Fit at 50 - Back from the Brink, Naturally Reviewed By Conny Crisalli of
Conny Withay

Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader and volunteers with the elderly playing her designed The Write Word Game. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.

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By Conny Withay
Published on December 16, 2012

Author: Matthew McLaughlin
Publisher: Outskirts Press
ISBN: 978-1-4327-9241-1

Author: Matthew McLaughlin
Publisher: Outskirts Press
ISBN: 978-1-4327-9241-1

Matthew McLaughlin states in his book, Fit at 50 - Back from the Brink, Naturally, “This program is about using the body’s natural ability to get stronger and function better, internally and externally. This program will bring positive changes, more slowly than some other programs, but they can last a lifetime.”

With one hundred and fifty nine pages, this paperback book has a photograph of a slim, trim, fit, middle-aged male running along the beach on the front cover. The back cover has a long paragraph about the book’s contents along with an author biography and photograph. The book is specifically geared more toward men in their late forties or early fifties who are runners, cyclists or swimmers but can be beneficial toward other age or sex groups and non-athletic type individuals who are considering getting in shape. There are several black and white photographs of the author running and demonstrating specific strength exercises along with charts of running, cycling and swimming schedules. A few hard-to-read copies of his 2012 physical examination lab and EKG results are in the appendix and there is no reference or index section.

Athlete McLaughlin starts the book with an acknowledgement thanking not only his parents for their good genes, but physical therapist, exercise physiologist, doctors and book photographer along with his hairstylist and his wife. Due to prior injuries over a ten year period, the writer promotes “periodization training,” which is a program of gradual, small improvements broken down into three training periods of base, building and peak, referencing mainly to running, cycling or swimming.

With each period taking eight weeks to accomplish, the base time considers checking your pulse and slowing down your pace by using a heart monitor. The building period is a transitioning time that builds strength. In the peak period, the anaerobic threshold is increased to strong and fast interval training.

The book also covers the mechanics of the three types of exercises along with the wise adage of eating in moderation and balance, not deprivation. With the most focus on running, the reader can email a video of their running routine and get a gait analysis by a stride mechanics expert. A few recommendations are to never bounce during stretching, absorb fluids within the thirty-minute window after exercising and do not eat carbohydrates after six o’clock.

In the author’s search for his own athletic improvement and increased stamina in his exercise routines, the book tells his story that a slow and steady program in the beginning will improve any athletic trainer’s endurance and strength, while losing fat and gaining muscle and speed. This book would be ideal for a runner, cyclist or swimmer who wants to go up a notch or two in his or her routine as they enter into middle-age and beyond.

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