Squat by James T. Speirs

★★★★★  We’ve all been there—you decide to join a gym, make a change for the better. But the second you walk inside, your self confidence evaporates as you watch all of the supremely buff humans pump iron around you. How is a novice, even a motivated one, supposed to work out among all the gym rats? James T. Speirs’s Squat provides a no-nonsense plan for those ready to embrace a dramatic lifestyle change, and also serves as an engaging history of the diet and workout industries. As Speirs emphasizes in the book, some motion is always better than none, but building a solid background in how and why exercise benefits the body can help the reader understand the slow steps necessary to developing a healthy lifestyle.

The human body is a fickle thing. Exercising it should be a no-brainer—after all, a body in motion stays in motion. However, the industry of mass-marketed gyms and quick-fix fad diets can lead us down all sorts of confusing paths. Squat deftly squashes these myths through hilarious and well-told chapters, with tidbits of wisdom carefully interspersed so it never feels like the author is preaching. Speirs very clearly knows what he’s talking about, as techniques that other authors would have illustrated are concisely described in his snappy prose. Squat is unlike any other workout/diet/history book you’ve ever read, precisely because it doesn’t fall easily into any of those categories. By merging genre, fact, and fiction, Squat becomes a triumphant work that has the ability to change lives, minds, and bodies.

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