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David Frost
Strong to Save

Adult; Health, Diet, Parenting, Home, Crafts & Gardening; (Market)

Be stronger to die harder and later (as in 7 to 10 years later than most of your demographic peers. Grip these words of strongman Mark Rippetoe, "Strength is a most important thing in life. Whether you believe it or not." Believe Mark and trust me! May I paraphrase what he contends? The essential cornerstone of your physical bank is functional strength. You want and need to move and put things in motion for the next ~ fifty years. I’m not clairvoyant, so I cannot see into the future of 2073 AD. Yet, I can envision you as a naturally lean and strong outlier for GenX many years from now. Whether you want it to be or not, strength improves your health span and can help you move the world for much longer than can your peers. 1.\tWill you dodge the intensive care unit when others cannot because you have a “vise grip”? Yes, you can. 2.\tWill you experience a revved-up metabolism with lean skeletal muscle? You betcha. 3.\tCan you protect joints from injury? Yes. 4.\tWill you maintain an independent lifestyle for a decade longer than many of your peers? Yup. 5.\tWill you enhance your prospects to become a healthy centenarian? Very likely. There is a corollary for these health and physical wealth codes. That corollary is: that your own strength program is unique. You are one unique athlete, so your physical training and activities should correspond with your unique enablers. Don’t just emulate another’s resistance work. Be a student of your endeavor to choose what works for you on your journey. Strong to Save offers you key flex alerts to be devoured on your journey to live longer and better.
Frost’s rousing Gen X-minded followup to KABOOMER: Thriving and Striving into Your Nineties offers hard-won practical guidance to strength training, nutrition, “sexercise,” and other aspects of a healthy lifestyle for an audience whose members he encourages to “Think of yourself as a real-life action figure born between the calendar years 1965 and 1984.” That phrasing exemplifies Frost’s upbeat tone and approach, as Strong to Save balances his playful inspirational exhortations to become “great” through developing strength (“A great GenX has a very good chance to become a healthy centenarian. Yup.”), easy-to-follow explanations of exercise techniques, ample “Flex Alert” pointers for more effective training, and illuminating breakdowns of what health-minded Gen Xers should know about the sciences of muscles, kinetics, and more.

Through it all, Frost’s voice is engaging, informative, and funny, even punny—one section is titled “Good Things Come to Those Who ‘Weight’”—in the manner of an inviting trainer or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson guiding tourists through a jungle cruise. Johnson, a “paragon of GenX performance,” is frequently cited throughout as a source of inspiration as Frost explains, with buoyant urgency, the essential health and aesthetic impacts of strength training, chief among them the promise of being a “vital second-half performer for up to fifty years.”

Helpful photo illustrations demonstrate some finer points of stretching, squats, planes of body motion, different types of lifting, while Frost offers clarifying insights into the carb and fat impact of energy bars, and much more. He’s created a host of mnemonic acronyms (WIFM, DEEP, FITT, MORNINGS) and fresh metaphors crafted not just to inform readers about healthy mindsets and habits but to make sure the info sticks—like any good coach, his voice gets stuck in one’s head. The advice is smartly targeted at men and women both, though the book’s organization is eccentric, with introductory material on the basics (including the advice to consult a doctor before heavy lifting) coming in later chapters.

Takeaway: Rousing guide to strength training for Gen Xers eager for high performance.

Comparable Titles: Wayne Westcott and Thomas Baechle’s Strength Training Past 50, Timothy Caso’s Weight Training for Old Guys.

Production grades
Cover: B+
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: A
Editing: B+
Marketing copy: A