although resistance machines appear to pose a lower risk of injury.

Evidence based resistance training recommendations

and

A comparison of low volume ‘high-intensity-training’ and high volume traditional resistance training methods on muscular performance, body composition, and subjective assessments of training

The idea is to lift lighter loads w/ fewer reps by slowing the pace of lifting. Lift to failure and you don’t much need to even count reps. Do intervals once or twice a week if you wish and forget that long slow cardio:

Twelve Weeks of Sprint Interval Training Improves Indices of iometabolic Health Similar to Traditional Endurance Training despite a Five-Fold Lower Exercise Volume and Time Commitment

It works well. Here’s P. D. Mangan, 67, formerly a skinny microbiologist, now a “health and freedom maximalist” author and trainer. Low carb, no counting calories, no cardio, no warmups, no TRT, no HGH, two 30 minute sessions a week w/ slow body weight and weights:

https://twitter.com/Mangan150/status/1490342792593244163?cxt=HHwWhoCsofW34a4pAAAA

Me, I use an interval timer app. There are also
quite a few audio files for the purpose on youtube. I add in both isometrics and timed static contractions for some exercises.

1 point

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24th Mar 2022

First, you’re doing pretty good there.

Not sure how much progress you think is necessary at your age and for what purpose, exactly. If you want greater strength, you’ll need to add resistance. You can increase that during bodyweight exercise via static holds or timed static contractions. Matt Schifferle (Red Delta) has some advice about this on youtube and elsewhere. I’m not a big believer in high numbers of sets and reps, esp for older folks.

However, you’ll probably want more.

If you’re an average old guy, as I am, not an athlete, not genetically gifted, the emphasis really should be on functional fitness with health. Achieve that and you have good body composition, fit “in shape” appearance, and good biomarkers (assuming a good diet and BMI). Rationally, you want to decrease chances of injury, fight sarcopenia, protect joints and tendons, and start ASAP on your own compression of morbidity project.

Recommended reading and viewing:

Dear Over-45 Trainee…

Peter Attia – Reverse engineered approach to human longevity

Why You Need To Protect Your Joints If You Want to Live to Be 100 | Peter Attia on Health Theory

Repetitive stress syndrome is an issue with all the popular exercise modalities.

The usual legacy paradigm—multiple sets, heavy weights, long slow cardio–is time-consuming, relatively complex, and hard on the ol’ joints. I know, ‘cause I followed it for more than a couple of decades. I also got into the running craze and ran a few marathons. It definitely took a toll. Wish I’d known then what I do now.

The question becomes, how to move into a new paradigm?

I did so instinctively about 15 years ago. I had to listen to my knees, back, hip, and shoulders. Gave up heavy weights and started doing bodyweight with a TRX. Fewer sets & reps. Stopped lengthy cardio.

I stayed fit, but not as strong as I’d like to be or could be safely.

I kept reading. What with all the sites recommending the same Arnold/Ken Cooper-influenced programs to sell plans, supplements, apps, subscriptions, etc. it’s hard find an efficient, safer alternative for strength building & maintenance.

Finally coming across Dr. Doug McGuff’s Body By Science was the breakthrough. McGuff builds on the previous work of Arthur Jones, Mike Mentzer, Ken Hutchins and more. Extremely well documented. Highly recommended to understand the theory of “less is more” and “smarter, not harder.” Then I read, or watched vids by, Steve Maxwell, Drew Baye, and P. D. Mangan.

Consider this:

> We recommend that appreciably the same muscular strength and endurance adaptations can be attained by performing a single set of ~8-12 repetitions to momentary muscular failure, at a repetition duration that maintains muscular tension throughout the entire range of motion, for most major muscle groups once or twice each week. All resistance types (e.g. free-weights, resistance machines, bodyweight, etc.) show potential for increases in strength, with no significant difference between them, although resistance machines appear to pose a lower risk of injury.

Evidence based resistance training recommendations

and

A comparison of low volume ‘high-intensity-training’ and high volume traditional resistance training methods on muscular performance, body composition, and subjective assessments of training

Lift lighter loads w/ fewer reps by slowing the pace of lifting. Lift to failure and you don’t much need to even count reps. Do intervals once or twice a week if you wish and forget that long slow cardio:

Twelve Weeks of Sprint Interval Training Improves Indices of iometabolic Health Similar to Traditional Endurance Training despite a Five-Fold Lower Exercise Volume and Time Commitment

It works. Here’s P. D. Mangan, 67, formerly a skinny microbiologist, now a “health and freedom maximalist” author and trainer. Low carb, no counting calories, no cardio, no warmups, no TRT, no HGH, two 30 minute sessions a week w/ slow body weight and weights:

https://twitter.com/Mangan150/status/1490342792593244163?cxt=HHwWhoCsofW34a4pAAAA

Resting pulse rate of 44. One of the best exemplars in the new paradigm. Just got to 150,000 followers on Twitter. I follow his feed daily.

You can apply the same methods with body weight, weights, resistance bands, rings, or a suspension trainer. Intensity is the key. Super slow, isometrics, timed static contractions, lighter weights, 1 set per body part to failure.

That’s what I do with a TRX and resistance bands. Other than that, I do intervals on a treadmill 20 min a couple times a week, and I take walks.

I also do mobility exercises with the TRX. Very helpful. For example,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geWWUHEZ_J0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTBihmVHPrU

Lot of more yoga-like mobility training vids out there. I’ve taken some stretching exercises from those. It’s important to work on your mobility and flexibility as you age and keep good motor control–which, if you make the effort, you can to a surprising degree.

Watch this:

Steve Maxwell: Mobility Conditioning Circuit

It’s amazing how many people die as a result of a fall, for one thing.

As for diet, low carb and intermittent fasting (eating window) have worked great for me for about 20 years now. No need for counting calories, “pushing away from the table” and other tricks, apps, weighing food, etc. For info and support, go here:

/r/lowcarb

/r/keto

/r/intermittentfasting

When you get to used to efficient strength training and low carb, health and fitness become surprisingly simple. Who’d have thought?

Sangeetha Aiyer:

> Most fit people I know keep their food, exercise and relationships basic, simple, clean and repetitive. Variety is overrated. Monotony compounds in ways you can’t imagine.

Gotta be consistent. I keep to the schedule no matter what.

So I’ve stayed lean and fit for years without joint problems. Strong as I need to be, and I’m happy enough. Good biomarkers year after year, optimal BP, same low resting HR, superior VO2 max. No meds. No BPH issues yet either. I look about 15 years younger than I am.

And next month I’ll be 73.

1 point

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6th Nov 2021

Getting and staying fit doesn’t take much time if you exercise intensely. Talking HIT. P. D. Mangan has two HIT workouts of about 25 min each per week.

https://twitter.com/Mangan150/status/1454464940434096128

These, at a home gym consisting of a barbell, dip station, bench, and pullup bar. No warmup; no cardio.

To convince yourself of the science and spend even less time, read Body by Science: A Research Based Program for Strength Training, Body building, and Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week by Doug McGuff. His examples are mostly with machines, BUT
the same principle can be applied using resistance bands, a TRX, or just a strap of some sort for timed static contractions. Drew Baye, Matt Schifferle, and Steve Maxwell are the gurus to consult.

Without the need for all those sets, reps, apps, and programs promoted by the fitness industry, you’ll easily find the time.

A knockoff TRX would offer a number of advantages for bodyweight. I use a combo of resistance bands and a TRX for two workouts a week. I walk on the off days.

As for diet, just stick to low carb and intermittent fasting (eating window easiest).

/r/keto/

/r/intermittentfasting/

/r/trx

No need for calorie counting, apps, programs, or weighing your food and poop. It’s very simple. If you’re not particular, you can eat about the same thing every day, just being sure to get fish in a couple times a week. Save all kinds of time spent shopping, deciding, and preparing.

1 point

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8th Mar 2021

If you are serious about strength building, I HIGHLY recommend this book: https://smile.amazon.com/Body-Science-Research-Strength-Training/dp/0071597174/ref=sr_1_1?crid=12M5MG6CZ4NA&dchild=1&keywords=body+by+science+book+by+doug+mcguff&qid=1615219820&sprefix=body+by+s%2Caps%2C241&sr=8-1

The secret sauce TLDR version: Focus on core muscle groups, heavy weight, low reps, once a week.

1 point

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23rd Sep 2020

One answer: I have no idea whether you are correct that ancient Greeks or Romans did not “jog.” However, it is not true that jogging and similar forms of what we call “cardiovascular exercise” are the only path to cardiovascular fitness and the ability to endure long cardiovascular activities, like running. See the intro material in this book for an explanation: https://www.amazon.com/Body-Science-Research-Strength-Training/dp/0071597174

1 point

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5th Oct 2016

I like to spam this video, particularly when he talks about the studies in compensatory behavior.

If I were in your shoes, I would drop the cardio in the gym and instead find an active hobby (that I enjoy) to supplant it – local adult sports clubs (kickball, volleyball, whatever), or hiking, cycling, kayaking.

If you want to talk HIIT, when Tabata first published research on it, it was shown to be effective as a replacement for daily 45 minute workouts. The Tabata regimen was 12 minutes per week, divided into 3, 4 minute sessions (not including warm-up, cool-down, etc.). During those 4 minute sessions, you alternate sprinting and walking for 30 seconds each. And the sprinting has to be at your maximum level of effort. You are not really doing HIIT for 40 minutes continuously, because an Olympic athlete might not even be able to do that. I find most people who think they are doing HIIT are unwittingly moderating the high intensity portion down, so that they can attain longer workouts.

Also, don’t discount the importance of recovery time. This is a fairly good book that covers a lot of that subject.

1 point

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12th Mar 2016

Doug McGuff
Joe’s been talking about over training a lot recently on his podcast. This guy wrote a book about it – http://www.amazon.com/Body-Science-Research-Strength-Training/dp/0071597174

1 point

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28th Feb 2015

About the time you spend at the gym: if you could cut down on that while still improving your fitness, would you?

BodybyScience.net is the website of Doug McGuff, MD. He’s a really fit guy, and has written a book called Body By Science. It’s pretty cool. There are some videos of his lectures on YouTube.

The fitness program he designed takes 12 minutes PER WEEK.

1 point

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12th Jan 2015

30 minutes, 1 day a week
Body by Science

1 point

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12th Jul 2013

You might want to try HIT (as opposed to HIIT). Check out Doug McGuff’s work. The book Body by Science. And This video is an awesome summary.

1 point

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17th Apr 2011

How are you training? If you’re not stressing your muscles properly, they won’t grow. The fittit circlejerkers won’t agree with me, but this book and this book helped both me and my brother gain large amounts of strength and muscle with a lot less time spent in the gym.

What kind of supplements are you taking? You should be taking creatine at the very least. Maybe some vitamins designed to increase testosterone production as well such as ZMA.

You may also have to just accept that fact that you won’t get that big. Take a look at this chart. If you’re in or around the “advanced” category for strength and you’re not that big yet, you’re just not going to get that much bigger.

1 point

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28th Apr 2010

Some “high intensity training” (HIT) routines are fast and infrequent. Body by Science, for example, recommends ~15 minutes in the gym, once a week.

I’ve seen Tabata recommended here.

1 point

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7th Oct 2010

Read Body By Science. Stop doing “cardio,” start being fit.

1 point

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27th Sep 2010

I lift every Sunday. I think I’ve missed four Sundays in five months. Source: Body By Science.

1 point

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14th Oct 2010
0 points

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28th Apr 2013
0 points

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28th Nov 2012

I know this is borderline trolling, but…

I disagree / find an issue with almost every bullet in your list; probably your point about ‘overtraining’ the most. I’m just too lazy to write a long, well-thought out rebuttal, haha. Sorry.

For those who consider this ‘the most solid post in this subreddit’.. please go read Body By Science: http://www.amazon.ca/Body-Science-Research-Program-Results/dp/0071597174

I’ve been lifting for over 12 years.

-4 points

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1st May 2018

It’s quite possible he’s overtraining. Maybe try cutting back from 6 days/wk to 1 or 2.

Following https://www.amazon.com/Body-Science-Research-Strength-Training/dp/0071597174 has been just as effective for me once a week as 3-4 times/wk, but now I only have ravenous hunger once a week instead of every single day.